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Study delves into the role of turkeys for the people of ancient Pueblo

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A recent study by Cyler Conrad, a part-time assistant professor of archeology at the University of New Mexico, examines the importance of turkeys to the ancient Puebros and how they have managed them for over 1,600 years. Evidence of turkeys and the various ways they surround them is evident in ancient Puebro throughout New Mexico and its surrounding areas and is part of the region’s history.


In “Contextualizing the Management of Ancient Pueblo Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo spp.)”, Conrad reviewed archaeological records and focused on three main questions.The turkey pen informs us about the long-term human management of these birds and the global perspective on humans-birds / humans.Animal management..

“This study is a large review of archaeological evidence of ancient Pueblo management of turkeys in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Management is the storage of turkeys in enclosures and other closed spaces. Means. What we found by reading ethnographic and ethnographic descriptions, reports and publications on archaeological sites focusing on the context of the turkey pen, are the ancient Pueblo people who found these birds. It means that he participated in a complex relationship with Conrad, “explained Conrad.

In some cases, turkeys were penned into the village room. Some of these rooms were specially made as pens, while others were reused as pens. There is evidence that it was stored in Room 28 of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon or in a room near it. There, UNM anthropologist Patricia Crown discovered a cylindrical bottle used to consume cocoa drinks. This is the first evidence of chocolate consumption in the northern United States. -Mexico border.

“The turkey appears to have been stored in a nearby room, except during the last occupation in Room 28, which may have functioned as the pen itself. This is a very interesting observation identified by Dr. Crown. It was. Possibility of recording changes Space to meet specific needs at specific times, in this case turkey, “Conrad said.

Turkey was also allowed free-range and remained tied to Turkish tethers, sometimes in small cages. The consistent variation in space types and circumstances in which the ancient Pueblos bred turkeys was clearly intentional. For over 1,600 years in southwestern and northwestern Mexico, it has been an adaptive strategy that allows flexible management of these birds for a variety of purposes.

Conrad also speculates why turkeys were kept. .. What I can see is that the flexibility of turkey containment was intentional. “

Turkey was probably used in more ways than we are aware of today.

“At least we know that their wings, eggs, bones, flesh, and even visual, auditory, and conceptual expressions were used for a variety of purposes: blankets, paints, tools, instruments. Includes the creation of food and art .. ”

Conrad said the indigenous peoples of the region had special and important relationships with a variety of birds, including macaws, eagles and herons, to name just a few. The chicken was later introduced by a Spaniard.

“Birds occupy a special place in Pueblo society, and this record can be seen through archaeological identification of bird bones, feathers, pottery and rock painting images. Turkey should be careful when investigating. It’s just one of many birds worth paying for. Over time human-bird interactions. “

To find out more about turkeys and the role of turkeys in ancient Pueblo life, Conrad examined past excavations and research records.

Turkish pens had different shapes and structures in the context of ancient Pueblo, which could be difficult to define. However, there is one good way to determine where the bird was kept.

“One of the clearest evidences for identifying turkey enclosures in these places is the presence of turkey droppings or dense mats of turkey droppings,” said Conrad.

The study also revealed what the turkey ate, thanks to the UNM Stable Isotope Center. At this center, state-of-the-art analytical instruments measure specific elements such as organic and inorganic carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen (the proxy for the bird’s diet). material. Free-range poultry is not a modern concept.

“We know what turkeys ate based on evidence from turkey-related plants such as pollen and rare examples of preserved foods recovered from dried and mummified turkeys in the area. All records show that turkeys consumed domesticated corn, including evidence from Tijeras Pueblo identified by a fascinating example that contradicts this record. [UNM anthropologist] Emily Lena Jones. Those turkeys, as we mean, have a diet that looks more “natural” or free-range, “he elaborated.

Those ancient turkeys are not far from modern wildlife.

“The DNA of ancient Pueblo domesticated turkeys survives in the wild Meliam turkey population in the southwest. Therefore, when looking for turkeys in New Mexico, or simply experiencing them in the environment. When you are, there may be aspects of that turkey, which are related to the birds, people, and experiences described in this study, “he said,” among what we perceive as “wild.” Has a direct relationship. ” Turkey Their ancestors in the past, who interacted and managed the people of Pueblo in today’s environment. It makes this study important because the specific conditions under which the ancient Pueblos controlled these birds made this current relationship possible. ”


An ancient blanket made of 11,500 turkey wings


For more information:
Turkey Conrad, management of the ancient Pueblo Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo spp.), Journal of archaeological methods and theories (2021). DOI: 10.1007 / s10816-021-09531-9

Quote: The study was obtained from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-delves-role-turkeys-ancestral-pueblo.html on September 7, 2021 (September 7, 2021). ) Delve into the role of turkey

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https://phys.org/news/2021-09-delves-role-turkeys-ancestral-pueblo.html Study delves into the role of turkeys for the people of ancient Pueblo

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