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      Shell-fish from the Bronze Age Site of Clos des Châtaigniers (Mathieu, Normandy, France)

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      Internet Archaeology

      Council for British Archaeology

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          Abstract

          This article provides initial results on the use of shellfish by the inhabitants of Clos des Châtaigniers, Normandy (France) during the Late Bronze Age. The settlement is located at Mathieu, 10km from the coast. The French National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) conducted excavations on this site in 2010, under the direction of David Giazzon. A semi-circular domestic enclosure from the end of the Late Bronze Age was discovered. The diet of the inhabitants of Mathieu was partly based on mussels, which were found in large quantities. These shells were collected at low tide on a rocky to muddy/rocky shore. They were then transported inland to be eaten fresh or processed. Other marine invertebrates were also present on this site. Some of them were collected with the mussels. In fact, they were mixed with or fixed to this bivalve. Many other small fragments of shells are present on the site and could have come from the stomach contents of fish.

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          Shellfish Gathering and Shell Midden Archaeology

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            Shellfish Feeders, Carrion Eaters, and the Archaeology of Aquatic Adaptations

            Numerous taphonomic studies show that archaeologists should carefully evaluate the origins of faunal remains found in archaeological sites. Although extensive research has been done on natural sources of terrestrial faunal remains in archaeological sites, much less has been devoted to potential sources of aquatic fauna. Hundreds of animal species feed on shellfish, fish, and other aquatic fauna, and many transport food to terrestrial landforms where they may be mixed or confused with faunal remains left by humans. In this paper, we illustrate the problem by summarizing the habits of a number of animals known to feed on and transport shellfish and other aquatic animals. We also discuss examples where the remains of aquatic animals of non-human origin may have been confused with archaeological materials. Such biological imprints may be most pronounced on early sites, where questions about the antiquity of aquatic adaptations are paramount.
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              Hunters by the seashore

               Betty Meehan (1977)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Internet Archaeology
                IA
                Council for British Archaeology
                13635387
                2014
                2014
                :
                : 37
                10.11141/ia.37.5
                © 2014

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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                Self URI (journal page): http://intarch.ac.uk/

                Pre-history, Early modern history, Archaeology, Anthropology, Ancient history, History

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