Jackrabbit Age Profiles as an Indicator of Hunting Behavior: An Example from Southern Arizona

Rebecca M. Dean, Joseph E. Beaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Zooarchaeological data can provide invaluable information about prehistoric social, labor, and economic organization. Ungulate age profiles have long been used to answer anthropological questions about the timing and methods of hunting, but in the western U.S., ungulates may be rare, and archaeological assemblages are frequently dominated by rabbits. Rabbit age profiles have been largely overlooked as a source of information about prehistoric societies, because they are relatively insensitive to seasonality or to hunting pressure. This study presents archaeological, actualistic, and modeling data on rabbit populations that suggest jackrabbit age profiles can still be useful as a reflection of changing hunting methods. Using an example from the Early Agricultural Period of southern Arizona, we show how rabbit age profiles can reflect changes in prehistoric hunting organization, including the introduction of community drive methods of rabbit hunting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-182
Number of pages21
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © 2017 Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society. All rights reserved.


  • Age profiles
  • Arizona
  • Early Agricultural Period
  • Lepus
  • Zooarchaeology


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