Environmental Reconstruction Using Molluskan Faunal Remains at Woodpecker Cave

Author(s): Arthur Wold

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Woodpecker Cave is a Late Woodland rock shelter site in Johnson County, Iowa, and was the location of a field school operated by the University of Iowa from 2012-2018. During seven field seasons, over 25 kilograms of mussel shell were recovered; many of these were small, unidentifiable pieces found in screens. Shell hinge morphology is the key to identifying species, and from 3300 fragments containing hinges, over 2700 specimens were identified. Mussel shells are uniquely suited to inform us about ancient environments because they are very sensitive to environmental changes. This has also meant they have been the subject of a large amount of ecological research, and those findings are often applicable to species present in the Woodpecker Cave assemblage. This poster uses an interdisciplinary approach to help characterize the state of the Iowa River near Woodpecker Cave during the Late Woodland, and more generally, explores which environmental factors freshwater mussel remains are best suited to inform us about.

Cite this Record

Environmental Reconstruction Using Molluskan Faunal Remains at Woodpecker Cave. Arthur Wold. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449308)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23469