Date of Award

Winter 12-9-2016

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Sturgeons are not found often in the archaeological record due to their largely cartilaginous skeleton. What remains are the scutes, bony scale-like plates found on the outside of the body, and some diagnostic cranial features. Perhaps due to this, little is known about sturgeon or their anthropological uses in the past. Due to the size of a site excavated on the Oregon Coast, the collection contains an uncommon amount of archaeological sturgeon bones. The two sturgeon species on the Northwest coast, the green and white, have historically been heavily fished; resulting in a conservation concern for the fishery. As species determination may prove to be difficult, due to the lack of knowledge or fragmentation of the bones, ancient DNA analysis will be preformed at the University of Oklahoma. The project is focused on understanding the prehistoric sturgeon fishery through the analysis of sturgeon osteology, species identification, and sturgeon ecology. This information will hopefully ultimately be used to assist current conservation efforts.