Avian Remains from Late Pre-colonial Amerindian sites on Islands of the Venezuelan Caribbean

Ma. Magdalena Antczak, Andrzej T. Antczak, Miguel Lentino
2017 Environmental Archaeology  
This paper presents the results of the analyses of 3793 bird remains archaeologically recovered from seven late pre-Hispanic sites (∼AD 1000-1500) on islands of the Venezuelan Caribbean. In order to address subsistence and manufacturing uses of bird bones, we first discuss the recovery process of this unique sample. We proceed to investigate the bones' archaeological contexts as well as the taphonomy in play and analyze diverse bone categories. We found that indigenous peoples consistently
more » ... s consistently targeted several families of birds for food or feathers or both, and that avian bones were used for fashioning tools and adornments. We also discuss possible signatures of island campsite seasonal occupancy as inferred from the bio-ecology of the identified bird taxa. The data suggest that the differentiation of nesting grounds between the Red-footed and Brown Booby in the Southeastern Caribbean may be a result of anthropogenically-induced adaptation. The findings discussed in this paper open challenging avenues for assessing long-term changes in bird communities including the dynamics of resident and wintering bird populations. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/14614103.2017.1402980 fatcat:iztesnazyzechl2vhh35s5hgha