“It all began, like so many things, with an egg,” An Analysis of the Avian Fauna and Eggshell Assemblage From a 19th Century Enslaved African American Subfloor Pit, Poplar Forest, Virginia.
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Walter E. Klippel
Barbara J. Heath, Gerald F. Schroedl
During the 2003-2004 archaeological investigations at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest Plantation, a small, subfloor pit feature was discovered on the Southeast Terrace, in an area well known for its historical connection to the plantation’s 19th century enslaved African American laborers. Among the collected artifacts, the subfloor pit feature yielded over 33,000 faunal materials; not included in this calculated total are several thousand eggshell fragments. Although eggshell and avian faunal materials continue to be an understudied, peripheral component to faunal analyses, this thesis aims to show how, based on a few selected measurements and morphological variations observed in eggshell structure, a positive identification for these fragments can lead to a better understanding of species diversity, consumer choice, and subsistence practices. Furthermore, the development of a modern comparative eggshell collection can allow for an evaluation of current identification methods. This thesis provides a unique resource for documenting taxa abundance among faunal assemblages from historic sites.
Lamzik, Kathryn Elizabeth, "“It all began, like so many things, with an egg,” An Analysis of the Avian Fauna and Eggshell Assemblage From a 19th Century Enslaved African American Subfloor Pit, Poplar Forest, Virginia.. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2013.
University of Tennessee Zooarchaeology Laboratory Comparative Eggshell (Excel source data)
Attachment 2. Poplar Forest Metrics.xlsx (88 kB)
Poplar Forest Subfloor Pit Eggshell Assemblage (Excel source data)