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Help with Ancient Maya Offering Shells
09-29-2010, 03:25 PM,
Help with Ancient Maya Offering Shells
Hello, everyone!

I work for an archaeological project that discovered a rich Classic Maya (ca. 250-900 AD) tomb with lots of imported seashells (Oliva, Spondylus spp.).

In another part of the site, we discovered an offering that had some very different shells, some of which are proving difficult for our malecologically-challenged team to identify.
Four photos here: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

Any help with these four would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.



P.S. More about the tomb here: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... a-science/</a><!-- m -->

09-29-2010, 11:32 PM,
Re: Help with Ancient Maya Offering Shells
Hi James,
#1 is a Nerita (family Neritidae).  Not sure of the species.
#2 is Cittarium pica (family Trochidae), a common shallow water Caribbean species.
#3 is Cyphoma gibbosum (family Ovulidae), common Caribbean species. Glossy orange when fresh.
#4 is a bivalve, too damaged to be certain even of the family

Just noticed your web address -  I'm in Providence!
09-30-2010, 09:00 AM,
Re: Help with Ancient Maya Offering Shells
Fascinating article! The Nerita would probably be N. versicolora but hard to tell as it is very worn.
10-02-2010, 02:45 AM,
Re: Help with Ancient Maya Offering Shells
Hi, everyone!
Could it be possible for #1 to be Nerita tessellata because of the tiny teeth at the inner margin of the opening? As far as I remember, N. versicolor has more prominent teeth. But, anyway, they might be worn, too.
For me it´s difficult to make a decision between Cyphoma gibbosum and Cyphoma signatum, only on the basis of shell morphology. Are there some characteristic differences?
Kind regards: wolf

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