The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)

Of supper and salvors: excavations at Audubon house (site 8MO220) Key West, FL


Department of Anthropology, University of Miami

Saturday All day, Plaza Level Add to calendar

The Audubon House in Key West, its contents and grounds, are being restored. As part of this effort, the Universityof Miami excavated 5 units over 2 seasons. Material recovered related to food ways included ceramics, glass, and faunal remains. The ceramic inventory was used to date the deposits we report on to between 1830 - 1870. We used the recovered materials to shed light on the daily diet of this early, well-to-do, historic household. Material culture items used in food preparation and service were ceramic plates from China and England, wine bottles and beer jugs, and 1 knife handle. Cooking was done outdoors at an open hearth with which most food remains were associated. Material was classed as food by processing marks and/or burn marks. The diet included cattle (Bos taurus; N=11), hogs (Sus scrofa; N=2), chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus; N=3), key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium; N=5), fish (species unknown; N=6), oysters (Crassostrea virginica; N=4), conch (Lobatus gigas; N=11), green turtle (Chelonia mydas; N=3). These items are consistent with a diet that included both domesticated and wild animals, terrestrial and marine resources, as well as imported items like wine. No plant material was recovered. Although the data suggest that there was a significant emphasis on meat and seafood, we cannot fully know the breadth of the diet at Audubon House due to poor preservation conditions.

This work was supported in part by the University of Miami Provost Grant to LLT and the Wolfson Foundation.

comments powered by Disqus