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Society for American Archaeology

Animal Agency and Coastal Archaeology Author(s): Madonna L. Moss and Jon M. Erlandson Reviewed work(s): Source: American Antiquity, Vol. 67, No. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp. 367-369 Published by: Society for American Archaeology Stable URL: . Accessed: 06/03/2013 16:07
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MadonnaL. Moss andJon M. Erlandson

Until and taphonomzists, therange can deposit mzore notjustfaunal analysts recognize and variety ofanimalsthat archaeologists, marine or estuarine remains intoarchaeological research attention animzal insufficient willbe paid to distinguishlocalities, As demonstrated elsewhere and Moss 2001), an understanding ingtaphonomic agents. (Erlandson oftheantiquity ofcoastal resource use incertain contexts adaptations and thenature ofmarine requires careful assessment ofnoncultural sourcesoffauincoastalsettings. nal remains Toaddresssuchproblems, theecology nonhuman whosetaphounderstanding ofthose animzals someofthecharacteristics is crulcial. nomic can mimic micicllens signatures ofhominid de animzales restos de otros el rango Se ha visto que a los arque6logos lesfalta por reconocer y la variedad quepuedendepositar Hasta ahora estoha sido tatrea de los especialistas enfaiuina animales marinos o de tipoestuario, en los sitiosarqueol6gicos. y de los tafonomistas, endistinguir haciendo evidente la insuificiente atenci6n prestada porlosarqueologos estos elementos tafon6micos. Comno se ha demostrado de previamente (Erlandson y Moss 2001), la comprension sobrelas adaptaciones, y la naturaleza inarinos en algunoscontextos de la antigiiedad los llSOS de recuirsos valoraci6n cuidadosade los orfgenes requtiere unia costera, no-culturales defauna que permanece en estosambientes costeros. es crulcial Para abordaresteproblema, unentendimziento de la ecologiade los animales, de los depositos cuyosindicadores tafononmicos puedenimitar algunasde las caracteristicas hechos porlos sereshumnanos.

e appreciate substantive contributions ofprevious workto clarify icizethe theopportunity article ers,onlyto pointoutthat moststudies of zooarbyourrecent someissuesraised and Moss 2001). Although chaeological taphonomy (Erlandson to date have focused oflacustline primarily onanimals that accumulate terrestrial, not for the study the paper hasimplications our main focus was marine remains. sites, orestualine faunal andriverine archaeological ofmarine Lyman(thisissue) is also mistaken whenhe the remains onanimals that canaccumulate in someof thesame claims the ofourpaper wastorecommend and deposit them that organisms point sea- that living along the world's localities usedbypeople archaeologists simply makelistsof potential we comnonhuman bone accumulators. Although oftaphonomy to studies coasts. Mostarchaeological and in on animals ofaquatic bone shell accumulators ter- piledlists datehavefocused that accumulate mere list-makremains. or estuarine faunal ourpaper, nowhere didwe advocate restrial, notmarine We described the65- ingof potential taphonomic agents. this, Although Lyman (thisissue)disputes have inhis1994Vertebrate ded- someanimals that typically notbeenconsidTaphonomy, pagechapter vertebrate anddispersal of coricated tothe accumulation ered boneaccumulators (e.g.,river otters, bears, that as wellas others have been(e.g., canids, no mention of aquaticani- morants) remains, makesalmost how than eagles,ravens, mals.Fewer 5 percent ofthat book'smore than crows).Ourpaperdocuments canaccumulate anddeposit marine or entries concern coastal these animals 800 bibliographic explicitly Thislackof atten- estuarine faunal remains inarchaeological sites, pheor theremains offish.' settings Our webelieve have beenunderappreciated. is notunusual; as justoneother example, none nomena tion of67 difandsummary tables case narrative of the15 ethnoarchaeological and actualistic descriptions inHudson's to illustrate thepotential taxawereintended studies concern coastal ferent (1993)collection andbreadth orresources meant tocrit- magnitude oftheproblem. contexts either. Thisis not
Eugene,OR 97403-1218 ofAnthropology, University of Oregon, Madonna L. Moss * Department of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1218 ofAnthropology, University JonM. Erlandson* Department American Antiquity, 67(2), 2002,pp. 367-369 American Copyright? 2002 bytheSociety for Archaeology 367


