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Q: Clam knives ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Clam knives
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: themothershucker-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 19 Feb 2003 10:07 PST
Expires: 21 Mar 2003 10:07 PST
Question ID: 163503
When was the clam knife invented?
Subject: Re: Clam knives
Answered By: kutsavi-ga on 20 Mar 2003 17:05 PST
Hey there Mothershucker ;-)

Bet you thought your question was forgotten about.  Not the case, just
hard to find information on the actual invention of the shucking
knife.  That's because the invention goes back to prehistoric times,
and so we have no recorded evidence of the actual invention.  I *did*
find the following of interest, however regarding some prehistoric
evidence of shucking at this web site:

Black, David W. and Whitehead, Ruth Holmes. (1988). Prehistoric
shellfish preservation and storage on the northeast coast. North
American Archaeologist. 9(1). pg. 17-30. X.

"The building of substantial structures for drying and smoking
shellfish would have been an unnecessary and therefore unlikely
expenditure of energy unless other, bulkier types of meat or fish were
to be preserved at the same time. Shellfish could have been sun-dried
rapidly by shucking them and spreading the shucked meat on birch-bark
sheets in the sun. For smoking, stringing small pieces of meat such as
shellfish on spruce roots and hanging them over a fire, either outside
our inside the wigwam, would have been the most efficient method of
preservation and storage (see Willoughby, 1935:211-212 for a
discussion and ethnographic substantiation of these points). None of
these methods would necessarily leave discernible archaeological
traces except for the deposits of shucked shells themselves."

Searching the web under shell middens provides tons of information on
prehistoric shuckers like this from Outside Online at:

Regarding the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge at Cedar Key in

"And nearby is Cedar Key's great northern buffer to development, the
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. In this 52,000-acre
sanctuary, one of the nation's largest unspoiled delta-estuarine
systems, you can hike and canoe and stroll along the boardwalk on the
banks of the tannin-dark Suwannee. On your way back to town, turn
right on Levy County 326, which dead-ends at Shell Mound (whose
namesake is a five-acre wide, 28-foot-tall pile of oyster shells), for
a superb lookout over an endless stretch of marshlands and winding
creeks. From the top of the mound sprouts a bevy of ancient oaks,
their grasping roots uplifting seemingly endless strata of shells.
Archaeologists believe this colossal midden represents 3,500
uninterrupted years of contented shucking by the Timucuan Indiansła
heritage celebrated in Cedar Key with a seafood festival held each

Hope this satisfies your question.  If you'd like further information
or clarification, don't hesitate to use the "Request Clarification"

Happy Shucking!


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