Taphonomic evidence for site formation processes at fort Christanna

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Department of Social Sciences


Fort Christanna was an early eighteenth century Indian trading post on the western frontier of Virginia. This paper describes and interprets the faunal remains recovered during three seasons of excavation at the site. Taxonomic and body part representation are examined to gain insight into diet on the frontier, food provisioning at the fort, and the relationship between the fort's occupants and the neighbouring Indian settlement. These interpretations are limited by the poor preservation apparent in the faunal assemblage. The patterning of a variety of different surface modifications is explored to understand the taphonomic history of the assemblage. These characteristics of the assemblage seem to be related largely to the bone refuse disposal practices of the fort's occupants, and thus give important insight into a crucial aspect of the site formation processes.

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Copyright © 1992 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1002/oa.1390020412

Publication Title

International Journal of Osteoarchaeology