Intensifying collection and size increase of the tessellated nerite snail (Nerita tessellata) at the Coconut Walk site, Nevis, northern Lesser Antilles, AD 890-1440

Giovas, Christina M., Clark, Meagan, Fitzpatrick, Scott M. and Stone, Jessica (2013) Intensifying collection and size increase of the tessellated nerite snail (Nerita tessellata) at the Coconut Walk site, Nevis, northern Lesser Antilles, AD 890-1440. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40 11: 4024-4038. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2013.05.008


Author Giovas, Christina M.
Clark, Meagan
Fitzpatrick, Scott M.
Stone, Jessica
Title Intensifying collection and size increase of the tessellated nerite snail (Nerita tessellata) at the Coconut Walk site, Nevis, northern Lesser Antilles, AD 890-1440
Formatted title
Intensifying collection and size increase of the tessellated nerite snail (Nerita tessellata) at the Coconut Walk site, Nevis, northern Lesser Antilles, AD 890-1440
Journal name Journal of Archaeological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-4403
1095-9238
Publication date 2013-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jas.2013.05.008
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 40
Issue 11
Start page 4024
End page 4038
Total pages 15
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Recent archaeological investigation at the Coconut Walk site on the Caribbean island of Nevis revealed dense 40cm deep midden deposits that accumulated between cal AD 890-1440. Analysis of invertebrate faunal remains reveals an assemblage dominated by nerite snails. We measured the length and width of more than 2700 tessellated nerite (Nerita tessellata) shells to investigate evidence for changing mean size that might be indicative of intensifying human predation pressure or other cultural and natural processes. Contrary to similar archaeomalacological studies in which size decline is detected, we observed a statistically significant size increase for N.tessellata over time. This size increase is coupled with increasing levels of tessellated nerite exploitation at the Coconut Walk site. Results suggest that tessellated nerite use was sustainable over several centuries of site occupation. Our findings have important implications for investigations of anthropogenic impacts on prehistoric mollusc populations. In addition, the findings reported here provide important insight into human subsistence patterns during the Late Ceramic Age in the Caribbean and a framework for comparison with observations from other Pre-Columbian sites in the Caribbean.
Keyword Caribbean
Nevis
Zooarchaeology
Resource depression
Nerita tessellata
Shellfish
Sustainable resource use
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 04 Apr 2016, 08:28:54 EST by Christina Giovas on behalf of School of Social Science