Documenting Subsistence Change During the Pleistocene/Holocene Transition: Investigations of Paleoethnobotanical and Zooarchaeological Data from Dust Cave, Alabama

  • Kandace D. Hollenbach
  • Renee B. Walker


The subsistence practices of early hunter-gatherers are predominantly presented with a familiar gloss: hunters primarily targeted larger game, while gatherers collected available wild plant foods. This treatment obscures the wide variation of foraging practices in which early hunter-gatherers engaged, both in terms of tactics employed and in terms of the resources used. Much of this gloss can be attributed to the paucity of subsistence data available for early foraging groups, particularly in the southeastern United States. Poor preservation conditions yield few instances in which both plant and animal remains are recovered from intact Paleoindian or Early Archaic contexts. This is further exacerbated by the fact that plant and animal data are often not considered in concert, but tend to appear as separate discussions in published materials.


Stone Tool Gray Squirrel Aquatic Bird Black Walnut Wild Plant Food 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank Amber VanDerwarker and Tanya Peres for inviting us to participate in the SAA symposium and edited volume, and for their patient and careful editing. We also thank Boyce Driskell for giving us the opportunity to work at Dust Cave and his continuing support of our research on the site. Hollenbach thanks Margaret Scarry for her help with identification of unruly specimens and Vin Steponaitis for his insight on multivariate statistics. Hollenbach also acknowledges the support of the National Science Foundation for a portion of this research in the form of a Dissertation Improvement Grant (No. 0332275).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Archaeological Research LaboratoryUniversity of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

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