Franchthi Cave Riverine and Terrestrial Molluscs: Fascicle 11

Franchthi Cave Riverine and Terrestrial Molluscs: Fascicle 11 : Fasicle 11

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Nearly 100,000 shells, comprising a total of 17 families of land and freshwater snails, were examined from excavations at Franchthi Cave and its environs. This analysis revealed the seasonal occupation of the cave and also provided detailed environmental information about the region during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. The authors present the caloric and nutritional values of edible Helicidae land snails, which comprise 97 per cent of the collection. The low activity level of the land snail provides for ease of capture, low risk-management, and basically labour-free cultivation encouraging consumption of this meat source. In addition, non-reproductive genders, including children and the elderly, could safely and quickly harvest a sizeable food crop. Radiocarbon dating of extensive terrestrial snail deposits indicate that Helix figulina was a valuable seasonal food source during the late Paleolithic and may represent the earliest evidence of extensive land snail consumption in the Mediterranean. Decreased emphasis on land snail collection during the Mesolithic suggests drier climatic conditions resulting in a less specialised diet.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 47 b&w illustrations
  • 0253212634
  • 9780253212634

Table of contents

Introduction Archaeological Interest in Non-Marine Molluscs Part I: Method and Theory Environmental Reconstruction Cultural Perspectives Methodological Considerations Part II: Franchthi Environs Overview Freshwater and Land Snails Franchthi Catchment Area Environmental Implications of the Modern Molluscan Study Part III: Franchthi Deposits Cave Setting Trench H1B Trench FAS Cultural and Environmental Implications of the Cave Deposits Part IV: Environmental and Cultural Implications for Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic Cave Occupations Local Geographic Changes Environmental Changes Cultural Changes Circum-Mediterranean Comparisons Conclusions Bibliography
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