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Subsistence and Ritual: Faunal and Plant Exploitation at the Mission Santa Clara de Asís Ranchería (CA-SCL-30H)
California Archaeology  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-11-20, DOI: 10.1080/1947461x.2021.1997507
James M. Potter, Tiffany Clark, Seetha Reddy


Recent excavations at the ranchería at Mission Santa Clara de Asís (CA-SCL-30H) yielded large, well-preserved, and well-contextualized faunal and plant assemblages from habitations by Native Americans. This study explores the use and deposition of faunal and plant resources as part of the subsistence regime and ritual performance of the Native Americans who occupied the adobe structures at Mission Santa Clara de Asís. These activities occurred both within the privacy of adobe houses and in the more public and communal spaces between structures, in what we have termed the “courtyard.” It is argued here that both contexts allowed the performance of native practices and that plants and animal resources, even in the face of apparent diminished access to wild resources, played a particularly important role in these activities.