Exploring Links Between Late Holocene Environmental Change and Indigenous Mussel Harvesting Strategies on the Northwest Coast of California
–Hayley T. Kievman, Kurt M. Wilson, Roxanne L.F. Lamson, Brian F. Codding, Alexandra M. Greenwald
I am a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology working with Dr. Alexandra Greenwald. My research focuses on the interactions between coastal foragers and their environments, and I am particularly interested in changes in subsistence strategies in the contexts of climatic instability.
To reconstruct mussel harvesting strategies employed by Indigenous foragers during the late Holocene on the northwest coast of California, we calculate a size profile of Mytilus californianus remains recovered from CA-HUM-18 and conduct oxygen isotopic analysis (δ18O) to address seasonality of harvest. Coupled with AMS dating of the mussels, these data will provide insight into late Holocene marine conditions and resource abundance to improve our understanding of past responses to long-and short-term environmental change.
Coastal resources were very important to Native peoples well before European’s arrived in the America’s. The goal of this project is to understand how changing ocean environments affect Indigenous lifeways in the Northwest coast of California.