Explaining prehistoric variation in the abundance of large prey: a zooarchaeological analysis of deer and rabbit hunting along the Pecho Coast of Central California

Update item information
Publication Type journal article
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Anthropology
Research Institute Stanford University
Creator Codding, Brian F.
Other Author Porcasi, Judith F.; Jones, Terry L.
Title Explaining prehistoric variation in the abundance of large prey: a zooarchaeological analysis of deer and rabbit hunting along the Pecho Coast of Central California
Date 2009-11-14
Description Three main hypotheses are commonly employed to explain diachronic variation in the relative abun dance of remains of large terrestrial herbivores: (1) large prey populations decline as a function of anthro pogenic overexploitation; (2 ) large prey tends to increase as a result of increasing social payoffs; and (3) proportions of large terrestrial prey are dependent on stochastic fluctuations in climate. This paper tests predictions derived from these three hypotheses through a zooarchaeological analysis of eleven temporal components from three sites on central California's Pecho Coast. Specifically, we examine the trade offs between hunting rabbits (Sylvilagus spp.) and deer (Odocoileus hemionus) using models derived from human behavioral ecology. The results show that foragers exploited a robust population of deer through out most of the Holocene, only doing otherwise during periods associated w ith climatic trends unfavor able to larger herbivores. The most recent component (Late Prehistoric/Contact era) shows modest evidence of localized resource depression and perhaps greater social benefits from hunting larger prey; we suggest that these final changes resulted from the introduction of bow and arrow technology. Overall, results suggest that along central California's Pecho Coast, density independent factors described as cli matically mediated prey choice best predict changes in the relative abundance of large terrestrial herbi vores through the Holocene.
Type Text
Publisher Elsevier
Journal Title Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
Volume 29
Issue 1
First Page 47
Last Page 61
DOI 10.1016/j.jaa.2009.10.002
Subject Foraging; Resource depression; Prestige hunting; Paleoclimatic variability; Human behavioral ecology; Zooarchaeology; Central California
Language eng
Rights Management (c)Journal of Anthropological Archeology
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 655,374 Bytes
Identifier uspace/id/10740
ARK ark:/87278/s6zh02c4
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2014-11-24
Date Modified 2014-11-24
ID 712727
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6zh02c4
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