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Prehistoric Diet at Bonneville Estates Rockshelter, Nevada
AuthorAlbush, Cassandra J.
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Issues of subsistence and settlement patterns have long been a central focus of archaeological research within the Great Basin. Coprolites, which are common in the Great Basin's archaeological caves and rockshelters, provide the most direct evidence of subsistence activities of prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups. Coprolite analysis, however, is not without its limitations and combining coprolite data with faunal and botanical data from an archaeological site can provide a clearer picture of the complete diet of a prehistoric population. This thesis presents data from the analysis of 18 coprolites from the Bonneville Estates Rockshelter in eastern Nevada and integrates it with existing data of the faunal and botanical assemblages from the site. Models of Optimal Foraging Theory are used to provide a framework to explain variability and change in the archaeological record.