Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses, Capstones, and Portfolios

Date of Award


Document Type


Granting Institution

Lynn University

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Program

Biological Science


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Alanna Lecher


In this archeological study of a barrier island shell midden in Boca Raton, FL, we evaluate possible environmental and cultural changes that occurred through time by performing a quantitative analysis of shell artifacts of Giant False Donax (Iphigenia brasiliana) and Common Atlantic Oyster (Crassostrea virginica) collected from the shell midden. Middens are archeological trash sites used by researchers to identify artifacts used by past populations to understand their behaviors. The artifacts collected in shallow portion of the midden are younger (therein representing more recent time periods) and the artifacts collected at the deeper portion are older artifacts (therein representing older time periods).

Generally, changes across the metrics measured (oyster size, diversity analysis, height length ratios, and sponge borehole patterns) indicate either salinity changes in the local environment or harvesting strategies. Results could also indicate that there was harvesting pressure during periods of times where shell sizes were smaller. The evidence of reef oysters can also be linked with evidence of attachment in samples. The findings in this research provide insights for evidence of human and environmental influence occurring in South Inlet Park in Florida. Through, cohesive analysis of the oyster, effects of environmental changes and harvesting techniques are clearly present.

Included in

Biology Commons



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