Shellfish, Seasonality and Subsistence in Sechelt Inlet: Understanding Intertidal Resources with High-resolution Bivalve Sclerochronology
This paper presents the results of annual growth pattern analysis and geochemical analysis of live-collected and archaeological shells from the Sechelt Inlet, southern British Columbia. Annual growth line analysis of butter clams (Saxidomus gigantea) from three sites in this region revealed an intensive pattern of shellfish collection relative to other large village sites on the Pacific Northwest Coast. This variability suggests there may also be differences in seasonal collection patterns. To understand seasonal harvesting practices we analyzed live-collected and archaeological shells to ensure precise seasonality estimates through high-resolution stable oxygen isotope sclerochronology (combined analysis of growth patterns and stable oxygen isotopes). Salinity values in this region were measured at ~15 PSU during the summer months, lower than other previous calibration studies. This lower salinity regime must be considered when inferring seasonality from geochemical data because of the opposing effects of temperature and salinity on stable oxygen isotope values. We also analyzed live-collected littleneck clams (Protothata staminea) to evaluate if this species can also be used as a reliable indicator of shellfish harvest intensity and seasonality. Combined with faunal data, we develop a nuanced understanding of seasonal subsistence practices in the Sechelt Inlet over 5,900 years.
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Shellfish, Seasonality and Subsistence in Sechelt Inlet: Understanding Intertidal Resources with High-resolution Bivalve Sclerochronology. Natasha Leclerc, Terence Clark, Gary Coupland, Bernd R. Schöne, Meghan Burchell. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431191)
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min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14383