Journal of Texas Archeology and History




Hinds Cave (41VV456) and other rockshelters excavated in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands have yielded thousands of coprolites spanning the Holocene. To date, several hundred specimens have been analyzed, providing a detailed record of meals consumed by hunter-gatherers who called this landscape home. This article compares the paleodietary records derived from these specimens with the foodways documented in the ethnohistoric records available for the Lower Pecos Canyonlands and adjacent landscapes. This comparison confirms the deep temporal roots of the foodways recorded in the earliest written records of the Texas/Mexico borderlands. Coprolite data corroborate the strong dependence on the seasonal staples of lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla), nopales (Opuntia sp.), and tunas (Opuntia sp.) observed in the ethnohistoric literature. The temporal endurance of this subsistence strategy suggests that there may be some components of this dietary pattern that could inform on many of the diet-related health issues observed among modern Native American and other populations.

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The Journal of Texas Archeology and History.org is an organization dedicated to furthering research, education and public outreach in the fields of archeology and history concerning Texas and its bordering states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Northern Mexico; a region we call the “Texas Borderlands.” The J.T.A.H. is collaborating with the Index of Texas Archaeology and S.F.A.S.U. to distribute their publication library to the general public via free and open-access channels. Visit www.JTAH.org to submit an article.



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