An Analysis of Faunal Materials from the White Springs Site, a 17th–18th Century Seneca Town in Upstate New York
Disotell, Samuel Robert
This thesis is a zooarchaeological study of key loci from the Seneca archaeological site of White Springs. Occupied from 1688-1715, the town was settled by Senecas displaced from the town at Ganondagan, in the wake of violent upheaval by French forces. Over 30,000 animal bone, tooth, and shell fragments are analyzed, making this the largest faunal study of a Haudenosaunee site ever conducted. I interpret the faunal material with a decolonial lens, in an attempt to combat harmful narratives of Indigenous decline. One such trope is that the Seneca naturally adopted Eurasian domesticates as their primary source of meat. Results refute this, showing that the White Springs Seneca maintained traditional foodways of hunting deer. The assumption that the Seneca were starving as a result of catastrophic violence is also refuted. The absence of beaver remains on site is also addressed, suggesting local extirpation, which has implications for colonial trade.
Faunal Analysis; Haudenosaunee; Onöndowa'ga:'; Seneca; White Springs; Zooarchaeology
Jordan, Kurt Anders
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis