Making a Case for Large-scale Seasonality Studies: Preliminary Results from the ACCELERATE Project

Author(s): Niklas Hausmann; Demetrios Anglos

Year: 2017


The chemical composition of carbonate shell from palaeoecological and archaeological assemblages is laborious to analyse, yet the information that is locked within shell deposits worldwide contains valuable insights on past environments and human ecology. At present, studies struggle with the acquisition of sufficient amounts of data to make robust interpretations. Large amounts of information are inaccessible due to costly and time-intensive techniques. Here we aim to develop the technique of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), which will allow rapid chemical analyses of carbonates, increasing the cost efficiency and making datasets more comprehensible. We apply the technique to various molluscan species around the world, to develop a rapid and affordable method and to globally advance the reconstruction of climate change, exploitation of coastal resources and human-landscape interactions. Furthermore, we argue for an increase in sample numbers within archaeological shell accumulations, to use spatially grouped seasonality data as temporal scaffolding of the archaeological deposit. By making use of the shell matrix in this way, it is possible to answer questions regarding, seasonal context of burials and artifacts, identification of single episodes of mollusc consumption (feasting), and to enhance chaîne-opératoire studies by adding a temporal component.

Cite this Record

Making a Case for Large-scale Seasonality Studies: Preliminary Results from the ACCELERATE Project. Niklas Hausmann, Demetrios Anglos. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431183)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14944