Shells

Various types of shell deposits were recorded in the form of middens, burial fills, tool making debris, and artefacts.

There are shell middens at Ille that were composed of debris of bi-valves. It is inferred that these features found in the West mouth excavation were work areas for the production of shell implements(Layers 9 & 10 near the east wall of the West mouth excavation). Shell artefacts in the form of beads, burins, and scoops were also recovered in the features. Fragments of Tridacna shells were also recovered that looked like they were the by product of a manufacturing process. The implements were from this manufacturing process were not recovered. A shell lingling-o was however recovered from fill material at the East mouth. The raw material for this earring was determined in post-excavation analysis as shell of a Tridacna sp. (Szabo pers. comm.)

Shell remains at Ille can be categorized into gastropods and bivalves. The gastropods come from the family Neritidae, such as, Cerithidea obtusa, Melanoides torrulosa, Terebralia sulcata, Chicoreus capucinus, Strombus canarium, Melo diadema, Telescopium telescopium and Trochidae tronchus. The bivalves were mostly Batissa violacea, Gafrarium tumidum, Saccrostrea culcullata, Tellina disculus, Tellina staurella and Anadara granosa. These shells come from an environment that is mainly freshwater and marine/estuarine.

The dominant bivalve species recovered from Ille is Batissa violacea, followed by Gafrarium tumidum and Saccrostrea culcullata. For gastropod shells, shells from the family Neritidae is the most dominant, followed by the species Melanoides torrulosa and Cerithidea obtusa. When it comes to human utilization, the Batissa biolacea shells was the most dominant. The shell has substantial meat for human consumption and the shells afterwards were utilised for several functions, such as for scraping, boring, and as raw material for ornamentation.

 

 
 

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