Zooarchaeology: Animal Remains
Zooarchaeological remains from Zatopec primarily represent Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric occupations and subsistence behaviors. Site occupants utilized at least 22 taxa, ranging from bison, deer, and pronghorn, to small mammals, fish, and turtles. When the frequencies of each species are examined through time, Late Archaic hunters appear to have focused on deer/pronghorn and to a lesser extent bison and smaller mammals. In the Late Prehistoric, hunters shifted their practices; bison became a primary focus, which was supplemented by deer/pronghorn and, to a decreasing degree, small mammals. This is particularly true during Toyah times.
Relatively low utility elements (that is, parts of the body with less nutritional value), namely teeth, were identified for bison. This may indicate that higher utility portions were further reduced through processing to extract marrow and grease, a common practice for this time period. It may also reflect differences in preservation, biased toward the denser low utility elements. Deer/pronghorn elements represent all portions of the carcass, but predominately low utility portions are present. This difference might suggest that as bison became more important to the local diet, meat sharing appears to have become less equal among hunters and the rest of the site's occupants.