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Cow Skull Fragment
This cow skull fragment has one of the horn cores sawed off. Dr. Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman, a zooarchaeologist from the University of Arizona, has analyzed the cattle bones recovered from Los Adaes, and she describes the Los Adaes cattle as "Criollo". Criollo cattle were descended from cattle brought from Spain. Criollo cattle that escaped and ran wild could develop horns longer than captive cattle, but these were not the famous Texas Longhorns. The Spanish did not introduce the longhorns to Texas—it was the Anglo-Americans who brought English longhorns to Texas in the 1800s. Dr. Pavao-Zuckerman’s analysis of the animal bone excavated at Los Adaes reveals the meat consumed by the people who lived in the presidio was mainly domesticated animals such as cows, pigs, chickens, and sheep; wild animals such as deer and fish were a secondary—although still important—source of food.
Photo credit: Don Sepulvado
Source: Williamson Museum, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, Louisiana