Provisioning an urban economy: Isotopic perspectives on landscape use and animal sourcing on the Atlantic coastal plain

Laurie L. Reitsema, Tad E. Brown, Carla S. Hadden, Russell B. Cutts, Maran E. Little, Brandon T. Ritchison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Isotopic evidence from animal hones deposited in urban contexts offers a landscape perspective into urban life, hinting at where animals lived before reaching their final resting place in the city. Here, we use stable carbon and nitrogen isotope evidence from cattle (Bos taurus) bones excavated from commercial and residential sites within historic Charleston, South Carolina, to evaluate whether markets pooled or segregated access to beef cattle drawn into the urban economy from the broader landscape. Results indicate that stable isotope values of cattle are varied, suggesting a broad catchment area, and differ significantly among site contexts, offering preliminary evidence regarding the roles markets played in integrating the surrounding landscape through market exchange.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-254
Number of pages18
JournalSoutheastern Archaeology
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Historical archaeology
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Urban provisioning
  • Zooarchaeology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology

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