Common Name: Bullhead catfish
Scientific Name: Ictaluridae
"A great abundance of big catfish grow here after the fashion of those of Cuernabaca, which the Spaniards call bocones (big mouths), in contrast to the other small catfish that are produced on that coast in the estuaries where the rivers enter the sea. I killed many of them in the port and river of St. Augustine."
Fray Andrés de San Miguel 1595
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.