Joseph Hearns

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Nassaney

Second Advisor

Dr. LouAnn Wurst

Third Advisor

Dr. Terrance J. Martin


Archaeology, Zooarchaeology, Fur Trade, Fort St. Joseph, spatial analysis

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Faunal studies have the potential to detect a variety of patterns in animal processing activities at an archaeological site. The spatial relationships of taphonomic mechanisms observed within the animal bone assemblage illuminate the use of space on a site as well as the patterns of waste discard. Patterns within the formation processes influencing the distribution of faunal remains serve as the basis for interpretation of animal processing behaviors. This study analyzes a sample of animal bones from Fort St. Joseph (20BE23), an eighteenth-century French fur trade post in the western Great Lakes region. This post was a hub of exchange and commerce within the trade network of New France. The close ties established within mutually beneficial exchange relationships foster the blending and creation of new cultural identities on the frontier. The exchange of animal goods, especially furs and hides, prompted alterations within local economic systems, observed elsewhere in North America in the intensification of hide and pelt production. Therefore, this study seeks to identify potential changes within animal processing activities in an attempt to further illuminate daily economic decisions and activities at Fort St. Joseph within the context of global trade in the Atlantic world.