Morphometric reconstructions and size variability analysis of the surf clam, Atactodea (=Paphies) striata, from Muralag 8, southwestern Torres Strait, northern Australia

Ash, Jeremy, Faulkner, Patrick, Brady, Liam, and Rowe, Cassandra (2013) Morphometric reconstructions and size variability analysis of the surf clam, Atactodea (=Paphies) striata, from Muralag 8, southwestern Torres Strait, northern Australia. Australian Archaeology, 77. pp. 82-93.

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Abstract

This paper describes (a) the methods and results of a morphometric reconstruction and (b) a size variability study of a heavily fragmented Atactodea (=Paphies) striata (surf clam) assemblage recovered from a small midden on the island of Muralag in the southwest Torres Strait, Queensland. Two intense but discrete pulses of late Holocene cultural activity at the site have been determined. Phase 1 is centred around 622 cal. BP (544–674 cal. BP) and Phase 2 is centred around 485 cal. BP (426–532 cal. BP). The results from our morphometric reconstruction reveal a statistically significant change (reduction) in the mean valve size of A. striata between occupational phases. Mean size and range of valve sizes are used as measures to determine when people were potentially exploiting the surf clam in Phases 1 and 2. While more data is required to determine an exact season of death, our findings reveal a relative signal of the seasonal exploitation of A. striata between these two phases.

Item ID: 37161
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0312-2417
Keywords: Torres Strait; Holocene; midden; island; clam; archaeology
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP0984998
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2015 02:40
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210104 Archaeology of Australia (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) @ 75%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 25%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 100%
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