Shell dating

Waikato's Radiocarbon Dating Research

Weipa shell mounds project (Photo courtesy Tim Mackrell, Auckland University).

The remains of shellfish are found throughout the pacific and provide a wealth of information about economy, culture, environment and climate. Research at the Waikato Radiocarbon Dating laboratory has highlighted differences in 14C value for many commonly dated Pacific shellfish species and has demonstrated the importance of tailoring sample selection to species habitat and dietary preferences, as well as local ocean conditions.

Related research projects:

Selected publications:

  • Petchey F, G Clark, I Lindeman, P O’Day, J Southon, K Dabell, & O Winter, 2018. Shellfish Isotopic insight into changing sea-level and associated impact on the first settlers of the Mariana Archipelago. Quaternary Geochronology, 48:180-194.
  • Petchey F, G Clark, O Winter, P O'Day, & M Lister, 2016. Colonization of Remote Oceania: New dates for the Bapot-1 site in the Mariana Islands. Archaeology in Oceania, 52(2):108-126.
  • Petchey F, S Ulm, B David, IJ McNiven, B Asmussen, H Tomkins, N Dolby, K Aplin, T Richards, C Rowe, M Leavesley and H Mandui, 2013. High-resolution radiocarbon dating of marine materials in archaeological contexts: Radiocarbon marine reservoir variability between Anadara, Gafrarium, Batissa, Polymesoda and Echinoidea at Caution Bay, Southern Coastal Papua New Guinea. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 5(1):69-80.
  • Petchey F, S Ulm 2012. Marine reservoir variation in the Bismarck region. An evaluation of spatial and temporal variation in ΔR and R over the last 3000 years. Radiocarbon, 54(1):145-58.
  • Petchey F, S Ulm, B David, IJ McNiven, B Asmussen, H Tomkins, T Richards, C Rowe, M Leavesley and H Mandui, J. Stansice 2012. 14C marine reservoir variability in herbivores and deposit-feeding gastropds from an open coastline, Papua New Guinea. Radiocarbon, 54(3-4):967-978.
  • Petchey F, G Clark, 2011.Tongatapu Hardwater: Investigation into the 14C marine reservoir offset in lagoon, reef and open ocean environments of a limestone island. Quaternary Geochronology, 6:539-549.