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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Florida
  • Neill J Wallis
  • (352) 273-1920
  • Ginessa Mahar
Award Date:12/01/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 27,978
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 27,978
  • FY 2018=$27,978
Start Date:01/01/2018
End Date:12/31/2018
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award: Investigating the Social and Technological Implications of Mass-Capture Fishing
Federal Award ID Number:1764138
DUNS ID:969663814
Parent DUNS ID:159621697
Program:DDRI Archaeology
Program Officer:
  • John E. Yellen
  • (703) 292-8759

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:03

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Florida
Street:1 University of Florida
Cong. District:03

Abstract at Time of Award

Archaeological research provides a unique, long-term perspective on the dynamics among society, culture, technology and environment. Accordingly, archaeological studies of maritime adaptations have traditionally focused on long-term processes, broadening understanding of general trends such as resource depletion, often glossing over the consequences of specific events. This study focuses on a particular case of social and economic reorganization in order to illuminate the impact of innovation during times of punctuated social and political change. Just as industrialization has had a huge impact on fishing operations, fishing communities and fisheries populations in recent times, changes in fishing technology and resource use among pre-capitalist societies were closely tied to social, political, and economic reorganization. This project presents a rare opportunity to connect archaeological data that stretches back millennia to historical and modern day fisheries data in order to better understand the factors that promote continuity and the forces that generate abrupt and lasting change. The results of this research will be shared globally, and will provide a deep-time perspective on fishery sustainability. Student participants in this research will receive training and experience in archaeological laboratory methods, faunal analysis and specimen curation. University of Florida doctoral student Ginessa Mahar, supervised by Dr. Neill Wallis, will investigate how changing social, political, and economic circumstances among coastal fisher-hunter-gatherer societies affected subsistence practices and technological innovation. During the Woodland era of the Southeastern USA, the appearance of complex civic-ceremonial centers indicates political, economic, and social reorganization on the part of formerly small-scale dispersed societies. Such developments likely required a complete reorganization of subsistence practices to facilitate these unprecedented large gatherings. This study investigates the traditional fishing practices of Early Woodland (500 B.C. - A.D. 200) coastal communities along the northern Gulf Coast of Florida and how they were affected by the intensification of ritual practices after A.D. 200, when complex civic-ceremonial centers were constructed and inhabited. Specifically, this study asks if traditional fishing protocols were expanded to facilitate such gatherings as well as daily consumption at civic-ceremonial centers, or if innovative practices were developed and executed. Archaeological samples will be analyzed from multiple sites that date prior to, during, and after the onset of these centers. Fish bones from these archaeological contexts will be used to assess the type and scale of technology used to facilitate the changing needs of these coastal communities. Fish size is critical to the assessment of resource acquisition, timing, and resource sustainability, thus allometric formulae will be generated using modern specimens from the Gulf of Mexico provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This project also incorporates the results of previously conducted research including ethnographic fieldwork, experimental fish capture, and archaeological material culture analysis. The data generated by this project will benefit not only archaeological studies within the region but also multi-disciplinary, long-term fisheries projects worldwide.

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