The subject of molluscs in archaeology has not been dealt with collectively for several decades. This new volume in Oxbow's Studying Scientific Archaeology series addresses many aspects of molluscs in archaeology.
It will give the reader an overview of the whole topic; methods of analysis and approaches to interpretation. It aims to be a broad based text book giving readers an insight of how to apply analysis to different present and past landscapes and how to interpret those landscapes.
It includes Marine, Freshwater and land snails studies, and examines topics such as diet, economy, climate, environmental and land-use, isotopes and molluscs as artefacts. It aims to provide archaeologists and students with the first port of call giving them a) methods and principles, and b) the potential information molluscs can provide.
It concentrates on analysis and interpretation most archaeologists and students can undertake and understand, and to 'review' the 'heavier' science in terms of potential, application and interpretational value.
"Fossilised molluscan shell remains are important tools in the interpretation of the past. In many archaeological contexts, they not only can provide information about the environments where people lived and how their activities changed these environments, but also shed light on how they lived their lives [...] This new volume is a timely successor to two earlier ones dealing with snails and archaeology [...] Molluscs in Archaeology is very well illustrated, with numerous, well-chosen figures, charts, diagrams and photographs. It is difficult to suggest improvements to the book, but a couple of things might be considered. [...] It is a testament to the appeal of this book that the first print run sold out in 2017, and sales of the second release are now well advanced. This success is a tribute to Mike Allen’s lifetime passion for this subject and his skill in recruiting such an excellent team of fellow contributors."
– Martin J. Willing, British Wildlife 29(3), February 2018