Common Name: Squirrel
Scientific Name: Sciurus spp.
Although the remains of squirrel are scant in the archaeological record at Mission San Luis, there is every reason to believe that the residents made use of this locally available animal resource. It is also likely that they ate other small mammals such as opossums, rabbits, raccoons, and skunks, even though remains of these animals have not yet been recovered at the site.
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.