OSA Brown Bag: Analysis of the Protohistoric Period Fauna from the Scott County Pueblo (14SC1)

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For our first OSA Brown Bag of 2021, Faith D. Wilfong will present, Analysis of the Protohistoric Period Fauna from the Scott County Pueblo (14SC1).

About the presentation:

The Scott County Pueblo (14SC1) is a seven-room masonry pueblo situated on the High Plains in western Kansas. Because of the unusual architecture, and the presence of both Puebloan and ancestral Plains Apache (Ndee) cultural material, the site has often been interpreted as the location of El Cuartelejo – a historical Great Plains refuge for Puebloan peoples fleeing the Rio Grande mentioned in several Spanish colonial accounts. Recent analyses identify at least two occupations at the site: an earlier Dismal River Complex (ancestral Apache) habitation, and a later occupation by both ancestral Apache and Puebloan peoples. This presentation highlights the recent analysis of the faunal collection excavated in 1965 by James H. Gunnerson. The results of this analysis indicate Scott County Pueblo hunters preyed on an array of species, although bison, canids (likely dog), and turtle appear to be the most valuable taxa utilized. Differential carcass parts in the assemblage suggest hunters made a series of transport and butchery decisions when dealing with the bison remains. We hypothesize that bison hunting was undertaken by small groups of hunters some distance from the site, and that the differential transport of select meat- and fat-rich body parts was used to accommodate the limited labor available for transport back to camp.

About our speaker:

Faith is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Iowa. She received her B.A. in Anthropology (double-major in Archaeology) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in December 2017. During her undergraduate career, Faith traveled to Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania on a research assistantship to complete a small faunal analysis and compare the development of modern landscape assemblages in different microhabitats. Her firm interest in continuing her training as a faunal analyst, and a desire to work on the Plains of North America, led her to apply to work with Dr. Matthew E. Hill from the University of Iowa. In May 2020, Faith completed her M.A. in Anthropology and submitted a thesis on the Protohistoric Period Fauna from the Scott County Pueblo (14SC1). Faith is also one of the newest part-time employees at the Office of the State Archaeologist.

About the series:

Brown Bags at the Office of the State Archaeologist is a semi-regular series where OSA staff and guests share their research over the noon hour. Topics include individuals’ areas of interest, work in the field, and developments in archaeology and architectural history throughout Iowa and the Midwest. Guest speakers whose expertise is in other areas pertaining to archaeology or ethnohistory may be invited throughout the year as well.

Typically held in the OSA lab, these presentations will be virtual until further notice. Watch on Facebook or YouTube. Attendees are encouraged to engage in discussion and exchange following the presentation, which can be done through Facebook or YouTube comments.

Auto-captions for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: Facebook Live automatically generates captions during the stream. These will be edited for accuracy post-production. YouTube does not feature live captions, but we will make them available through Streamer. To view them, you must:

  1. Open a second browser window and type in the URL: streamer.center
  2. Click login (upper right corner) and enter account name: IowaArchaeology-Guest and Password: iowaarchaeology
  3. Open the Iowa Archaeology "room" by clicking on the box, then resize the browser window and place next to or under the window where you are watching the YouTube live stream.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at