PhD Dissertations: Tiffany Rawlings, 2006

Faunal Analysis and Meat Procurement: Reconstructing the Sexual Division of Labor at Shields Pueblo, Colorado

This study investigates the sexual division of meat procurement at Shields Pueblo, a large aggregated village in the Northern San Jaun region of Colorado, occupied from ca., A.D. 725–1280. This is primarily achieved through analysis of faunal remains in reference to the environmental, economic, and social factors affecting the inhabitants of this region for Pueblo I (ca., A.D. 725–900) until regional depopulation ca., A.D. 1280. This disseration supports previous research in the Northern San Juan region regarding changes to the faunal pattern over time. It is noted that the Shield Pueblo faunal assemblage is characterized by a decline in artiodactyl frequencies and an intensification in utilization of lagomorphs and domestic turkeys - starting ca., A.D. 1060-.

A gendered analysis, using cross-cultural as well as southwestern ethnographic data, indicates an interesting pattern in the control/care/production of domestic animals. Specifically, small household domesticates are the responsibility of the female head of household. Archaeological evidence of women's production of domestic meat resources is investigated for Shields Pueblo. It is argued here that as environmental and social factors changed and large game hunting declined, household-based economies became more important. As these conditions changed, making large-scale game hunting increasingly risky, women came to supply much of the community's meat (the majority in many communities).

In conclusion, it is suggested that as environmental conditions declined and the threat of warfare and violence increased, there was a shift in the organization of labour in regards to meat procurement. While large game was plentiful/accessible, men were the primary suppliers of meat for the community. As domesticated meat resources began to dominate the pueblo economy, women's control of domestic turkeys allowed them to attain more prestige - and thus power - within the household and larger community.