Fisher-Gatherers of the Red Sea: Results of the Farasan Archipelago Shell Sites Project

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  • Fisher-Gatherers of the Red Sea: Results of the Farasan Archipelago Shell Sites Project

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Title


Fisher-Gatherers of the Red Sea: Results of the Farasan Archipelago Shell Sites Project

Subject

S6-1, S3-4 Archaeomalacology: shells in the archaeological record - Shell middens and shells as a food resource, oral

Description

Abstract:

This paper presents the results of the Farasan Archipelago Shell Sites Project (FArSSite) – part of the Southern Red Sea Project. The discovery of over 1500 shell sites on the Farasan Archipelago (Red Sea) represents one of the highest concentrations of such sites in the world. These have been extensively mapped and surveyed, allowing a picture of complex landscape change to be reconstructed. Two at risk sites were excavated in order to investigate spatial and temporal shell mound evolution. Analysis of the excavated material has revealed a varied pattern of coastal resource exploitation, over relatively short time periods. The two shell mounds show markedly different composition and structure, indicating that although similar marine habitats were being exploited, different activities were taking place resulting in contrasting assemblages. Bayesian techniques have been applied to radiocarbon and amino-acid racemization data, in order to calculate the age and accumulation rates at the sites. This showed the sites were not occupied contemporaneously – but are very close in date and may overlap. The fisher-gatherers who built these mounds were without pottery, however the use of boats is implied given the island setting and distance of c.40km across open water to the mainland where similar sites have been found. This PhD project has been funded by: The University of York, The British Academy, and The Supreme Commission for Tourism and Antiquities of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Authors:

WILLIAMS Matt Gregory Meredith

Affiliations

University of York, Archaeology Department, The King’s Manor, York, YO1 7EP, mgmw500@york.ac.uk

Creator

Williams, Matt Gregory Meredith

Date

August 2010

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Citation

Williams, Matt Gregory Meredith. " Fisher-Gatherers of the Red Sea: Results of the Farasan Archipelago Shell Sites Project ," in BoneCommons, Item #1650, http://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/1650 (accessed August 9, 2020).