Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory: An overview

A. C. Colonese, M. A. Mannino, D. E. Bar-Yosef Mayer, D. A. Fa, J. C. Finlayson, D. Lubell, Mary C Stiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

125 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Marine molluscs have been recovered from sites around the Mediterranean Sea dating as far back as the Lower Palaeolithic, when hominins might have started consuming them (ca. 300 ka). During the Middle Palaeolithic and the early Upper Palaeolithic, humans (Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens) ate molluscs at many sites across the Mediterranean at least as early as the Last Interglacial, although the scale of this exploitation is still unclear, due to biases produced in the coastal archaeological record by Late Glacial and post-Glacial sea level rise. The exploitation of marine molluscs apparently increased in the Late Glacial and Early Holocene, when humans collected them in relatively large quantities and from all available ecosystems. The consumption of shellfish, and of other small animals (aquatic and continental), probably contributed to the success of the flexible and opportunistic subsistence strategies adopted by Mediterranean hunter-gatherers for much of prehistory. This is particularly evident in later foraging economic systems (i.e. late Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic), in which coastal resources probably acted as buffers against the negative outcomes of environmental and anthropogenic impacts on available resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-103
Number of pages18
JournalQuaternary International
Volume239
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

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Paleolithic
mollusc
late glacial
hunter-gatherer
Mesolithic
Last Interglacial
economic system
resource
shellfish
subsistence
Postglacial
Holocene
ecosystem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Colonese, A. C., Mannino, M. A., Bar-Yosef Mayer, D. E., Fa, D. A., Finlayson, J. C., Lubell, D., & Stiner, M. C. (2011). Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory: An overview. Quaternary International, 239(1-2), 86-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2010.09.001

Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory : An overview. / Colonese, A. C.; Mannino, M. A.; Bar-Yosef Mayer, D. E.; Fa, D. A.; Finlayson, J. C.; Lubell, D.; Stiner, Mary C.

In: Quaternary International, Vol. 239, No. 1-2, 01.07.2011, p. 86-103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colonese, AC, Mannino, MA, Bar-Yosef Mayer, DE, Fa, DA, Finlayson, JC, Lubell, D & Stiner, MC 2011, 'Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory: An overview', Quaternary International, vol. 239, no. 1-2, pp. 86-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2010.09.001
Colonese AC, Mannino MA, Bar-Yosef Mayer DE, Fa DA, Finlayson JC, Lubell D et al. Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory: An overview. Quaternary International. 2011 Jul 1;239(1-2):86-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2010.09.001
Colonese, A. C. ; Mannino, M. A. ; Bar-Yosef Mayer, D. E. ; Fa, D. A. ; Finlayson, J. C. ; Lubell, D. ; Stiner, Mary C. / Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory : An overview. In: Quaternary International. 2011 ; Vol. 239, No. 1-2. pp. 86-103.
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