Seasonality of shellfish collection based on growth-line analysis of the hard clam, Meretrix petechialis (Lamarck), recovered from the Konam-ri Shell Midden, Anmyeon Island, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, Korea
Deog-im An and Dong-Ki Ryu
Hanseo University, Seosan 31962, Korea. Kunsan National University, Gunsan 54150, Korea
Growth-line analysis was carried out on 221 hard clam (Meretrix petechialis) from the Bronze Age Konam-ri Shell Midden B-4, Anmyeon Island, Korea, to determine the seasonality of the clam collection and site occupation. Growth increments and the marginal index (MI) of the specimens were examined. And then the marginal index was compared to the monthly MI of modern specimens under the assumption that the growth pattern was the same as it is today. MI of the archaeological specimens ranged from 0.050 to 1.65 and was divided into four categories: < 0.63, spring; 0.63-0.76, summer; 0.76-0.89, fall; ≧ 0.89, winter collection. As a result, 193 specimens (87.33%) of 221 specimens represented spring, 14 (6.33%) summer, 6 (2.71%) fall and 8 (3.62%) winter collection. These results show that the collection of the clam at the Konam-ri Shell Midden during the Bronze Age could be carried out year-round, especially with an emphasis on spring.
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