Bailey, G.N. and Craighead, A.S. (2003) Late Pleistocene and Holocene coastal palaeoeconomies: a reconsideration of the molluscan evidence from northern Spain. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, 18 (2). pp. 175-204. ISSN 0883-6353
The worldwide increase in shell midden deposits on coastlines during the Holocene has been variously explained as the result of human population growth, economic intensification, changes in the visibility of midden deposits with changes in sea level, or climatic and environmental changes. Since coastlines are relatively unstable in geological and ecological terms, and since many archaeological sequences span periods of major climatic change, a critical issue is the ability to disentangle palaeoenvironmental from cultural and anthropogenic effects. We draw on a case study from the cave sequences of northern Spain to illustrate the problems and possibilities of palaeoeconomic and palaeoenvironmental interpretation, using studies of palaeogeographical context and analysis of abundance, taxonomic representation, ecological tolerances, size, growth structures, and other physical and chemical characteristics of the molluscs themselves. We demonstrate that the dominant, but by no means exclusive, factor in archaeologically visible long-term changes in shell-gathering behavior is environmental change rather than cultural change.
|Institution:||The University of York|
|Academic Units:||The University of York > Archaeology (York)|
|Depositing User:||York RAE Import|
|Date Deposited:||28 Aug 2009 15:45|
|Last Modified:||28 Aug 2009 15:45|
|Publisher:||John Wiley & Sons, Ltd|