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[Vol. 67, No. 2, 2002]

we areignorant of thebio- quote,however, we referred onlyto raisedbeach Lyman implies that logical literature and points out several relevant works deposits. Itwasprecisely ourpoint that the problem natural andcultural accumulations wedidnot cite. Ofour155citations, however, almost ofdifferentiating half derive from thebiological literature. Theorigi- of aquaticfaunal remains is muchmorecomplex nalversion ofourpaper was shortened byabout 20 and subtle in many other geological and archaeopercent tocomply with reviewers whorequested that logicalsettings. wefocus more onarchaeological examples andmisWe agreewithLymanthatidentifying taphonomic agents is the crux ofthe problem, andthat this taken and less on detail. interpretations, biological us for Lyman faults not mentioning beaver, butCas- is difficult. However, we do notbelieve this canbe is a plant-eater, solelyby laboratory analyses. We tor canadensis andtoour knowledge, accomplished not boneorshell Forobvious rea- stressed the ofrecognizing andstudying a fish accumulator. importance accumulations ofaquatic animal remains American sons,we did notdiscussNorth species nonhuman of individual extinct latePleistocene. Weclearly stated that in thefield,aided by observations bythe was notcompre- species, the andfield biological literature, biologists. oursurvey oftheanimal kingdom in thetradition hensive butfocused primarily on Pacific Coasttaxa Thisfollows of numerous scholars forwhich of aquaticanimal interrestrial Andrews thetransport remains who have worked settings (e.g., 1990;Berger andClarke 1995;Binford 1981;Brain wasdocumented andpotentially problematic. number whowork in coastal that 1981) anda growing Coastalarchaeologists havelong recognized pinnipeds, other sea mammals, large fish, andother andother aquatic settings (e.g., Butler 1993;Giffordprey can contribute fish remains to archaeological Gonzalezetal. 1999;Stewart 1991). inthe form Lyman states that although "[i]dentifying the pardeposits ofstomach contents (e.g.,Fitch 1969:63,1972:105),although thisproblem is too ticular taxonof thetaphonomic be agent(s) might rarely dealtwith byfaunal analysts. We also recog- important withrespect to questions of paleoecolnize thatsome pinnipeds-as well as dolphins, ogy," itis "ofminor inproducing significance" corandother marine animals-travel interpretations ofhuman adaptations. Incontrast, sharks, up rivers rect and estuaries from to identify the substantial distances theopen we believethat field-aided attempts tosome oceanandareeven endemic freshwater lakes taxa of nonhuman taphonomic agents and underinaquatic have noted standing their isanimpor(Erlandson 2001:297). Perhaps weshould ecology settings more that on the tant step toward distinguishing human vs.nonhuman clearly ourpaperwouldnotfocus tohavemissed of seals and sea lions,butthese agents. seems twoofourkey stomach contents Lyman inourpaper havefully wererecognized as separate processes points: 1) fewarchaeologists recognized that andMoss2001:427). canhaul therange ofanimals can transport theremains (Erlandson Pinnipeds and 2) by sites-as ofaquaticanimals to terrestrial outandevendie on somearchaeological settings, on San MiguelIsland-butalongthe raising awareness of thisproblem amongourcoldo today they listwehopetoinspire more research-not on remote leagues, PacificCoast,they haul out primarily their or stomach making-into the ecology and taphonomic beachesor isletswhere carcasses areunlikely tobe mixed with of suchanimals. will conEquifinality contents archaeologi- signatures wehumans are cal materials on terrestrial unlesstrans- tinue as a problem, because however, landforms, andsignatures andtraces ofour also"animal agents" ported byother agents. ofarchae- behavior will notalwaysbe distinguishable from reminds us ofthelonghistory Lyman the into natural versus cultural those ofother animals. ological investigations a topicwellcovered of shellmiddens, elseorigin At the University of Oregon,we thank Acknowledgments. A ClaudiaHarriss we didnotfeeltheneedto repeat. where which for ofourabstract intoSpanish hertranslation ofhiscommentary onthis how- andJohn significant part topic, andourearlier Lukacsfor hisfeedback on this paper. seemstobe derived from a misreading ofour We are grateful to Tim Kohlerand his staff forfacilitating ever, thepagesofAmerican dialogwithin Antiquity. that and scholarly paper. Lyman critically suggests "Erlandson to identify Moss (2001:414) seemcontent natural References Cited ofshellfish remains basedon their distincdeposits Andrews, P. tivegeological andthelackof associated contexts 1990 Owls,CavesandFossils: and Preservation, Predation, soil formation or archaeological material." In this Bones in Caves,with ofSmallMammal an Accumulation

