Brown Bag Series: Oyster Demographics and the Creation of Coastal Monuments at Roberts Island and Crystal River, Florida
Anthropogenic coastal landscapes often incorporate marine shell, a durable remnant of subsistence activity. Collection, consumption, and even feasting can thus contribute to histories of site formation and mound construction. This study uses patterns of oyster shell size to compare the creation of the shell mound at Roberts Island with the consumption that resulted in the midden, which constitutes the rest of the island. I also explore the potential for evidence of saline-sensitive organisms associated with shell remains to clarify environmental changes including rising and falling sea levels.
Christina Perry Sampson, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan, Museum of Anthropology