Very little, or no specialized equipment is required to gather many of these sea foods. We would expect to see evidence for shellfish consumption in prehistory, since the discarded shell can remain for long periods. In fact the earliest evidence for shellfish consumption dates back to a 300,000 year old site in France called Terra Amata. This is a hominid site as modern Homo sapiens did not appear until around 50,000 years ago. The importance of shellfish in prehistoric diet has been the source of much debate in archaeology. Sometimes they are referred to as a famine food and their nutritional value is played down at the expense of terrestrial or non-marine food sources.