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Historical Archaeology

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Gastroliths, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (Agency : U.S.), Economic anthropology, Food habits


Transfer-printed ceramics and other objects ingested by fowl provide unique data on the household production associated with a fur-trade center in the Pacific Northwest. Gastroliths are an indicator of the use of avifauna at archaeological sites, specifically those of the order Galliformes. The presence of ceramic and glass gastroliths at house sites within Fort Vancouver's village provides evidence for the keeping and consumption of domestic fowl, including chickens and turkeys. The presence and concentration of these artifacts, combined with documentary and other evidence, provide clues about household economies in a culturally diverse colonial setting. While ethnic backgrounds of the villagers included native Hawaiian, American Indian, French Canadian, English, and American, archaeological and archival evidence points to shared practices emerging within Fort Vancouver Village.


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This document is the unedited author's version of a Submitted Work that was subsequently accepted for publication in Historical Archaeology, copyright © Society for Historical Archaeology 2019 after peer review. To access the final edited and published work, see



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