Universiteit Leiden

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Indigenous animal management practices on the eve of Columbus' landfall

Isotopic and zooarchaeological investigations in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica

06 December 2022
The publication in Open Access

This dissertation investigates the functioning of human-animal interactions at precolumbian Indigenous sites located in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. The five case studies that comprise this work investigate the mortality ages and morphologies of animals, and the dietary linkages between humans and several animal species commonly found in archaeological sites throughout the Greater Antilles such as domesticated dogs and possibly managed endemic rodents known as hutias. Isotopic analysis of animal remains was conducted to determine the consumption of maize as a proxy for investigating closeness in human-animal interactions. In the frame of niche construction theory, the evidence presented in this dissertation relates to the environmental practices of Indigenous peoples.

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