Oyster shells from archaeological sites: a brief illustrated guide to basic processing

 
 

An ancient Saxon period oyster shell (Ostrea edulis Linnaeus) the spat of which originally settled on the shell of a Sting Winkle, Ocenebra erinacea (Linnaeus), which survives attached to the heel of the mature oyster.

An ancient Saxon period oyster shell (Ostrea edulis Linnaeus) the spat of which originally settled on the shell of a Sting Winkle, Ocenebra erinacea (Linnaeus), which survives attached to the heel of the mature oyster.

 

  • Oyster shells from archaeological sites: a brief illustrated guide to basic processing is included in this post as a free downloadable PDF file. See below.
  • It is a starter’s guide to handling oyster shells (British Native Oyster, European Flat Oyster, Ostrea edulis Linnaeus) from archaeological excavations.
  • This handbook can be used in conjunction with other postings both on Oysters etc. and Jessica’s Nature Blog that provide more information about various characteristics of oyster shells, and surviving evidence of their infestation and encrustation by marine invertebrate epibiont organisms.
  • The guide provides useful information for recognising observable macroscopic details. It suggests some simple methods for processing archaeological oyster shells that may be useful for collecting and collating data,  in both a qualitative and quantitative way, prior to further statistical analyses and interpretation.
  • Thirty Figures with 63 colour photographs illustrate the topics discussed.
  • Sources of information are provided in a bibliography; and relevant textbooks are recommended. 

Click here for PDF file Oyster shells from archaeological excavations: a brief illustrated guide to basic processing 12.24MB

N.B. The large file size means that it may take quite a while to download – depending on the speed of your internet connection. You may need to be patient.

If you have a problem with downloading the document, please contact me, and I will try to send the file to you by e-mail or other means.

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About winderjssc

Jessica Winder has a background in ecological studies in both the museum and the research laboratory. She is passionate about the natural world right on our doorsteps. She is enthusiastic about capturing what she sees through photography and wants to open the eyes of everyone to the beauty and fascination of nature. She is author of 'Jessica's Nature Blog' at http://natureinfocus.wordpress.com. Jessica has 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. She is an archaeo-malacological consultant through Oysters etc. and is publishing summaries of her shell research work on the WordPress Blog called 'Oysters etc.' at https://oystersetcetera.wordpress.com 'Photographic Salmagundi' at http://photosalmagundi.wordpress.com is a showcase of photographs and digital art on all sorts of subjects - not just natural history.
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