The Marsh Clam Almejeros of Costa Rica

VOORHIES, Barbara - University of California, Santa Barbara

The procurement and processing of small brackish water clams, Polymesoda spp., is a source of income for a handful of men living near the lower, tidal reaches of the Rio Tempisque. Procurement activities are scheduled according to the moon’s phases, and clam processing takes place at riverside locations close to the shoals where the clams are harvested. In this study I investigate the efficiency of clam harvesting and processing with special emphasis on the archaeological implications of the activities of 21st century clammers, or almejeros.