Flat Oyster shells at Rhossili Bay

A gallery of pictures of European Flat Oyster shells (Ostrea edulis Linnaeus) washed up on the sandy beach at Rhossili Bay in South Wales on 2nd February 2018. Photographed just as they were found, they are all separated left and right shells of mature and mainly thick oysters and exhibit a great deal of variety in colour, shape, wear, and evidence of epibiont (encrusting) organisms and infestation. If you are interested in the subject for archaeological, palaeontological or taphonomic purposes, these oyster shells provide examples of the major types of naturally induced mechanical and chemical damage and alteration. Please contact me if you would like to discuss these specimens or other old oyster shells or shell assemblages.

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Flat Oyster Shells at Swansea Bay

A gallery of pictures of European Flat Oyster shells (Ostrea edulis Linnaeus) washed up on the sandy beach at Swansea Bay in South Wales on 1st February 2018. Photographed just as they were found, they are all separated left and right shells of mature and mainly thick oysters and exhibit a great deal of variety in colour, shape, wear, and evidence of epibiont (encrusting) organisms and infestation.

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Pacific Oyster Shells

Pacific Oyster shellsA gallery of images of Pacific Oyster shells (Crassostrea gigas Thunberg) – sometimes also known as the Portuguese Oyster although recent work suggests this is a separate species despite the fact that the two species can interbreed.

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Molluscs in Archaeology – new book announcement

I am delighted to announce the forthcoming publication of a brilliant new book called Molluscs in Archaeology – methods, approaches and applications edited by Michael J. Allen and published as part of the Studying Scientific Archaeology Series (3) by Oxbow Books. I have myself contributed a chapter on Oysters in Archaeology to this book, summarising my past research and suggesting new ways forward using latest technologies. It is available at a pre-publication discounted price for a limited period.

See the details below. You can also download a list of the contents and a copy of the application form as pdf files.

You can also download a list of the contents and a copy of the application form as pdf files.

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Oysters and Other Marine Shells from Excavations at the Old Methodist Chapel and Greyhound Yard, Dorchester

Please click on the link below to download a copy of the oyster and other marine mollusc shells report for excavations at Greyhound Yard in Dorchester, England.

Winder, J. M. (1993) Oyster and other marine mollusc shells, in Excavations at the Old Methodist Church and Greyhound Yard Dorchester, 1982-1984, (eds. P. J. Woodward, S. M. Davies and A. Graham), Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Monograph Series Number 12, Series Editor J. Draper, pp 347 -348.

Permission to use this published report has kindly been granted by Dorset County Museum where it is possible to purchase copies of the full publication.

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The Marine Mollusca in “Redeemed from the Heath – the archaeology of the Wytch Farm Oilfield (1987-90)

Please click on the link below to download a PDF of the report which describes the analyses of edible molluscan remains found in midden deposits on the south shore of Poole Harbour in Dorset, England, with suggestions for the localities being exploited for these shellfish.

Winder, J. M. (1991) Marine Mollusca, in Redeemed from the Heath – the archaeology of the Wytch Farm Oilfield (1987-90), eds. P. W. Cox and C. M. Hearne, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Monograph Series Number 9 for B. P. Exploration and its partners in the Wytch Farm Development, pp 212-216.

Permission to use this published report has kindly been granted by Dorset County Museum where it is possible to purchase copies of the full publication.

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The Oysters in Excavations at Poole 1973-1983

Please click on the link below to download a PDF copy of the full oyster shell report from excavations in the town of Poole, Dorset, England, in which the oyster studies established

  1. A substantial industry, as indicated by large middens, developed at Hamworthy and Poole in the Saxon and early Conquest period. This industry could well have affected the choice of the site of Poole itself.
  2. Studies of the shells can prove that deposits represent an industry rather than casual exploitation of natural resources.
  3. Poole oysters are distinctive and can be distinguished from oysters from other localities. Ultimately it may be possible to establish the marketing area of these oysters.
  4. Statistical analyses can establish the original environment from which the oysters were obtained. In the case of Poole, comparisons of modern and archaeological samples can distinguish between oysters from within the muddier environment of Poole Harbour and the cleaner conditions in Poole Bay.

Winder, J. M. (1992) The Oysters, in Excavations at Poole 1973 – 1983 by Ian P. Horsey, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Monograph Series Number 10, Series Editor Jo Draper, pages 194 – 200.

Permission to use this published report has kindly been granted by Dorset County Museum where it is possible to purchase copies of the full publication.

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