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.


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 []. 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]. Photographic Salmagundi [] is a showcase of photographs and digital art on all sorts of subjects - not just natural history. The profile picture is an old one - a blast from the past.
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