Cod, Clams and Deer: The Food Remains from Indiantown Island

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The Indiantown Island site is a large shell midden located on an inshore island on the central Maine coast. The Indiantown Island project addresses some of the questions of quantities of various material contributed to the formation of the shell midden itself. The Indiantown Island site represents a winter and spring occupation with deer and codfish dominating the vertebrate assemblage. The dietary importance of shellfish is demonstrated by the results reported here. Column samples and screening techniques were used to recover all of the shell in a limited sample of shell midden, and quantify (by weight) the relative contributions of shellfish and vertebrate protein to the paleo-diet. Leaving aside the question of fat or lipids, which are relatively much more abundant in fish and mammals on a seasonal basis, this work reconstructs the relative protein contribution of shellfish.

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