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The use of fish remains as a socio-economic Measure: An example from 19th century New England

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Abstract

An examination of butchering marks found on fish remains may reveal the various methods by which fish were acquired, prepared, and consumed. Once fish have been identified, they can be compared with a relative rank market index to reveal consumer socio-economic levels. The analysis and subsequent integration of these data with other forms of data can greatly enhance the overall interpretation of behavioral patterns peculiar to foodways.

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... Such consumer behaviour is equally applicable towards the consumption of food as it is the consumption of material goods. Studies looking at the translation of wealth into the zooarchaeological record are popular for North American historic sites (e.g., (Lyman 1977(Lyman , 1979Milne and Crabtree 2001;Schulz and Gust 1983;Singer 1985Singer , 1987, but few look at the early colonization period and none of them look at the colonial history of Newfoundland. The discovery of the Mansion House, its well defined context and connection to high status individuals provides the opportunity to explore the food consumption patterns of a single highstatus household in the early colonization period of seventeenth-century North America. ...
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Documentary and archaeological evidence provides a view of conditions of sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition under the boarding house system in Lowell, Massachusetts. The evidence is sometimes complementary but more often contradictory. Archaeological evidence, for example, reveals that public expression of corporate concern for worker welfare often failed to be followed by actions that would improve living conditions in the boarding houses. The archaeological record further reveals that even well‐intentioned efforts by the corporations to improve worker living conditions may have resulted in the inadvertent addition of new hazards to an already unhealthy environment.
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