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Archaic Period Shell Middens, Sea-Level Fluctuation, and Seasonality: Archaeology along the Northern Gulf of California Littoral, Sonora, Mexico

  • Michael S. Foster (a1), Douglas R. Mitchell (a2), Gary Huckleberry (a3), David Dettman (a4) and Karen R. Adams (a5)...

Abstract

Five recent radiocarbon assays on wood charcoal within archaeological sites from the Puerto Peñasco area, Sonora, Mexico indicate use of the marine resources of the northern Gulf of California area during the Middle Archaic through the Late Archaic periods, ca. 3800 B.C.–A.D. 100. The archaeological shell middens of the region are generally thought of as remains associated with Ceramic period Hohokam marine shell collecting forays with there being little consideration given to the likelihood of an Archaic period component being present. The importance of these age estimates is that they are derived from carbonized botanical remains rather than shell. Because of considerable variability in the carbon reservoir effect, age estimates derived from marine shell from the northern Gulf of California have limited reliability. The seasonality of collection is also considered through a preliminary study of stable oxygen isotope ratios in two shell samples. The results suggests that these shellfish were collected in the late fall, winter, and perhaps very early spring.

Resumen

Poca consideración se ha dado al explotación de los recursos marina en el estudio de período Arcaico patrones subsistencia y el uso del terreno en el Papaguería del Arizona sudoeste y noroeste de Sonora. Cinco fechas de radiocarbono recientes en carbon de la vecinidad de Puerto Peñasco en el extremo norteño del Golfo de California, Sonora, México indica el uso de los recursos fáunico marinas del área durante el períodos Arcaico Medio a través del Arcaico Tardío, ca. 3.800 B.C.–A.D. 100. Los concheros arqueológicos de la región son generalmente considerados como el restos Hohokam recogida de conchas marinas durante el período Ceramica. La importancia de estas fechas es que se derivan de restos botánicos carbonizados en lugar de concha. Debido a una considerable variabilidad en el efecto reservorio de carbono, las fechas derivadas concha marina del norte del Golfo de California son limitados fiabilidad. La estaciónalidad de colección también se considera con un estudio preliminar de proporciones isótopos de estable oxígeno en dos muestras de cascara. Los resultados sugieren la recolección de conchas era una actividad del otoño tardío, el invierno, o tal vez de la primavera muy temprano.

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