Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Turkey: Domestication

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2219

The turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is a member of the order Galliformes, which include chickens, guineas, peafowls, and other terrestrial birds. Within the family Meleagrididae, there is one living genus, Meleagris, with two living species: Meleagris gallopavo, the North American turkey, and M. ocellata, the ocellated turkey.

Five wild turkey subspecies currently occupy distinct territories in North and Central America (Fig. 1) (Dickson 1992; Schorger 1966): M. g. silvestris (Eastern wild turkey) inhabits the deciduous forest and oak-savannah of the eastern half of the USA, M. g. osceola (Florida wild turkey) resides in evergreen and tropical areas of southern Florida, M. g. intermedia (Rio Grande wild turkey) ranges over the south central plains and north-eastern Mexico, M. g. merriami (Merriam’s wild turkey) ranges within the montane-woodlands of the Southwest USA, and M. g. mexicana(Gould’s wild turkey) occupies the pine-oak forests of southern Arizona and New Mexico, and...
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  1. Breitburg, E. 1988. Prehistoric New World turkey domestication: origins, developments, and consequences. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Southern Illinois University.Google Scholar
  2. Crawford, R.D. 1992. Introduction to Europe and the diffusion of domesticated turkeys from the Americas. Archivos de Zootecnia. 41: 307-314.Google Scholar
  3. Dickson, J.G. (ed.) 1992. The wild turkey: biology and management. Harrisburg (PA): Stackpole Books.Google Scholar
  4. Driver, J. C. 2002. Faunal variation and change in the Northern San Juan region, in M. D. Varien & R. H. Wilshusen (ed.) Seeking the center place: archaeology and ancient communities in the Mesa Verde region: 143-160. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  5. Flannery, K.V. 1967. Vertebrate fauna and hunting practices, in D. S. Byers (ed.) Prehistory of the Tehuacan Valley: Environment and subsistence1: 132-177. Austin: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  6. Marsden, S.J. 1971 Turkey production, agriculture handbook no. 393. Washington: Agriculture Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture.Google Scholar
  7. Munro, N.D. 2006. The role of turkey in the Southwest, in W. C. Sturtevant (ed.) Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 3: environment, origins and populations: 463-469. Washington: Smithsonian Institution.Google Scholar
  8. Schorger, A.W. 1966. The wild turkey: its history and domestication. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  9. Speller, C.F., B.M. Kemp, S.D. Wyatt, C. Monroe, W.D. Lipe, U.M. Arndt, & D.Y. Yang. 2010. Ancient mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals complexity of indigenous North American turkey domestication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107: 2807-2812.Google Scholar
  10. Thornton, E.K., Emery, K.F., Steadman, D.W., Speller, C., Matheny. R., et al. 2012. Earliest Mexican Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) in the Maya region: implications for pre-hispanic animal trade and the timing of Turkey domestication. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42630. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042630.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Breitburg, E. 1993. The evolution of turkey domestication in the greater Southwest and Mesoamerica, in A.I. Woosley & J.C. Ravesloot (ed.) Culture and contact: Charles C. Di Peso’s Gran Chichimeca: 153-172. Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  2. Crawford, R. D. 1984. Turkey, in I. L. Mason (ed.) Evolution of domesticated animals: 325-334. London: Longman Group Ltd.Google Scholar
  3. Marsden, S. J. & J. H. Martin. 1946. Turkey management, 4th edn. Danville: The Interstate.Google Scholar
  4. McKusick, C. R. 2001. Southwest birds of sacrifice. The Arizona Archaeologist 31.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada