The forest and the trees: Small-scale ecological variability and archaeological interpretations of temporal changes in California mussel shell size Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA As global efforts to understand and document anthropogenic impacts on the coastal environment have increased, so have archaeologists' eagerness to contribute relevant research. Our publication (Thakar etal., 2017) sought to enhance scientific rigor in archaeological evaluation of potential anthropogenic impacts on past shellfish communities through ecological assessment of small scale-variability in California mussel growth rates and through development of an alternative working hypothesis. In response to comment by Braje etal (2017) we offer additional explanation in support of our experimental design, targeted tidal foraging hypothesis, and methods of evaluation. We argue that in order to fully understand adaptations (or impacts) of prehistoric coastal foragers, archaeologists must embrace a nuanced view of how people dealt with small-scale ecological variability.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Thakar, H. B., Glassow, M. A., & Blanchette, C. A.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Thakar, Heather B||Glassow, Michael A||Blanchette, Carol A

publication date

  • January 2017