STONE, SHELL, OR STEEL? A CLOSER LOOK AT BUTCHERY IMPLEMENTS ON ST. CATHERINES ISLAND, GEORGIA
Analysis of cutmarks on archaeologically recovered fauna can indicate what type of blade was used for butchery tasks. Taking this approach to evaluating tool choices in a multiethnic community has been done elsewhere but remains a relatively unexplored topic in the American Southeast. Meanwhile, shell butchery is severely understudied. This study evaluates cutmarks observed on zooarchaeological bone collected from the Mission and Pueblo at Santa Catalina de Guale on St. Catherines Island, Ga. Experimental cutmarks made by stone, steel, and shell are compared to zooarchaeological specimens from contact-period contexts. Results show both stone and metal tools were used in significantly different frequencies in secular and non-secular contexts. Indian navigation of Spanish colonial pressures explains the observed heterogeneity in butchery tool choice. Methods employ experimental archaeology, low-powered microscopy, and geographic information system software.