Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Ecological and cultural context of Pacific herring in the Salish Sea

Description

Recent years have seen an increased recognition of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) as a keystone species in terms of both biological and cultural importance along much of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Studies of assemblages of faunal remains from archaeological sites along the coast are part of this trend, including the shores of the Salish Sea where a rich record of traditional Native American fishing extends for several millennia into the past. Methodological improvements such as fine-mesh sampling of site constituents and a growing data set of excavated archaeological assemblages allow more detailed inferences about both past fishing practices and past fish populations. This has had a cumulative effect of fostering recent studies of past fish use at much larger scales as well. The presentation given here reviews the archaeological record of herring use across the south Salish Sea, as well as the scope of an on-going research program of aDNA analysis of herring remains from several sites in Puyallup and Suquamish traditional territories that may shed light on their population dynamics

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Extracting meaning from archaeological herring remains in the south Salish Sea

2016SSEC

Recent years have seen an increased recognition of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasi) as a keystone species in terms of both biological and cultural importance along much of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Studies of assemblages of faunal remains from archaeological sites along the coast are part of this trend, including the shores of the Salish Sea where a rich record of traditional Native American fishing extends for several millennia into the past. Methodological improvements such as fine-mesh sampling of site constituents and a growing data set of excavated archaeological assemblages allow more detailed inferences about both past fishing practices and past fish populations. This has had a cumulative effect of fostering recent studies of past fish use at much larger scales as well. The presentation given here reviews the archaeological record of herring use across the south Salish Sea, as well as the scope of an on-going research program of aDNA analysis of herring remains from several sites in Puyallup and Suquamish traditional territories that may shed light on their population dynamics