Rising sea levels destroyed evidence of shell middens at many prehistoric coastal sites

In a new study, researchers confirm a theory from the 1970s that coastal hunter-gatherers processed much of their shellfish at the beach before returning with their meat to camps on higher ground, leaving the heavy shells by the water. This finding has dramatic implications for past analyses of hunter-gatherer diets — because many beachside shell middens would now be destroyed or underwater due to past sea level rises since the last Ice Age.