Research Associate Gabriel Sanchez publishes in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports on reconstructing ancient Pacific herring size

Department of Anthropology Dean’s Research Associate Dr. Gabriel Sanchez recently published an article in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, entitled “Indigenous stewardship of marine and estuarine fisheries?: Reconstructing the ancient size of Pacific herring through linear regression models”. The article discusses reconstructing the size of Pacific herring from archaeological sites in Point Reyes National Seashore, California, and the implications these findings have on understanding ancient fishing practices and indigenous stewardship of the area’s fishery.

Read the full article at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.102061

Abstract: “Linear regression models constructed from modern fish skeletal collections and applied to archaeological fish remains have a long history in archaeological practice. These data are often employed by researchers to understand ancient human impacts on ichthyofaunas, to consider changes in fishing technologies and techniques, and the effects of environmental change. In this study, I build and apply linear regression formulae of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii), a keystone and umbrella forage fish to faunal materials from Point Reyes National Seashore on the central California coast, which date to the Late Holocene. Through the application of these formulae to archaeological Pacific herring skeletal elements, I reconstruct the standard length of ancient Pacific herring. The findings are compared to Pacific herring standard length data gathered by the Californian Department of Fish and Wildlife within Point Reyes and Bodega Bay. These data suggest that Coast Miwok fishers may have used standardized net mesh size to capture Pacific herring selectively. These findings are consistent with expectations from the indigenous coastal management and ecological literature.”

03.31.20