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Probate Inventories: An Evaluation from the Perspective of Zooarchæology and Agricultural History at Mott Farm

Joanne Bowen
Historical Archaeology
Vol. 9 (1975), pp. 11-25
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25615267
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Probate Inventories: An Evaluation from the Perspective of Zooarchæology and Agricultural History at Mott Farm
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Abstract

Problems in integrating documentary, architectural, and archæological data are discussed first in terms of defining the archæological context of a farmsite occupied by the Mott family for over 250 years, and then integrating zooarchæological data with agricultural economics and foodway patterns. The social context of one unit, a cellar filled in the 1730's, is established as being that of the family of Jacob Mott II. This context is then used in conjunction with zooarchæological data and information drawn from the probate inventory of Jacob II on animal husbandry to determine uses of animals, agricultural economics, and foodways on a family farmstead. Proportions of domestic animals present on the Mott farm in 1736 are established from the probate inventory and are then compared with proportions of animals determined from the archæological record. Discrepancies between the two sources are explained in terms of varying uses of sheep, pig, and cattle.

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