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An archaeomalacological investigation of chitons on the Hane Dune site, Ua Huka, Marquesas Islands

Abstract : The contribution of shellfish to ancient subsistence has been overlooked in many archaeological studies in Central-East Polynesia. Archaeomalacology, however, can shed light on a wider range of exploited mollusks. In this paper we investigate the exploitation of the chiton Acanthopleura gemmata from the Hane Dune site, Ua Huka, Marquesas Islands. Although several previous studies have highlighted the importance of chitons in Hane’s archaeological record, little information has been presented about this important subsistence item as it is seldom identified with precision and is usually quantified by weight. Using zooarchaeological methods, spatial analysis, and biometry, we demonstrate the importance of chitons in past ‘Enata subsistence. We highlight the intensive exploitation of A. gemmata during the first three centuries of occupation of the site, beginning ca. AD 950, until its abrupt depletion, correlated with the progressive exploitation of the limpet Cellana radiata. Through this case study, we stress the importance of precise taxonomic identification and refined recovery protocols to better understand subsistence trends.
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https://hal-univ-perp.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03724878
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Submitted on : Friday, July 15, 2022 - 4:32:31 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 4:20:11 PM

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Gabrielle Traversat, Guillaume Molle, Eric Conte, Bernard Salvat. An archaeomalacological investigation of chitons on the Hane Dune site, Ua Huka, Marquesas Islands. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, Taylor & Francis, 2021, pp.1-23. ⟨10.1080/15564894.2021.1986177⟩. ⟨hal-03724878⟩

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