M.A. Theses: Brooklynne Fothergill, 2008

Analysis and Interpretation of the Fauna from the Bluff Great House

This thesis describes the analysis of the faunal material from the Bluff Great House, a Chacoan outlier, and the resulting interpretations.  The goals of this research were to ascertain what animal resources were utilized by the inhabitants fo the Bluff Great House, to evaluate changes in the faunal assemblage through time and discuss whether any change might relate to the impact of human predation or other forms of resource depression.  Faunal resources utilised by the occupants of the Bluff Great House are analogous to those present at other sites in the region, with the exception of a few species.  The temporal changes in the Bluff assemblage show a decrease in the percentage of artiodactyls and an increase in the percentage of turkeys, a pattern which is paralleled at other sites from the same time period.  This pattern may have been influenced by a form of resource depression and shaped by the domestication of the turkey.  I also made a comparison of the Bluff faunal assemblage to great house and non-great house sites in the Northern San Juan Basin in the same time period.  My comparison in this case unexpectedly revealed that elements of the structures of the assemblages compared, both those from Great Houses and unit pueblos, were similar.  All pathological conditions present in the faunal material from Bluff were briefly reviewed and dicussed.  I found that some of the pathological specimens bore resemblances to pathologies from other sites in the Northern San Juan region.