The Archaeology of Herring – Nash Harbor

Nash Harbor (49-NI-003) is a site excavated by Dennis Griffin, now the Oregon SHPO Archaeologist, but formerly a UO graduate student.  The fish remains were studied by Paul Souders, another former student of mine.  Paul has been living in China for more than several years, and although he no longer does archaeology, both Paul and Dennis are in my mind as I sort through Nash Harbor specimens looking for herring bones.

Pacific cod bones from Nash Harbor (brown) shown in relation to UO comparative Gadus macrocephalus specimen (white). one of my favorite fish. Photo by M. Moss.

Dennis and Paul did the work that will allow me (eventually) to obtain herring bones to submit for aDNA testing. I am also grateful to a new colleague, Steven Street, Archaeologist with the Association of Village Council Presidents in Bethel.  Steven is the one who has been locating the appropriate specimen numbers and sending them to me.  So thank you to Dennis, Paul, and Steve.  I still marvel at the tremendous size of the most important fish taxon found at Nash Harbor: Pacific cod.  Just look at how big these Nash Harbor cod are compared to our comparative collection specimen! (which was 67 cm long [standard length]).  This reminds me to also thank Diane Hanson, University of Alaska, who sent me the cod, and Torrey Rick who processed it.



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