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Archaeology, taphonomy, and historical ecology of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs (<I>Callinectes sapidus</I>)

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dc.contributor.author Rick, Torben C. en
dc.contributor.author Ogburn, Matthew Bryan en
dc.contributor.author Kramer, Margaret en
dc.contributor.author McCanty, Sean T. en
dc.contributor.author Reeder-Myers, Leslie en
dc.contributor.author Miller, Henry M. en
dc.contributor.author Hines, Anson H. en
dc.date.accessioned 2015-03-03T15:54:42Z
dc.date.available 2015-03-03T15:54:42Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.citation Rick, Torben C., Ogburn, Matthew Bryan, Kramer, Margaret, McCanty, Sean T., Reeder-Myers, Leslie, Miller, Henry M., and Hines, Anson H. 2015. "<a href="https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/24700">Archaeology, taphonomy, and historical ecology of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus)</a>." <em>Journal of Archaeological Science</em>. 55:42&ndash;54. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.12.016">https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.12.016</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0305-4403
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10088/24700
dc.description.abstract Blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), an important commercial and ecological species in the eastern United States, are a key part of Chesapeake Bay culture, tourism, and fisheries. Blue crab remains are rare in Middle Atlantic North American archaeological sites, however, leading to speculation that Native Americans did not eat crabs, that taphonomic processes and/or excavation strategies are not suitable to crab preservation or recovery, or that seasonal use of estuarine foods limited blue crab exploitation. We explore these hypotheses through examination of archaeological blue crab remains, analysis of allometric relationships to investigate changes in crab size, and experiments (soil pH, animal scavenging, etc.) focused on the preservation and recovery of blue crab remains. These data demonstrate that blue crab remains are fragile and that their preservation and recovery is strongly influenced by taphonomic processes, excavation strategies, and perhaps seasonal exploitation. Despite these potential biases, blue crabs have been identified in 89 Chesapeake Bay archaeological sites from at least 3200 years ago through the 20th century. Blue crabs were an important food source for Native Americans, EuroAmerican colonists, and African Americans, with size estimates demonstrating that a range of crab sizes were harvested in the past, including a higher proportion of large crabs than those found in the Bay today under the intense modern fishery. Our experimental and archaeological analyses provide an approach that can be used generally by archaeologists working in marine environments and on other species around the world. en
dc.relation.ispartof Journal of Archaeological Science en
dc.title Archaeology, taphonomy, and historical ecology of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs (<I>Callinectes sapidus</I>) en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 133399
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.jas.2014.12.016
rft.jtitle Journal of Archaeological Science
rft.volume 55
rft.spage 42
rft.epage 54
dc.description.SIUnit NH-Anthropology en
dc.description.SIUnit NMNH en
dc.description.SIUnit SERC en
dc.description.SIUnit Peer-reviewed en
dc.citation.spage 42
dc.citation.epage 54

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