Natural Resources, School of


Date of this Version

July 2007


This is a preprint of an article published in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 17:4 (July/August 2007), pp. 416–428; doi 10.1002/oa.883 Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Used by permission.


Faunal remains are commonly found in coprolites and provide direct evidence of animal consumption. An evaluation of hunter-gatherer coprolites from the Southwest United States shows that animal bone in coprolites can be used to assess patterns of hunting, food preparation, and general importance of small animals in diet. This is demonstrated by a comparison of faunal assemblages between two hunter-gatherer sites with respect to small animal hunting strategies. The sites are Dust Devil Cave on the Colorado Plateau, an Archaic winter habitation, and Hinds Cave, a warm season Archaic habitation in the lower Pecos of Texas. The results indicate that small animal hunting varied regionally and seasonally.