Archaeology of turkeys in the Americas


This video from the USA is called Wild Turkeys by the Road – New Jersey.

From K. Kris Hirst in the USA:

Identifying Hatched Turkey Eggs at Archaeological Sites

The history of the domestication of turkeys is one of those great questions in archaeological science. While archaeologists are certain Meleagris spp was domesticated in North America probably at least as long ago as 100 BC-100 AD, there are still difficulties in identifying a domestic bird. Simply put, the skeletons of domesticated precolumbian turkeys aren’t physically different from those of wild turkeys. Archaeological evidence for turkey domestication has thus far relied on the identification of pens, or healed long bone fractures in turkeys, or weird blips in demographic tables, such as an abundance of juvenile bird bones in a site assemblage.

But recent work identifying the calcium absorption rate in eggshell may prove another route of investigation. Researchers Bradley Beacham and Stephen Durand (reported in a recent article in the Journal of Archaeological Science) have been able to identify eggshell that came from hatched birds, as opposed to eggs which were eaten before they were hatched. Most amazingly, this cellular level of evidence exists in archaeological samples, as shown in their recent work at the pueblo site of Salmon Ruins in New Mexico.

Turkey sound: here.

The Pilgrims’ first thanksgiving celebration (which lasted three days) probably took place in mid October 1621, after an unexpectedly bountiful harvest. The newcomers invited local Indians—who had given them a lot of useful advice on farming—to join them. According to various sources, the Pilgrims enjoyed a wide range of wild animal foods collected from forest, meadow and sea. Those species continued as staple foods in America for at least another 250 years. But how do the creatures on which the Pilgrims dined fare today? Here.