This project unpacks the “other shellfish” section of zooarchaeological shellfish data that receive comparably little attention. These other shellfish often weigh less or are proportionately less abundant compared to the comparatively more robust and numerous bivalves such as clams and mussels. Ubiquity is a simple but underutilized quantification method that measures the frequency of occurrence of target species, rather than quantifying the relative abundance by weight or number of remains. This approach provides a new framework with which to analyse shellfish remains in archaeological and historical ecological contexts. Through this I build a profile of the wide range of shellfish species harvested, managed, and consumed on the West Coast of Vancouver Island in Barkley Sound, BC over the past five thousand years. The profile can inform resource management decisions and policy, with the potential to support Indigenous claims to rights to access and manage traditional resources.
Meaghan Efford is an MA Candidate at the University of Victoria in the Department of Anthropology. Her work focuses on shellfish historical ecology, Indigenous resource management, and faunal analysis. Her current research explores quantitative archaeological methods of analysis, and the wide range of shellfish species that have been managed, harvested, and consumed on the West Coast of Vancouver Island for thousands of years by Nuu-chah-nulth communities.
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