Archaeology and Biogeography of Prehistoric Freshwater Mussel Shell in Mississippi

Evan Peacock, Cliff Jenkins, Paul F. Jacobs, and Joseph Greenleaf


The southeastern United States is home to the richest, most diverse freshwater mussel faunas on the planet, and Mississippi is no exception in this regard. Until fairly recent times, however, only qualitative lists of taxa were available and/or sampling was unsystematic and spotty. More recent work has taken place in waterways that have been significantly impacted by erosion, other forms of water pollution, and impoundment in modern times. Thus, even the best modern studies could benefit from a better knowledge of ranges and community characteristics as they existed prehistorically, when human impact, though present, an to this end this work presents a robust synthesis of pre-industrial mussel distributions and relative abundances in the state.