Listen to the Bones: An Analysis of the Variation within the Faunal Remains at the Bridge River Site

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Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

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Ward, Ogden Wyatt
University of Montana
Archaeology; Bridge River Site; Faunal Analysis
thesis / dissertation description
Analysis of faunal material from the 2008 and 2009 excavations at the Bridge River site (EeR14) show that variation exists within the assemblages, particularly through time between the occupation phases of Bridge River 2 and Bridge River 3. The data show that reliance on anadromous salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.) remain an important food source between Bridge River (BR) 2 and Bridge River 3 occupation phases, while reliance on important secondary resources, particularly deer (odocoileus sp.) increases. A shift in the distribution of elements from deer remains suggests a change in subsistence strategies that were used to harvest theses animals. It is proposed that the variation that exists within the faunal assemblage can be explained by testing for specific subsistence strategies. The procurement of salmon as a food resource likely intensified as the harvesting of salmon as an aggregate resource may have been specialized between BR 2 and BR 3. The shift in element distribution of deer remains, from mostly complete skeletons to an increase in upper and lower limb elements, may be tied to overexploitation of local deer populations, or resource depression.