3. The Whelks from Carisbrooke

Kitchen-midden 7325 was relatively rich in whelks: the remains of at least 59 individuals were hand-retrieved. Whelk preservation was quite good: the four dimensions often measured on whelks (shell height, shell width, aperture height and aperture width) (Figure 4) were measurable or estimable to the nearest millimetre in 32 shells; post-depositional damage to the lip of the aperture in a further 16 meant only the shell height could be measured. Since archaeological whelks are uncommon, these whelks were subjected to full analysis along with most of the marine shells from the project (Campbell 2013). Statistical analysis of the measurements was performed with Version 1.91 of the statistical freeware, PAST (Hammer et al. 2001); results were considered significantly different from chance alone if the probability of a result was less than one in 20 (P <0.05).

Figure 4
Figure 4: Dimensions (in mm) measured on the intact whelks (B. undatum) in midden 7325 at Carisbrooke. H: shell height; Hap: aperture height; W: shell width; Wap: aperture width. (Image credit: after Thomas and Himmelman 1988).