Anthropology | ETHNOZOOL:AM INDIAN SUBSISTENCE
E425 | 0370 | Scheiber
Intensive Writing credit available
Note: This course is also open to students who will not be in residence at
IU for the second 8 weeks of the semester, as members of research or field
The purpose of this course is to explore Native American subsistence
strategies and to allow students to research a particular issue in depth.
The study of subsistence is the study of what people eat and the
strategies people use to acquire foods. A majority of the data that
archaeologists and ethnographers collect and study relates in some way to
patterns of subsistence. Groups of people have historically been
characterized by their "subsistence strategies," both by themselves and by
outsiders. Interpretations about diet and subsistence can be based on
multiple kinds of information including ethnographic documentation,
participant observation, oral histories, zooarchaeological and
paleoethnobotanical data, human bone chemistry, skeletal biology, evidence
of butchery, fishing and hunting techniques, processing and cooking
techniques, the study of vessel residues, domestication, and
intensification of agriculture.
In the first part of the course, we will examine Native American
subsistence strategies, including hunting and gathering, horticulture, and
specialized agriculture and how these subsistence strategies are
intertwined with wider ecological and social worlds. We will focus on
examples from later prehistoric/prehispanic and historic/colonial time
periods, although students could extend this back in time in their own
research papers. The class will meet formally once a week for two hours
in a seminar style for the first eight weeks of the semester. An oral
presentation will be required at mid-semester. During the second eight
weeks, students will work independently on their papers/projects.
Papers can focus on data relating to existing collections, literature
reviews, comparative studies between temporal periods or geographical
areas, or field collection. They can also be topics related to the
identification of subsistence practices in the archaeological record. The
topics are not limited to studies of people of North America, but can
include Central and South America as well.
Evaluation based on drafts and final version of manuscripts, participation
in discussions during the first half of the semester, and oral
presentations at mid-semester.