Prehistoric and Historic Coastal Occupations: Riverview Estates Subdivision
During a Phase I archaeological reconnaissance survey on the property of the early 19th Century Solomon Rogers House in Waterford, Connecticut, ACS located and identified a Late Woodland to Contact period open habitation site. The site lies on the east side of Niantic Bay in an area known to have been inhabited by aboriginal populations until the 18th Century. ACS was able to demonstrate that changing ecological conditions contributed to the shifting distribution of shellfish species collected during the occupation of this site.
Solomon Rogers House
Earlier occupants of the Rogers Site, based on relative preservation states, predominantly relied upon Mya arenaria (soft shell clam) during a cooler environmental phase, while later occupants mostly relied upon the warmer adapted Argopectan irradians (Atlantic bay scallop). Evidence for mass shellfish procurement included a high density of dispersed shell remains as well as refuse pits containing large quantities of stacked scallop shell halves. This site was important, not only in demonstrating its potential for revealing changing ecological conditions and resource procurement strategies, but for its potential in showing latent aboriginal cultural adaptations that were severely altered or eradicated elsewhere during the Contact period.
Mercenaria mercenaria - the northern quahog. This species was a common food source consumed by coastal Native American groups. The shell was also used for the production of wampum, or purple and white shell beads that were exchanged with other inland Native American groups.