West Berkeley Shellmound, A New Perspective

Ariadna González Aguilera Scholar in Action photo

Ariadna González Aguilera : Anthropology major

Mentor: Kent Lightfoot, Anthropology

Ariadna’s research project will focus on the West Berkeley Shellmound, an ancient village site that was once situated on the San Francisco Bay shoreline in Berkeley, California. Her thesis is directed toward understanding how Native American societies interacted with their environment during the last 5000 years. Research will be conducted on animal remains from the shellmound, using curated materials excavated in the early and mid-twentieth century, to understand ancient fisheries and fishing practices. Archaeological analyses of fisheries can contribute to historical baseline data relevant for conservation biology, restoration ecology, and fisheries management. As historical survey of fishes occurred after impacts to the bay, archaeological data will provide a source of historical information to understand the structure, range, and relative abundance of ancient fishes that can inform contemporary fisheries management.