Making Mounds Out of Midden: A Behavioural Analysis

Author(s): Tanya Peres; Theresa Schober

Year: 2016


The contents of shell-bearing sites are routinely used to make inferences regarding resource availability, subsistence practices, technology, and as proxies for past environments. Variability in the genesis of shell matrix within an archaeological site and the cultural context of its use and reuse can introduce bias into these interpretations. The authors previously developed a model of shell matrices inferred as midden, mound, and feasting deposits based on visual characteristics, artifact profiles, and radiocarbon dating. The present study refines and broadens this model through additional analyses and tests its efficacy against shell deposition sequences at a temporally and geographically unrelated archaeological site. It is further demonstrated that identification of matrix type is categorically possible and a fundamental first step before interpretations of shell matrix as proxy for environmental or cultural conditions can be made.

Cite this Record

Making Mounds Out of Midden: A Behavioural Analysis. Tanya Peres, Theresa Schober. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404221)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;