Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Prehistoric shellfish-harvesting strategies: implications from the growth patterns of soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria)

  • Kent G. Lightfoot (a1), Robert M. Cerrato (a2) and Heather V. E. Wallace (a2)
Abstract

Shellfish-gathering is the stuff of many a hunter-gatherer economy. It is technically hunting – the beasties are animals – but they conveniently sit in the mud and on the rocks ready to be gathered. A new means of studying growth-rings in clam shells gives insight into shellfish-gathering and the seasonal pattern of life-ways in southern New England.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Barber, R.J. 1982. The Wheeler’s Site: a specialized shellfish processing station on the Merrimack River. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University, Peabody Museum. Monograph 7.
Bernstein, D.J. 1987. Prehistoric subsistence at Greenwich Cove, Rhode Island. Ph.D dissertation, Department of Anthropology, State University of New York, Binghamton.
Brousseau, D.J. & Baglivo, J.A. 1987. A comparative study of age and growth in Mya arenaria (soft-shell clam) from three populations in Long Island Sound, Journal of Shellfish Research 6: 1724.
Buckner, S.C. 1984. Aspects of the population dynamics of the hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria L., in Great South Bay, New York. Ph.D dissertation, Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook.
Cerrato, R.M. 1987. Microgrowth line analysis of hard clams from the Sungic Midden Site (2N3E 1-0), Shelter Island, New York, in Lightfoot et al.: 175–96.
Cerrato, R.M., Wallace, V.E. & Lightfoot, K.G. 1991. Tidal and seasonal patterns in the chon-drophore of the soft-shell clam Mya arenaria, Biological Bulletin 181: 307–11.
Claassen, C. 1986. Shellfishing seasons in the prehistoric southeastern United States, American Antiquity 51: 2137.
Clark, G.R. 1980. Study of molluscan shell structure and growth lines using thin sections, in Rhoads & Lutz (ed.): 603–6.
Hancock, M. 1982. The determination of archaeological site seasonality using the remains of Mya arenaria (L.): examples from the Central Maine coast. MA thesis, Institute for Quaternary Studies, University of Maine, Orono.
Hancock, M. 1984. Analysis of shellfish remains: seasonality information, in McManamon (ed.): 121–56.
Jones, T.L. 1991. Marine-resource value and the priority of coastal settlement: a California perspective, American Antiquity 56: 419–43.
Kennish, M.J. 1980. Shell microgrowth analysis: Mercenaria mercenaria as a type example for research in population dynamics, in Rhoads&Lutz (ed.): 255–94.
Kerber, J.E. 1985. Digging for clams: Shell midden analysis in New England, North American Archaeologist 6: 97113.
Lightfoot, K.G., Kalin, R. & Moore, J. 1987. Prehistoric hunter-gatherers of Shelter Island, New York: an archaeological study of the Mashomack Preserve. Berkeley (CA). Contribution of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility46.
Lightfoot, K.G. & Cerrato, R.M. 1988. Prehistoric shellfish exploitation in coastal New York, Journal of Field Archaeology 15: 141–9.
Macdonald, B.A. & Thomas, M.L. 1980. Age determination of the soft-shell clam Mya arenaria using internal growth lines, Marine Biology 58: 105–9.
Mcmanamon, F.P. (ed.). 1984a. Chapters in the archaeology of Cape Cod I 2. Boston (MA): National Park Service.
Mcmanamon, F.P. 1984b. Prehistoric cultural adaptations and their evolution on Outer Cape Cod, in McManamon (ed.): 339417.
Mcmanamon, F.P. & Bradley, J.M. 1986. The Indian Neck ossuary and Late Woodland prehistory in southern New England, in Mcmanamon, F. et al. (ed.), The Indian Neck ossuary, chapters in the archaeology of Cape Cod 5: 347. Boston (MA): National Park Service.
Mcmanamon, F.P. & Bradley, J.M. 1988. The Indian Neck ossuary, Scientific American 256: 98104.
Malione, B.R. 1987. Analysis of growth in Mya arenaria using internal growth lines. MS thesis, Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook.
Meehan, B. 1982. Shell bed to shell midden. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
Meehan, B. 1983. A matter of choice? Some thoughts on shell gathering strategies in northern Australia, in Grigson, C. & Clutton-Brock, J. (ed.), Animals and archaeology 2: Shell middens, fishes, and birds: 317. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. International series S183.
Newell, C.R. 1982. The soft-shell clam Mya arenaria L.: growth rates, growth allometry, and annual growth line formation. MS thesis. Department of Zoology, University of Maine, Orono.
Quitmyer, I.R., Hale, H.S. & Jones, D.S. 1985. Paleoseasonality determination based on incremental shell growth in the hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, and its implications for the analysis of three Southeast Georgia coastal shell middens, Southeastern Archaeology 4: 2740.
Rhoads, D.C. & Lutz, R.A. (ed.). 1980. Skeletal growth of aquatic organisms. New York (NY): Plenum.
Sokal, R.R. & Rohlf, F.J. 1981. Biometry. New York (NY): Freeman
Spiess, A.E. & Heddon, M.H. 1983. Kidder Point and Sears Island in prehistory. Augusta (MA): Maine Historie Preservation Commission. Occasional Publication in Maine Archaeology 3.
Walker, R.L. & Tenore, K.R. 1984. The distribution and production of the hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria, in Wassow Sound, Georgia, Estuaries 7: 1927.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed