Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2020

Honors Major Advisor

Margaret Beck

Thesis Mentor

James G. Enloe


This study analyzes faunal remains recovered from Woodpecker Cave (13JH202), a Late Woodland rockshelter site located in southeast Iowa. Seven seasons of field school excavations at Woodpecker Cave resulted in over 24,000 faunal specimens. These faunal remains were sorted by element and assigned their appropriate genus and species. Care was also given to identify evidence of butchery, including cut marks and breakage morphology. Although over 30 species have been identified from Woodpecker Cave, the quantification analysis indicates that subsistence efforts were focused primarily on the hunting of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). A seasonality analysis of the site supports prior research that Woodpecker Cave was likely occupied during the fall and winter. Comparison of Woodpecker Cave to other regional rockshelter sites reveal a broader pattern of rockshelters being used as hunting camps for intense, specialized hunting of white-tailed deer to supplement Late Woodland subsistence.


zooarchaeology, late woodland, rockshelter, white-tailed deer, subsistence

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Copyright © 2020 Kathryn Kuennen