When excavating a clam garden, archaeologists seek once living materials that can be radiocarbon dated, such as clam shells or barnacle scars. When a clam garden rock wall was originally built, and then afterwards when sediments accumulated on the nearly created clam garden terrace, shellfish or barnacles became trapped and died. Since these organisms contain carbon, they can be radiocarbon dated to determine the age of the clam garden.

Radio1.jpg
Radio2.png

Joanne McSporran

Joanne McSporran

Daryl Fedje trenching a clam garden wall to find shells for radiocarbon dating that were trapped in the building of the wall. 

A clam shell that was trapped and died during the building of the wall (circled in red). Dating the time of death of this clam gives us a date on when the wall was built.

Radio 3.png
Radio4_edited.png

Dana Lepofsky

Dana Lepofsky

Scars from barnacles on rocks that were moved to make the wall are excellent ways to date wall building. 

Scars from barnacles on rocks that were moved to make the wall are excellent ways to date wall building. 

Radio5.png

Nicole Smith

Dana Lepofsky excavating a clam garden wall to find material for radiocarbon dating.

Also explore...

7DJI_0331.JPG
JohnSIII20-01MaryMorris.jpg