Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (xv, 539 pages) : illustrations (some color), maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Sean Rafferty

Committee Members

Christina Rieth, Christopher Wolff, Marilyn Masson, Veronica Perez Rodriguez


Environment, Native American, Northeast, Stable Isotopes, Zooarchaeology, Paleo-Indians, Paleoecology, Paleoanthropology, Excavations (Archaeology)

Subject Categories

History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


The role of humans in pre-Contact ecosystems has been a focus of archaeological attention for decades in New England, where Native groups continue to live after over 10,000 years of settlement. On Martha’s Vineyard, a small island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, research has often focused on models of coastal specialization, particularly within the many shell middens that litter the coastline. This dissertation seeks to understand human interactions with this environment from two shell middens: the Frisby Butler and Hornblower II sites, located on the shores of Squibnocket Pond in southwestern Martha’s Vineyard. This study was motivated by three research objectives: 1) to evaluate human occupation on the island during the Late Archaic and Woodland eras; 2) to examine the use of animals in diet and in ritual; and 3) to construct a model of human interactions with paleoenvironment in this coastal landscape.