Material Technology As An Indicator of Past Species Size

Author(s): Jacob Salmen-Hartley

Year: 2017


Archaeological materials can provide data useful for modern conservation and resource management efforts. Zooarchaeological materials have been used to provide information about past species distributions as well as their characteristics. I am interested in using the material technology of prehistoric resource harvesting to provide information about species in the past.

This poster will discuss my research using traditional halibut fishing technology to provide information about the fish being caught. Northwest Coast halibut hooks were crafted to target certain size fish. My research involves morphometric analysis of halibut hooks to determine the size of fish they were targeted to land.

This data is needed because there is ambiguity in the archaeology of the region about the importance of halibut in past subsistence systems. Ethnographic material points to the importance of this species as a major food source for many different groups. However, archaeological research has not been able to provide evidence of this level of utilization. Furthermore, since the beginning of modern commercial fisheries, halibut size has been declining. Data about the characteristics of halibut prior to industrial fishing can be useful for species management efforts.

Cite this Record

Material Technology As An Indicator of Past Species Size. Jacob Salmen-Hartley. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428925)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14530