Mystery Shell

Data: Dear sir/madam,

I take the liberty of e-mailing you after finding your interesting website.
I am trying to identify a mollusc recovered from an archaeological context on the south coats of Peru, during recent excavations.
I attach a photo here.
I would be very grateful for any information you might be able to offer me.

Apologies for any bother,

Yours -
David Beresford-Jones

Dr. David Beresford-Jones,
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow,
George Pitt-Rivers Archaeobotanical Laboratory, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge,
CB2 3ER,

Send Ideas to: David





  • Mytilidae; I don't have a handy reference on the exact species present in Peru with sculpture like that, but a couple of the Brachidontes species listed in Keen are similar. This would probably be an intertidal species, fairly convenient for people to harvest and then dump the shells after their dinner of mussels marinara or whatever the local equivalent was. ...Dr. David Campbell


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