Poster Title

Digging Deeper: Where is the Geoduck (Panopea generosa) in Archaeological Shell Middens?

Research Mentor(s)

Sarah Campbell

Affiliated Department

Anthropology

Sort Order

16

Start Date

15-5-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

15-5-2015 2:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

The large bivalve, Pacific Geoduck (Panopea generosa) has rarely been reported or identified in Northwest Coast shell middens. Due to its large meat yield and relative ubiquity within the Salish Sea region, it seems unlikely that geoduck was not exploited in prehistory. In the process of sorting shell samples from the Tse-whit-zen site (45-CA-523), thin, flat body fragments that appeared more consistent with geoduck than other clams were found, but they lacked definitive morphological characteristics such as hinges. To attempt to confirm the tentative identification, crystallographic textures were examined. I utilized a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to determine crystallographic textures of three prevalent species of shellfish found in Puget Sound; Macoma, Panopea, and Tresus. I found that all species examined displayed different crystallographic textures. Therefore crystallographic texture analysis may function as a method of determining the presence of geoduck within shell middens in the absence of readily identifiable specimens.

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May 15th, 10:00 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Digging Deeper: Where is the Geoduck (Panopea generosa) in Archaeological Shell Middens?

Anthropology

The large bivalve, Pacific Geoduck (Panopea generosa) has rarely been reported or identified in Northwest Coast shell middens. Due to its large meat yield and relative ubiquity within the Salish Sea region, it seems unlikely that geoduck was not exploited in prehistory. In the process of sorting shell samples from the Tse-whit-zen site (45-CA-523), thin, flat body fragments that appeared more consistent with geoduck than other clams were found, but they lacked definitive morphological characteristics such as hinges. To attempt to confirm the tentative identification, crystallographic textures were examined. I utilized a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to determine crystallographic textures of three prevalent species of shellfish found in Puget Sound; Macoma, Panopea, and Tresus. I found that all species examined displayed different crystallographic textures. Therefore crystallographic texture analysis may function as a method of determining the presence of geoduck within shell middens in the absence of readily identifiable specimens.