The ethnoarchaeology of juvenile foragers: Shellfishing strategies among Meriam children

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Recognizing children's contribution to the archaeological record may be crucial for our ideas about the role of children in human evolution. Despite this, analyses of children's activities and how they might shape archaeological patterns are almost entirely absent from discussions about site formation processes. This may in turn result from the assumption that children are either inconsequential in their foraging activities or that identifying children's activities archaeologically will be difficult if not impossible. This challenge drew our attention toward children's intertidal gathering among the Meriam of the Eastern Torres Strait as a possible agent of patterned and predictable variability in shell middens. We present an analysis of differences between the prey choice and field processing strategies of children and adults and explore an hypothesis for predicting their archaeological effects on faunal assemblage variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-476
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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