Exploration of Proyecto Arqueológico Chihuahua (PAC): a zooarchaeological approach to the ontological turn

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Pacheco, Ellen R.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography and Environment
Faunal remains can be used to inform research on many aspects of prehistoric life. This thesis explores the importance of faunal analysis in understanding prehistoric human-animal relations, using faunal evidence collected by the Proyecto Arqueológico Chihuahua (PAC) in the Casas Grandes region of Chihuahua, Mexico. I analyzed faunal material from four sites: the Calderón site (CH- 254), the Quevedo site (CH-218), the CH-240 site, and the Santa Rosa site (CH-272). By conducting the first substantive analysis of faunal material collected from multiple sites within the project boundaries, I generated essential data that I was then able to examine through different theoretical approaches to develop a more holistic understanding of ancient lifeways. The research moves beyond the well-established subsistence-based interpretations of the faunal record. Moreover, this research expands our understanding of the ritual system that existed throughout the region by deploying recent theory on ancient ontologies, thereby clarifying the important ritual roles animals had in Casas Grandes society. Additionally, my research contributes to broader discussions about the role human-animal relations played in supporting economic, social, spiritual, and dietary stability not only at the site level but the Casas Grandes region at large.
Faunal remains , Faunal analysis , Prehistoric human-animal relations , Proyecto Arqueológico Chihuahua , Casas Grandes region