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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

Analysis of over 12,000 zooarchaeological specimens recovered from Sylvester Manor provides archaeological evidence to complement the limited historical information about stock raising and food consumption on the plantation. The analyzed collection derives from the south lawn midden deposit at the site, and contains primarily the remains of domestic sheep, cattle, and pigs. The domestic animal ages, based on tooth eruption and wear, suggest aspects of the animal husbandry system. The patterns of skeletal part representation suggest most of the bones from the midden are refuse from household consumption rather than waste from exported foodstuffs. The Sylvesters and their tenant farmers maintained a dietary emphasis on traditional European domesticates and this diet would have represented a major change for the plantation’s African and Native American occupants.

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