Oh Deer: Identifying Native Hunting Territories in the North Carolina Piedmont Using Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) Isotope Analysis Public Deposited

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  • Mikeska, Christine A
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology
  • In this study, archaeological deer teeth from five sites within the Eno and Dan River Basins in the North Carolina Piedmont were selected for strontium (Sr) analysis. These Sr data are used to identify hunting zones, referred to as hunting territories, used by these Native Piedmont communities from AD 1450 to 1710. This study provides new spatial information about deer exploitation at these five sites, further contextualizing Native exploitation of resource-rich white-tailed deer. Furthermore, these Sr data are used to identify patterns of change over time, identifying ways in which Native hunting territories changed from the late Precontact to Late Contact Periods. Multiple patterns of changes in hunting behaviors are identified. Situating these contrasting patterns of exploitation within the broader cultural context of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these results highlight the dynamic and community-specific responses of Native communities to the disruptions and opportunities resulting from colonial encounter.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Arbuckle, Benjamin
  • Lapham, Heather
  • Coleman, Drew
  • Davis, Stephen
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2020

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