Common Name: Horse
Scientific Name: Equus caballus
Horses were probably the last domesticated animal introduced into Apalachee Province, and were always a valued commodity among Spaniards and Indians alike. In the 1650s, when hogs were selling for 4 pesos, stallions and mares cost 100 pesos each. While there is no indication that they were ever numerous in this area, there is documentary and archaeological evidence that at least some Apalachee chiefs owned horses.
Animal Used at Mission San Luis
The study of plant and animals from sites (ethnobotany and zooarchaeology, respectively) is one of the most illuminating aspects of archaeological research. It can reveal details about past environments, resources, settlement patterns, agricultural practices, architecture, social life, and diet unavailable from other types of data.
Since plant remains are so fragile and often difficult to see, we have limited their display to a static exhibit case format (see "Apalachee Life"). However, we have selected some animal bones found at Mission San Luis, along with comparative skeletal materials (Drawers 17-26), to give to a sense of the challenges faced by those researchers who identify, analyze, and interpret these materials.
We have supplemented the skeletal materials with archaeological and documentary information about the use of these animals in Spanish Florida and at Mission San Luis.