Coastal Adaptations

Caroline Wickham-Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The coastal environment offers many advantages for hunter-gatherer groups worldwide. True maritime adaption involves a fundamental reliance on coastal resources, though not to the complete exclusion of terrestrial resources. Despite the exploitation of aquatic material (both fresh water and marine) from early on, a full adaption to the use of coastal resources is only recorded archaeologically from the early Holocene. The extent to which the coastal record has been biased by past sea-level change and the lack of visibility of sites now submerged remains open to question. Nevertheless, a number of factors played a significant role as de-glaciation progressed: the availability of ice-free coasts; afforestation and resource development; and the human desire to innovate. These issues are explored in three case study areas: north-west Europe, the Pacific coasts of North America, and Tierra del Fuego in South America.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers
EditorsVicki Cummings, Peter Jordan, Marek Zvelebil
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199551224
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • aquatic
  • early Holocene
  • maritime
  • submerged


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