A new overview of molluscs in archaeology for archaeologists, ecologists and anyone studying the natural environment, this is a broad-based and comprehensive textbook.
The subject of `Molluscs in Archaeology' has not been dealt with collectively for several decades as most previous volumes in this subject area have been confined to studies of either land or marine molluscs, or mollusc shells as artefacts. The 23 specially commissioned papers presented here address many aspects of molluscs in archaeology. Marine molluscs are a common find on archaeological sites, where they may represent food waste or their shells having been utilised as tools, artefacts and ornaments. Land snails are also found as food waste in middens, but more commonly their microscopic remains are used to examine site environmental and land use histories. This comprehensive collection by most of the leading researchers in the field will give the reader an overview of the whole topic: methods of analysis and approaches to interpretation. It aims to be a broad-based textbook giving readers an insight into how to apply analysis to different present and past landscapes, and how to interpret those landscapes. Contributors present marine, freshwater and land snail studies, and examine topics such as diet, economy, climate, environment and land-use, isotopes and molluscs as artefacts, providing archaeologists and students with the first port of call regarding a) methods and principles, and b) the potential information molluscs can provide. Combining authoritative overviews with a range of case studies, Molluscs in Archaeology concentrates on analysis and interpretation that most archaeologists and students can undertake and understand, and reviews the `heavier' science in terms of potential, application and interpretational value.
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