Studying Subsistence Archaeologists reconstruct ancient lifeways from the surviving material remains of subsistence activities, which come in many forms. As it is in every other form of archaeological research, the perspective is multidisciplinary, for we rely on the expertise of scientists from many other fields, among them botanists, ecologists, and zoologists. 5 R5 Environmental Data. Background data on the natural environment is essential for studying

subsistence. The data can include information on such phenomena as climate, animal distributions, ancient and modern flora, and soils-the range of potential resources to be exploited (see Chapter 12).