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Collection of crustaceans and echinoderms during the Middle Holocene on the West End of San Nicolas Island, California

Author(s): Morgan Bender ; Amira F. Ainis ; Victoria Scotti ; René L. Vellanoweth

Year: 2017

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Summary

We present the preliminary results of crustacean (crab) and echinoderm (sea urchin) remains from CA-SNI-40, a large Middle Holocene (~4440 – 3650 cal BP) dune site located on the West End of San Nicolas Island, California. Our study provides detailed identifications and quantitative analysis of crab and sea urchin remains that will contribute to previous faunal studies at this site, which identified over 88 shellfish taxa including dietary and non-dietary species. Preliminary results indicate that seven taxa of crab (Brachyura) and two indistinguishable species of sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus spp.) are present in fairly high densities. A dense urchin lens is present throughout much of the site, indicating that people harvested this resource in extremely high numbers during the time of occupation. We compare density values based on weight and minimum number of individuals (MNI) between two excavated loci to examine differences in harvesting patterns at this site. Morphometric measurements of crab dactyls indicate that people were collecting specimens of all age classes from littoral and kelp forest habitats. Our results suggest that the marine ecosystems on the West End of San Nicolas Island served as a productive and diverse site for human harvesting during the Middle Holocene.


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Cite this Record

Collection of crustaceans and echinoderms during the Middle Holocene on the West End of San Nicolas Island, California. Morgan Bender, Amira F. Ainis, Victoria Scotti, René L. Vellanoweth. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429573)


Keywords

General
Crab Echinoderms

Geographic Keywords
North America - California


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17268

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America