Hello world!

This new blog is about the variations that can be observed in the shells of edible marine molluscs – such as oysters, cockles, winkles and whelks – and how these differences can help us understand the way that marine shellfish resources were exploited in the past. It will look at seashells from archaeological excavations and also from modern mollusc populations. It will mostly be about the European Flat Oyster (British Native Oyster) Ostrea edulis Linnaeus.

Oysters etc. will draw on studies I have made over the past thirty years – during which time I have examined and recorded the measurements and macroscopic details of many thousands of oyster shells and analysed the resulting quantitative and qualitative data. The research has mostly been undertaken on archaeological material from sites in southern England dating to the last two thousand years.

I will summarise the published and the unpublished reports I have compiled and give full references to the work. Where possible, I will make pdf files of unpublished reports available.

My main aim is to share the knowledge I have acquired about understanding the lives of  people in the past through the study of oyster and other marine mollusc shells; and to provide information for anyone wanting to undertake similar research in the future.

About winderjssc

I have a background in ecological studies in both the museum and the research laboratory. I'm passionate about the natural world right on my doorstep and enthusiastic about capturing what I see through photography, wanting to open the eyes of everyone to the beauty and fascination of nature. I am author of Jessica's Nature Blog [https://natureinfocus.wordpress.com]. I have also extensively researched macroscopic variations in oyster and other edible marine mollusc shells from archaeological excavations as a means of understanding past exploitation of marine shellfish resources. I am an archaeo-malacological consultant through Oysters etc. where I am publishing summaries of my shell research and other oyster related topics [Oysters etc. at https://oystersetcetera.wordpress.com]. Photographic Salmagundi [https://photosalmagundi.wordpress.com] is a showcase of photographs and digital art on all sorts of subjects - not just natural history. P.S. The current profile picture was taken in 2015 at Whiteford Sands in Gower where I am kneeling to take pictures of an ancient buried tree trunk emerging from the peat for the first time after submersion by rising sea levels about 6000 years ago.
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2 Responses to Hello world!

  1. Karim says:

    Hello Jessica! It’s a great surprise to find your blog. I am currently learning about archaeo-malacology and I loved the information you kindly share. I’ve come across some shells bearing circular perforations in the archaeological record, but I find it hard to tell whether those are produced by natural or antropogenic means. Would love to know your opinion.
    Keep on sharing 🙂

    • winderjssc says:

      Hello, Karim. I am pleased that you have found the information useful. If you would like to send some photographs of your shell specimens with the circular perforations to my e-mail address at winderjssc@aol.com, I will see if I can tell what has caused them.

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