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Assessing Response of Tse-whit-zen's Large-bodied Fish to Environmental Change using Sampling to Redundancy

Author(s): Laura Syvertson ; Virginia L. Butler

Year: 2017

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Tse-whitzen is one of the largest village excavations on the Northwest Coast; more than 1,400 features were documented and an estimated 234,563 fish bones were recovered from ¼" mesh alone. While research potential is great, the challenge of sampling such a huge assemblage is daunting. Previous research has focused on the >1/8" mesh matrix from "C" buckets, which emphasizes small-bodied fishes. To track changing representation of large-bodied fish through time and space, we devised a method of "sampling to redundancy" (STR), incrementally analyzing matrix collected in 10 L "S" buckets, screened through ¼" mesh. Analysis ceased when fish family proportional representation stabilized for a given chronostratigraphic zone within an excavation unit. To illustrate the power of STR, we review results from a study of S buckets from 8-1x1m2 units. Out of 441 buckets, remains from 272 buckets were analyzed, a savings of 38% in number of sample contexts studied. Fish family representation in the C (>1/4") and S buckets was compared to see if additional S bucket volume altered large-bodied fish representation. To track fish response to great earthquakes, we studied representation of greenlings (mainly lingcod) and dogfish (Squalidae), which should be differentially affected by nearshore disturbance.

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Assessing Response of Tse-whit-zen's Large-bodied Fish to Environmental Change using Sampling to Redundancy. Laura Syvertson, Virginia L. Butler. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430208)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14401

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