Late Saxon & Conquest-Period Oyster Middens

Please click on the link below to download a PDF file of the publication in which the late Ian Horsey and I investigated the date and nature of oyster shell midden deposits excavated from beneath the waterfront of Poole in Dorset, England, utilising radio-carbon dating techniques.

Horsey, I. P. and Winder, J. M. (1992) The Late Saxon and Conquest-Period Oyster Middens, in Excavations at Poole 1973-1983 by Ian P. Horsey, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Monograph Series Number 10, Series Editor Jo Draper, pp 60-61.

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.

Advertisements
Posted in ARCHAEOLOGICAL OYSTER SHELLS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Black clumped oysters at Rhossili

Clump of five oysters shells stained by burialGroup of five left valves of oyster stuck together

Posted in MODERN OYSTER SHELLS, Modern shells, Nature, OYSTER SHELL VARIATIONS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oyster Shells at Whiteford (25.07.13)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fossil Oysters 3

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

This is the third in the series featuring fossil oyster shells. The photographs are of Deltoideum delta (also known as Liostrea delta) from the Upper Jurassic Period Kimmeridge Clay at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK. The most noticeable feature of this pair of matched valves is the way in which the outline shape differs from the examples already shown in Fossil Oysters 1 and Fossil Oysters 2. Here the shell has a basically regular almost tear-shaped outline in contrast to the others shown in the previous Postings. However, it has in common with them a number of smaller attached oyster shells. Again, two on the left valve (part of the settlement substrate); and one on the right valve which had settled upon it in turn.

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

Posted in FOSSIL OYSTER SHELLS, Nature, OYSTER SHELL VARIATIONS, PALAEONTOLOGY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fossil Oysters 2

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta from Dorset's jurassic Coast

This is the second in a series of Postings about fossil oysters. In this Post there are detailed photographs, taken from all angles, of a fossil oyster found with the two halves still in position, on the beach at Ringstead Bay, Dorset, UK. It’s a specimen of Deltoideum delta, and in common with many species of present day oysters such as Ostrea edulis, the shells of this extinct species can exhibit a wide variety of variations – in shape, size, and many other characteristics.  The most noticeable feature of this particular specimen is the attachment of six other oyster shells – four to the outer surface of the left valve and two to the exterior of the right valve.

The left or lower valve would have been the original surface of attachment for the spat oyster as it settled after a brief larval life. Old oyster shells are a preferred settlement substrate. It is not possible to say whether the oyster shells on which it settled were empty or still occupied by the living animals. Eventually the oyster would have overgrown and incorporated the other oyster shells as it developed.

On the other hand, the oyster shells attached to the outer surface of the right or uppermost valve would have settled on it only when the oyster had itself reached maturity.

Additionally, the ligament – which is the horny proteinaceous (conchyiolin) structure that connects the two halves of the oyster at the dorsal margins of the shells in life – seems to have been fossilised along with the calcareous shell valves. The shells have a brittle texture and an almost porcelain-like appearance. There are multiple cracks and fractures, as is common with the oyster fossils from this locality, and a certain flattening of the valves seems to have occurred so that there is now very little space indeed between the the two halves of the oyster.

[At the bottom of this posting is a slide show of the oyster shells photographed with a reference scale to indicate size. These pictures have a minimum of labelling. If anyone should want more information about these fossil oysters, please do not hesitate to get in touch.]

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

Fossil Oysters - Deltoideum delta

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

Posted in FOSSIL OYSTER SHELLS, Nature, OYSTER SHELL VARIATIONS, PALAEONTOLOGY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wild Oysters on the Queensland Coast Part 2

Posted in MODERN OYSTER SHELLS, Nature, OYSTER SHELL VARIATIONS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wild Oysters on the Queensland Coast Part 1

Posted in MODERN OYSTER SHELLS, Modern shells, Nature, OYSTER SHELL VARIATIONS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment