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Human Ecology and Archaeobiology

Human Impacts on Ancient Marine Ecosystems: A Global Perspective
Edited by Torben C. Rick and Jon M. Erlandson
Published by University of California Press

This highly interesting book expresses the hope that we can learn from early human impacts on the marine environment–from past ‘mistakes’–to shine a more focused light on future developments. We can only echo the editors’ faith that this approach will enhance the sustainability of the world’s marine ecosystems. This is a critical issue in the new era of marine science, and no one who wishes to participate in this debate–marine biologists, ecologists, coastal managers, archaeologists, anthropologists can do without the detailed case studies and conclusions presented in this book.—Marine Ecology

Concise, well-written [and] to-the-point —Jrnl of Ethnobiology

Rich in data and containing plentiful…paleoecological research useful to those studying terrestrial as well as marine ecosystems.—Antiquity

Excellent…provides an important foundation for understanding the impacts of prehistoric and historic humans on marine coastal ecosystems…It should be read by…archaeologists, ecologists, environmental scientists, historians, marine conservationists, fisheries managers, and policy makers.—Qtly Review of Biology

Archaeological data now show that relatively intense human adaptations to coastal environments developed much earlier than once believed—more than 125,000 years ago. With our oceans and marine fisheries currently in a state of crisis, coastal archaeological sites contain a wealth of data that can shed light on the history of human exploitation of marine ecosystems. In eleven case studies from the Americas, Pacific Islands, North Sea, Caribbean, Europe, and Africa, leading researchers working in coastal areas around the world cover diverse marine ecosystems, reaching into deep history to discover how humans interacted with and impacted these aquatic environments and shedding new light on our understanding of contemporary environmental problems.

List of Contributors
Atholl Anderson, C. Fred T. Andrus, Geoffrey N. Bailey, James Barrett, Bruce Bourque, Todd J. Braje, George Branch, Douglas Causey, Mark Clementz, Debra Corbett, Oliver Craig, Angela Doroff, Jon M. Erlandson, James Estes, Scott M. Fitzpatrick, Michael Graham, Antonieta Jerardino, Beverly Johnson, William F. Keegan, Douglas J. Kennett, Paul L. Koch, Christine Lefevre, Thomas H. McGovern, Natalia Martínez, Nicky Milner, Arturo Morales-Muñiz, Rene Navarro, Sophia Perdikaris, Elizabeth J. Reitz, Torben C. Rick, Eufrasia Roselló-Izquierdo, Daniel H. Sandweiss, Robert Steneck, Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, René L. Vellanoweth, Barbara Voorhies, Thomas A. Wake, and Dixie West


  1. Archaeology, Marine Ecology, and Human Impacts on Marine Environments
    Jon M. Erlandson and Torben C. Rick
  2. Short and Sometimes Sharp: Human Impacts on Marine Resources in the Archaeology and History of South Polynesia
    Atholl Anderson
  3. Aleut Hunters, Sea Otters, and Sea Cows: 3000 Years of Interactions in the Western Aleutian Islands, Alaska
    Debra Corbett, Douglas Causey, Mark Clementz, Paul L. Koch, Christine Lefevre, and Dixie West
  4. Historical Ecology and Human Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems of the Santa Barbara Channel Region, California
    Torben C. Rick, Jon M. Erlandson, Todd Braje, James A. Estes, Michael H. Graham, and René L. Vellanoweth
  5. Human Impacts on Marine Ecosystems in Guerrero, Mexico
    Douglas J. Kennett, Barbara Voorhies, Thomas A. Wake, and Natalia Martínez
  6. Ancient Fisheries and Marine Ecology of Coastal Peru
    Elizabeth J. Reitz, C. Fred T. Andrus, and Daniel H. Sandweiss
  7. Human Impacts on Marine Environments in the West Indies during the Middle to Late Holocene
    Scott M Fitzpatrick, William F. Keegan, and Kathleen Sullivan Sealey
  8. Possible Prehistoric Fishing Affects on Coastal Marine Food Webs in the Gulf of Maine
    Bruce J. Bourque, Beverley Johnson, and Robert S. Steneck
  9. Codfish and Kings, Seals and Subsistence: Norse Marine Resource Use in the North Atlantic
    Sophia Perdikaris and Thomas McGovern
  10. Historical Ecology of the North Sea Basin: An Archaeological Perspective and Some Problems of Methodology
    Geoff Bailey, James Barrett, Oliver Craig, and Nicky Milner
  11. Twenty Thousand Years of Fishing in the Strait: Archaeological Fish and Shellfish Assemblages from Southern Iberia
    Arturo Morales-Muñiz and Eufrasia Roselló-Izquierdo
  12. Human Impact on Precolonial West Coast Marine Environments of South Africa
    Antonieta Jerardino, George M. Branch, and Rene Navarro
  13. Archaeology, Historical Ecology, and the Future of the World’s Oceans
    Torben C. Rick and Jon M. Erlandson

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