On New Year's Day, I made the embryo of a shell midden. I had bought oysters for my wife, but she didn't like them much, so I finished them off for lunch. Briny molluscous slither-downs. I much prefer moules marinière.
In the distant past, people would eat a lot of shellfish over long periods near good oyster banks, building small hills of shells; køkkenmøddinger in Danish, "kitchen middens". They're common around the world and often full of interesting stuff beside the shells: other kinds of refuse, hearths with datable charcoal, sacrificial deposits, even burials.
Two things may immediately be deduced from shell middens:
1. These places must have reeked to high heaven of rotten fish.
2. People must have boiled or baked the oysters before eating them, as it is almost impossible to open a live oyster with a flint blade.
And so, there is ample precedent for anyone who wishes to have their oysters cooked: hundreds of generations of prehistoric fishers can't be wrong.
[More blog entries about oysters, food, archaeology, Denmark; ostron, mat, arkeologi, Danmark.]