Foodways at a Colonial Military Frontier Outpost in Northern New Spain: The Faunal Assemblage from Presidio San Sabá, 1757–1772

Arlene Fradkin, Tamra L. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An 18th-century colonial settlement, Presidio San Sabá was the largest and, indeed, the most remote military frontier outpost within the Spanish Borderlands of northern New Spain in Texas. Garrisoned with 100 Spanish soldiers who resided there with their civilian families, the presidio numbered nearly 400 people. Historical records reveal that this resident population lived under adverse conditions, suffering from malnutrition, disease, and chronic shortages of food and other supplies. Analysis of the faunal assemblage recovered during archaeological excavations conducted at the presidio site indicates that the San Sabá people managed to survive by subsisting primarily upon the food products of their livestock herds. Moreover, they secured some additional animal protein for their diet by occasionally trading, fishing, hunting, and collecting locally available natural resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-419
Number of pages23
JournalHistorical Archaeology
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Keywords

  • 18th-century presidios
  • Spanish colonial Texas
  • hunting/fishing
  • livestock raising
  • northern New Spain

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