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1 July 2016 Trends in Marine Foraging in Precontact and Historic Leeward Kohala, Hawai‘i Island
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Traditional Hawaiian fishing and marine exploitation have been studied using both ethnographic and archaeological approaches, but few studies have attempted to investigate intensity of marine foraging over time at a regional scale. In this paper we examine Hawaiian exploitation of the marine eco-system of the leeward coast of Kohala, located on the northern tip of Hawai‘i Island. Over 158,000 specimens of fish, mollusks, arthropods, and echinoderms were recovered during archaeological excavation of 57 precontact (i.e., pre—AD 1778) residential features. These residences span a period of roughly 500 yr and are located both along the coast and in the interior. For these sites, we analyzed taxonomic abundance (NISP), number of taxa (NTAXA), taxonomic evenness, prey indices, and body-size changes over time. Results indicate that intensity of marine foraging increased over time, mirroring trends in increased numbers of residences (and inferred increases in human population size). There were no apparent declines in abundance of particular marine taxa. There were some differences in movement of marine resources into the upland Leeward Kohala Field System (LKFS), with larger-sized fish, mollusks, and echinoderms transported in increasing numbers. Examination of changes in body size suggest significant harvest pressure on fish and mollusks during the first 400 yr of human occupation and population rebound following human abandonment of the region in the postcontact period.

© 2016 by University of Hawai‘i Press All rights reserved
Julie S. Field, Jacqueline N. Lipphardt, and Patrick V. Kirch "Trends in Marine Foraging in Precontact and Historic Leeward Kohala, Hawai‘i Island," Pacific Science 70(3), 287-307, (1 July 2016).
Accepted: 1 December 2015; Published: 1 July 2016

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