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Analysis of thePleistocene Cave Faunasfrom WestburyMidden (SLO-2) atDiabloCove,San Luis ObispoCounty, sub-Mendip, Somerset, UK. University of ChicagoPress, California SanLuisObispoCounty Archaeological Society Chicago. Occasional Papers7:101-120. L. R., andR. J.Clarke Berger, andN. Rybczynski Gifford-Gonzalez, D., K. M. Stewart, 1995 EagleInvolvement inAccumulation ofthe Taung Child 1999 Human Activities andSiteFormation atModern Lake Fauna.Journal ofHuman Evolution 29:275-299. Margin Foraging Campsin Kenya.Journal ofAnthropoL. R. Binford, 18:397-440. logicalArchaeology 1981 Bones: Ancient Men and ModernMyths. Academic Hudson, J.(editor) Press, NewYork. 1993 FromBones to Behavior:Ethnoarchaeological and Brain, C. K. Experimental Contributions tothe Interpretation ofFaunal 1981 TheHunters orthe Hunted?: AnIntrodluction toAfrican Remains. Center for Archaeological Investigations, SouthCave Taphonomy. ofChicagoPress, ernIllinois atCarbondale University Chicago. University Occasional Paper No. Butler, V. L. 21. 1993 Natural versus Cultural Salmonid of Stewart, Remains: Origin K. M. TheDallesRoadcut Columbia Bones, River, Oregon, 1991 Modern U.S.A. FishboneAssemblages atLakeTTurkana, Kenya: Joutrnal Science20:1-24. a Methodology toAidinRecognition ofHominid ofArchaeological FishUtilErlandson, J.M. ization. Journal Science18:579-603. ofArchaeological 2001 TheArchaeologyofAquaticAdaptations:Paradigmsfor a New Millennium. Journal Research ofArchaeological Notes 9:287-350. 1. By thiswe do notmeanto criticize Lyman'sbook, a Erlandson, J.M., andM. L. Moss of relevanceto literature 2001 Shellfish Carrion andthe Feeders, Eaters, Archaeology superbguide to the taphonomic ofAquatic American Adaptations. 66:413-432. archaeologists. The book is muchmorethana synthesis of a Antiquity Fitch, J.E. huge literature; Lyman revisitspublished analyses and A: FishRemains, 1969 Appendix from a reworks Plimarily Otoliths, data to illustrate usefulstatistical and techniques Ventura, California, Chumash VillageSite (VEN-3). In A provoke newquestions. CoastalChumash Excavation Ventura Village: ofShisholop, Memoirs of the California, by R. S. Greenwood. County, Southern California ofSciences8:56-70. Academy January 23, 2002; Accepted Januaty 23, 2002. 1972 FishRemains, from a Coastal Indian Received Primarily Otoliths,

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