Year-round shellfish harvesting during the Middle to Late Holocene on the northwest coast Baja California
Knowledge of patterns of subsistence and seasonal settlement strategies on the northwest coast of the Baja California Peninsula is still scarce. In order to identify shellfish harvesting patterns from Middle to Late Holocene, oxygen isotope determinations from 66 California mussel shells (Mytilus californianus) from three archaeological sites in the coastal area of Bajamar-Jatay were analyzed. The results suggest that mussels were collected mainly during the fall and winter seasons (63.6%); followed by summer (24.2%), spring (9.1%) and to a lesser extent in late summer/early fall (3%). Except for one stratum in which the capture seems to have taken place primarily during the fall, most shellfish harvesting occurred year-round, both in the shell middens of the Archaic (4657 CAL BP) as of Late prehistory (1352-846 CAL BP). Shellfish harvesting may have been essential in the diet of the prehistoric human groups that seem to have occupied residential bases throughout the season cycle.
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Year-round shellfish harvesting during the Middle to Late Holocene on the northwest coast Baja California. Enah Montserrat Fonseca Ibarra, Sharon Herzka, Miguel Téllez, Miguel Santa Rosa del Río, René Vellanoweth. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430317)
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Abstract Id(s): 17651