Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorMilano, S
dc.contributor.authorLindauer, S
dc.contributor.authorPrendergast, AL
dc.contributor.authorHill, EA
dc.contributor.authorHunt, CO
dc.contributor.authorBarker, Graeme
dc.contributor.authorSchöne, BR
dc.date.accessioned2018-10-10T05:16:46Z
dc.date.available2018-10-10T05:16:46Z
dc.date.issued2018-08
dc.identifier.issn2352-409X
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/283351
dc.description.abstractArchaeological shell middens are particularly important for reconstructing prehistoric human subsistence strategies. However, very little is known about shellfish processing, especially when related to the use of fire for dietary and disposal purposes. To shed light on prehistoric food processing techniques, an experimental study was undertaken on modern gastropod shells (Phorcus lineatus). The shells were exposed to high temperatures (200-700 °C) to investigate subsequent mineralogy and macro- and microstructural changes. Afterwards, the three-pronged approach was applied to archaeological shells from Haua Fteah cave, Libya (Phorcus turbinatus) and from shell midden sites in the United Arab Emirates (Anadara uropigimelana and Terebralia palustris) to determine exposure temperatures. Results indicated that shells from the Haua Fteah were exposed to high temperatures (600 - 700 °C) during the Mesolithic period (c. 12.7 - 9 ka), whereas specimens from the Neolithic period (c. 8.5 - 5.4 ka) were mainly exposed to lower temperatures (300 - 500 °C). The thermally-induced changes in A. uropigimelana and T. palustris shells from the South East Arabian archaeological sites were similar to those seen in Phorcus spp. suggesting a broad applicability of the experimental results at an interspecific level. Although heat significantly altered the appearance and mineralogy of the shells, 14CAMS ages obtained on burnt shells fit within the expected age ranges for their associated archaeological contexts, indicating that robust radiocarbon ages may still be obtained from burnt shells. Our study indicates that the combination of microstructural and mineralogical observations can provide important information to infer shellfish processing strategies in prehistoric cultures and their change through time.
dc.description.sponsorshipFunding for this study was kindly provided by the EU within the framework (FP7) of the Marie Curie International Training Network ARAMACC (604802) to SM and by the Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship (1151310) and McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship to AP. The Haua Fteah excavations were undertaken with the permission of the Libyan Department of Antiquities and with funding to GB from the Society for Libyan Studies and from the European Research Council (Advanced Investigator Grant 230421), whose support is also gratefully acknowledged
dc.publisherElsevier BV
dc.titleMollusk carbonate thermal behaviour and its implications in understanding prehistoric fire events in shell middens
dc.typeArticle
prism.endingPage457
prism.publicationDate2018
prism.publicationNameJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
prism.startingPage443
prism.volume20
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.30719
dcterms.dateAccepted2018-05-29
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.05.027
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserved
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2018-08-01
dc.contributor.orcidMilano, S [0000-0002-7173-5819]
dc.contributor.orcidLindauer, S [0000-0001-5363-2755]
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Review
pubs.funder-project-idEuropean Research Council (230421)
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2019-08-01


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record