Glen Dornoch Specialized Analyses

Archaeobotanical Analysis

Plant remains recovered from samples collected at the Glen Dornoch sites include burned hickory shell, burned acorn shell, 12 burned seeds and seed fragments, four pine cone scales, and very small pieces of wood charcoal. The seed assemblage consists of 2 bedstraw seeds, 2 persimmon seed fragments, and 8 unidentifiable seed fragments. The sparse seed assemblage likely represents immediate consumption of locally gathered resources during a seasonal encampment, and not a concentrated harvest of summer/fall ripening fruits and herbs for processing and long-term storage. Nut remains indicate that while the consumption of nut crops was heavily emphasized in both the Late Archaic and Middle Woodland occupations, nut collection may have been greater in the Late Archaic than it was in the Middle Woodland Period at the study sites. The wood charcoal analysis indicates that pine may have been a preferred fuelwood at this site, and that these trees were likely common constituents of the local forest.

Zooarchaeological Analysis

Thirty animal species were identified in the collection recovered from the Glen Dornoch sites. is assemblage. Fish species exhibit the most diversity with 11 species represented. Six small mammals and four turtle species were identified. Birds are represented by two species and reptiles identified include frog/toads and snake. Large mammals include deer and cow, which is intrusive. Mammal species are the most common. Fish are second with 11 individuals.

Antler cluster identified at 38HR475.Feature 603 was a cluster of antlers. This cluster alone represents at least 4 male animals. All antlers were shed, which usually occurs during the winter months. As nearly all of the antlers had both rodent and carnivore gnawing, it is impossible to tell if they were collected immediately after shedding and were exposed to scavengers later, or were collected after having been gnawed by scavengers.

Both Glen Dornoch sites contained a wide range of animal species in their faunal assemblages. This range of species strongly indicates the exploitation of the range of environmental and microenvironmental zones in the vicinity of the sites. Fish species present indicate exploitation of marine, brackish, and freshwater settings. The mammals are all readily available in upland settings, both wooded and grasslands. Turtles are present in both aquatic and terrestrial locales. In addition to exploiting a wide range of settings, a variety of capture technologies would have to have utilized to gather the range of species in the assemblages. Many of the fish species could have been procured with a line and hook or with game lines set up across narrow waterways. Traps could also have been used in waterways. Nets could have been used for all fish species present, but would have been necessary to capture the very small fish that were identified. Turtles can be trapped, but are easily caught by hand. The mammals could all have been hunted, trapped or snared.

In terms of site occupation, the presence of young deer in the assemblages suggests that the sites’ occupations took these animals during the late Spring through early Summer. Catfish, bass, jack, and trout are readily available in Spring and Summer (McClane 1978) as are yellow bellied turtles, and diamondback turtles (Ernst et al. 1994). Mud turtles and box turtles would only be available during the warm months as they hibernate during the colder months (Ernst et al. 1994). Mullet and large yellow bellied turtles are available in cooler months, when gafftopsail catfish, bass, and trout have moved to deeper, warmer waters (McClane 1978). Based on the faunal assemblages, sites 38HR475 and 38HR476 were likely occupied year around.

Invertebrate Analysis

The shell species present in the shell middens include cockles, tagelus, and mussel. These bivalves tend to cluster in muddy and sandy shallows. Univalves present include whelk, barnacles, tulip, turret, and mud nassa. Whelk, tulip, turret, and mud nassa live in muddy bottoms in and around aquatic plants. Barnacles tend to flourish in the upper tidal zones, but may be present in this assemblage not because they were collected, but because they were attached to larger shells.

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