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An Anthropogenic Origin of a Scallop Assemblage Discovered in a Calusa Native American Midden in Pine Island, Florida

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Date Issued:
2016
Abstract/Description:
Archaeologists have questioned whether scallop beds associated with Calusa Native American middens were a product of harvesting for food. A scallop assemblage was recovered from a bed within a Late Archaic (785-745 BC) Calusa midden located on the northern end of Pine Island, Southwest Florida. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) the scallops in the collection represent one population of Argopecten irradians (Atlantic Bay Scallop, ABS), and (2) the scallops were harvested by the Calusa. Evidence to support species identification comes from rib count, shell length, and ctenolium teeth. Specimens were consistent with the morphology of ABS, rather than the A. gibbus (Calico Scallop) (Mikkelson, 2008). Ribs number between 17-22, lengths range from 4.1-7.3 cm, and the ctenolium have 3-5 teeth. Nearly half the shells displayed systematic breakage along the ventral edge, suggesting the scallops were harvested. The pristine taphonomic grades of the shell interiors, versus the poorly preserved shell exteriors, support the notion that scallops were removed from the estuarine environment alive, killed, and then deposited on land as refuse, as opposed to being deposited by natural forces. Scallops were clearly harvested as food by the Calusa. Whether the fishery was over exploited has yet to be determined.
Title: An Anthropogenic Origin of a Scallop Assemblage Discovered in a Calusa Native American Midden in Pine Island, Florida.
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Name(s): Silas, Krystal, author
STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium
Type of Resource: text
Issuance: single unit
Date Issued: 2016
Physical Form: PDF
Language(s): English
eng
Abstract/Description: Archaeologists have questioned whether scallop beds associated with Calusa Native American middens were a product of harvesting for food. A scallop assemblage was recovered from a bed within a Late Archaic (785-745 BC) Calusa midden located on the northern end of Pine Island, Southwest Florida. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) the scallops in the collection represent one population of Argopecten irradians (Atlantic Bay Scallop, ABS), and (2) the scallops were harvested by the Calusa. Evidence to support species identification comes from rib count, shell length, and ctenolium teeth. Specimens were consistent with the morphology of ABS, rather than the A. gibbus (Calico Scallop) (Mikkelson, 2008). Ribs number between 17-22, lengths range from 4.1-7.3 cm, and the ctenolium have 3-5 teeth. Nearly half the shells displayed systematic breakage along the ventral edge, suggesting the scallops were harvested. The pristine taphonomic grades of the shell interiors, versus the poorly preserved shell exteriors, support the notion that scallops were removed from the estuarine environment alive, killed, and then deposited on land as refuse, as opposed to being deposited by natural forces. Scallops were clearly harvested as food by the Calusa. Whether the fishery was over exploited has yet to be determined.
Identifier: fgcu_UGR_0030 (IID)
Note(s): Poster from the 2016 STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium. Research Mentor: Dr. Michael Savarese.
Subject(s): Calusa
midden
scallop
Assemblage.
Geobiology.
Florida
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fgcu/fd/fgcu_UGR_0030
Use and Reproduction: In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted
Owner Institution: FGCU

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