A land of plenty: butchery patterns and meat supply in nineteenth century New Zealand
Historical archaeology in New Zealand, while yielding much faunal material, has done little with these remains beyond assess what was being consumed at a particular site. The methodology used to do this varies between site reports and is invariably not discussed in detail in the report. This focus on consumption ignores the potential uses to which faunal remains can be put, as demonstrated by work undertaken in the United States and Britain. Key foci in these countries include status, ethnicity, changes in the economy, agriculture and colonial adaptation. Using eight assemblages from sites throughout New Zealand, analysis was undertaken using a standardised methodology in an endeavour to reveal something about patterns of meat consumption in nineteenth century New Zealand. The comparative approach used showed that the date a site was occupied and its location were the most important factors underlying the composition of the assemblage. There was some variation associated with site type, but not to the same extent. Documentary sources from Central Otago were analysed in detail to elucidate information on the network(s) of meat supply operating in nineteenth century New Zealand. The evidence gathered in the course of this work indicates that the meat component of the British settlers' diet changed with settlement in New Zealand, albeit not to the same extent as the diet of the British who settled in the United States in earlier centuries. The extent and nature of the changes experienced related to the class of the settler and when they settled.
Advisor: Smith, Ian
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis