The shell game: analytic problems in archaeological mollusc quantification

Giovas, Christina M. (2009) The shell game: analytic problems in archaeological mollusc quantification. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36 7: 1557-1564. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2009.03.017

Author Giovas, Christina M.
Title The shell game: analytic problems in archaeological mollusc quantification
Journal name Journal of Archaeological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0305-4403
Publication date 2009-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jas.2009.03.017
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 36
Issue 7
Start page 1557
End page 1564
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
MNI calculations for archaeological molluscs that rely on counts of non-repetitive elements (NREs) are popular for their analytic speed and efficiency. Yet the reliability of this approach as compared to 'traditionally' calculated MNI has not been explored. Here, I examine these approaches using data from the Caribbean coastal midden site of Grand Bay, Carriacou. Results suggest that an NRE-based approach to MNI calculation can be unreliable under certain circumstances. In addition, dependence on the NRE-based method may hinder the integration of invertebrate with vertebrate data, obscuring a holistic understanding of prehistoric diet and resource exploitation. These findings are discussed in relation to practical constraints and fulfillment of zooarchaeological goals.
Keyword Minimum number of individuals
Non-repetitive elements
Shell midden
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
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 24 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 28 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 04 Apr 2016, 09:15:17 EST by Christina Giovas on behalf of School of Social Science