Fishing at the Beach: The Great Neck Site and an Examination of Subsistence Strategies on the Chesapeake Bay
Author(s): Elizabeth Moore
Excavations conducted in 2015-2016 at the Great Neck site (44VB7) in Virginia Beach yielded evidence of a Middle Woodland occupation dating to AD 400. Located on Wolfsnare Creek approximately one mile from the Chesapeake Bay, the site contained a postmold pattern from a small structure, many small and shallow basin-shaped features, and several large pit features. Two of the larger pit features exhibited excellent bone preservation and were densely filled with a mix of aquatic and terrestrial fauna including large amounts of oyster, clam, and fish remains. Many of these specimens can be identified using traditional methods (i.e., comparison with a reference collection). The results of flotation from these two features, however, yielded tens of thousands of small fish vertebrae not typically identifiable using morphological characteristics alone. The Virginia Museum of Natural History archaeology program has developed a small and relatively inexpensive molecular lab to determine the feasibility of extracting DNA to identify these vertebrae to expand our understanding of resource use at the site, seasonality of occupation, and fishing methods. DNA testing results will be presented along with their impact on our interpretation of the site and the examination of persistent subsistence strategies in the Chesapeake Bay area.
Cite this Record
Fishing at the Beach: The Great Neck Site and an Examination of Subsistence Strategies on the Chesapeake Bay. Elizabeth Moore. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445340)
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Abstract Id(s): 22303