Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

David B. Landon

Second Advisor

Heather Trigg

Third Advisor

Stephen W. Silliman


This thesis examines the faunal remains from LA 20,000, a 17th-century Spanish estancia near Santa Fe, New Mexico that was inhabited by a family of Spanish colonists and indigenous laborers. The data collected from these specimens are examined to better understand the diet of the site’s inhabitants, especially in conjunction with existing data on the plant portion of the diet at this site. Creating a more complete picture of the diet, the analysis covers Number of Identified Specimens (NISP), Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI), potential meat weight represented by the various species, bone modifications, and ageing and kill-off patterns. These all allow for a deeper understanding of the diet and negotiation of identity through foodways. For more context, the results of the analysis of LA 20,000’s collection are compared to data from Awatovi mission, which was inhabited contemporaneously. The comparison of these two collections reveals differing strategies between the secular and religious households that are affected by identity, politics, food availability, and social structure. This work is one of the first in-depth zooarchaeological analyses of the 17th-century New Mexican diet and it can be used to help understand the various strategies of power that Spanish colonists utilized.