Rabbit Hunting and Bone Bead Production at a Late Prehistoric Camp in the Wyoming Basin

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Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

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Rabbit bones are common in sites of the Rocky Mountain Wyoming Basin, occurring in 85% of 111 reported faunal assemblages. They also dominate identified bones at more sites than any other taxon. Nonetheless, sites with large rabbit assemblages are rare. The Raptor site stands out in the region for its large number of rabbit bones as well as fragments of bone bead production waste. Excavations at this single component site dating about 1300-1200 RCYBP yielded 12,727 faunal specimens, principally rabbit or rabbit-sized bone fragments, including a minimum of 65 individual cottontail rabbits. The worked bone assemblage includes 108 rabbit and rabbit-sized specimens of bead production waste, primarily articular ends of tibiae, humeri, and metapodials exhibiting a transverse cut made by the “groove and snap” technique. The objective of the production appears to have been tubular beads 10-45 mm long. Similar bone bead production waste has rarely been found at other sites in the Intermountain West.


This article was originally published in North American Archaeologist. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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North American Archaeologist


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