Subsistence studies are the analysis of floral and faunal remains from prehistoric and historic sites. These analyses provide valuable information regarding hunting and gathering strategies, agricultural practices, season of occupation, socio-economics, ethnicity, landscape, and other topics. They explain many aspects of human behavior and cultural identity. Animal bones or faunal remains are found in a number of contexts on archaeological sites, while preserved plant remains - such as seeds and nutshell - can be extracted from the soil through flotation. Pollen grains, phytoliths, and parasites can also be recovered from the earth. These specialized studies provide important data on the past lifeways, health, and diet of human populations, which is of great value to archaeological research. The recovery and analysis of these remains requires the services of specialists trained in the identification of plant and animal specimens, as well as in the subsistence strategies of various groups over time and across space.
New South Associates maintains a staff of subsistence studies specialists and strong professional relationships with several sub-consultants that include archaeobotanists, zooarchaeologists, palynologists, phytolith analysts, and parasitologists. This team of specialists works together to produce integrated subsistence studies that are tailored to meet the specific needs of each client while gathering the data that each site uniquely contains. Whether it involves processing soil samples at a fllotation station in Stone Mountain, Georgia, or on site, our subsistence studies specialists can work with you to collect the most data as efficiently as possible. New South Associates’ specialists use comparative analysis to identify specimens to the greatest taxonomic accuracy with confidence. To assist in their analytical studies, New South Associates’ subsistence studies team has assembled extensive in-house comparative collections and has access to other comparative collections when needed.