Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology

Schleswig, Germany

Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology

Schleswig, Germany
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

Krause-Kyora B.,University of Kiel | Makarewicz C.,University of Kiel | Evin A.,University of Aberdeen | Evin A.,French National Center for Scientific Research | And 10 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2013

Mesolithic populations throughout Europe used diverse resource exploitation strategies that focused heavily on collecting and hunting wild prey. Between 5500 and 4200 cal BC, agriculturalists migrated into northwestern Europe bringing a suite of Neolithic technologies including domesticated animals. Here we investigate to what extent Mesolithic Ertebølle communities in northern Germany had access to domestic pigs, possibly through contact with neighbouring Neolithic agricultural groups. We employ a multidisciplinary approach, applying sequencing of ancient mitochondrial and nuclear DNA (coat colour-coding gene MC1R) as well as traditional and geometric morphometric (molar size and shape) analyses in Sus specimens from 17 Neolithic and Ertebølle sites. Our data from 63 ancient pig specimens show that Ertebølle hunter-gatherers acquired domestic pigs of varying size and coat colour that had both Near Eastern and European mitochondrial DNA ancestry. Our results also reveal that domestic pigs were present in the region ∼500 years earlier than previously demonstrated. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Mueller C.,Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences | Woelz S.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Kalmring S.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology | Year: 2013

Offshore 3D-seismic acquisition has been a standard for high-precision structural imaging in the oil and gas industry for many years. Recently this technique has been adapted by only a few teams to the resolution required for archaeological marine investigation. In contrast to sonar techniques, the 3D-seismic method produces images below the sea-floor. We investigate the harbour of the Viking age proto-town of Hedeby in Northern Germany with the SEAMAP-3D system. SEAMAP-3D allows for rapid acquisition and employs an automated data processing sequence. We observe a wealth of archaeologically relevant detail and compare our results with previous work. © 2013 The Authors. © 2013 The Nautical Archaeology Society.


Rakowski A.Z.,Leibniz Laboratory for Radiometric Dating and Isotope Research | Rakowski A.Z.,Silesian University of Technology | Nakamura T.,Nagoya University | Pazdur A.,Silesian University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2013

Tree-ring samples were taken from a from a pine tree (Pinus pinea) growing in Villar de Peralonso, a rural area 50 km west of the city of Salamanca, Spain. All samples were processed to extract α-cellulose and the radiocarbon concentration in each annual ring was measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Nagoya, Japan. The data set covers a growth period between 1979 and 2006, and represents the concentrations of 14C in a "clean area." The average difference between 14C concentrations in Villar de Peralonso and NH zone 1 for the period 1979-1999 is 4.1 ± 1.3‰. A sample was taken to obtain the reference level of 14C for the Iberian Peninsula, for a study of anthropogenic emission of CO2 in urban areas. As part of the initial study, 14C concentration data in tree rings from the city of Valladolid were used to recalculate the fossil fuel component (cfoss) using reference data from Villar de Peralonso. © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Ritchie K.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | Hufthammer A.K.,University of Bergen | Bergsvik K.A.,University of Bergen
Environmental Archaeology | Year: 2016

Recent excavations at two rockshelters (Olsteinhelleren and Sævarhelleren) on the Hardanger fjord in Western Norway have provided an unparalleled opportunity to examine the Mesolithic subsistence economy of this region. Thousands of fish remains (as well as numerous mammal and bird bones) have been analysed from these assemblages. Results show that the fishery was dominated by gadids, but labrids and salmonids were also important. Many other fish were present in small quantities, including the first specimen of sturgeon from the Stone Age of Norway. The transition to a more specialised fishery at the younger site, Olsteinhelleren, may be a reflection of a switch to the use of this locality as a logistic camp for the targeting of gadid fish. © Association for Environmental Archaeology 2016


Bocherens H.,University of Tübingen | Hofman-Kaminska E.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Drucker D.G.,University of Tübingen | Schmolcke U.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | Kowalczyk R.,Polish Academy of Sciences
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

According to the refugee species concept, increasing replacement of open steppe by forest cover after the last glacial period and human pressure had together forced European bison (Bison bonasus) - the largest extant terrestrial mammal of Europe - into forests as a refuge habitat. The consequent decreased fitness and population density led to the gradual extinction of the species. Understanding the pre-refugee ecology of the species may help its conservation management and ensure its long time survival. In view of this, we investigated the abundance of stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) in radiocarbon dated skeletal remains of European bison and other large herbivores - aurochs (Bos primigenius), moose (Alces alces), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) - from the Early Holocene of northern Europe to reconstruct their dietary habits and pattern of habitat use in conditions of low human influence. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic compositions in collagen of the ungulate species in northern central Europe during the Early Holocene showed significant differences in the habitat use and the diet of these herbivores. The values of the δ13C and δ15N isotopes reflected the use of open habitats by bison, with their diet intermediate between that of aurochs (grazer) and of moose (browser). Our results show that, despite the partial overlap in carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of some species, Early Holocene large ungulates avoided competition by selection of different habitats or different food sources within similar environments. Although Early Holocene bison and Late Pleistocene steppe bison utilized open habitats, their diets were significantly different, as reflected by their δ15N values. Additional isotopic analyses show that modern populations of European bison utilize much more forested habitats than Early Holocene bison, which supports the refugee status of the species. © 2015 Bocherens et al.


PubMed | University of Tübingen, Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology and Polish Academy of Sciences
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

According to the refugee species concept, increasing replacement of open steppe by forest cover after the last glacial period and human pressure had together forced European bison (Bison bonasus)--the largest extant terrestrial mammal of Europe--into forests as a refuge habitat. The consequent decreased fitness and population density led to the gradual extinction of the species. Understanding the pre-refugee ecology of the species may help its conservation management and ensure its long time survival. In view of this, we investigated the abundance of stable isotopes (13C and 15N) in radiocarbon dated skeletal remains of European bison and other large herbivores--aurochs (Bos primigenius), moose (Alces alces), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)--from the Early Holocene of northern Europe to reconstruct their dietary habits and pattern of habitat use in conditions of low human influence. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic compositions in collagen of the ungulate species in northern central Europe during the Early Holocene showed significant differences in the habitat use and the diet of these herbivores. The values of the 13C and 15N isotopes reflected the use of open habitats by bison, with their diet intermediate between that of aurochs (grazer) and of moose (browser). Our results show that, despite the partial overlap in carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of some species, Early Holocene large ungulates avoided competition by selection of different habitats or different food sources within similar environments. Although Early Holocene bison and Late Pleistocene steppe bison utilized open habitats, their diets were significantly different, as reflected by their 15N values. Additional isotopic analyses show that modern populations of European bison utilize much more forested habitats than Early Holocene bison, which supports the refugee status of the species.


Fernandes R.,University of Kiel | Fernandes R.,University of Cambridge | Meadows J.,University of Kiel | Meadows J.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2014

Stable isotope analysis represents the principal scientific technique used in the reconstruction of ancient human diet. Characterisation of human diet requires that the isotopic baseline is established, i.e. the isotopic signals of consumed food groups. However, cooking may alter the bulk isotopic signal of food groups through the selective loss of macronutrients or biochemical components with different isotopic signals. In this study, we investigate the influence of cooking on the stable isotope values of raw flesh of two fish species (mackerel, with a high fat content, and haddock, having a low fat content) using three potential prehistoric cooking methods. The fish were boiled in a pot, grilled beside an open fire, and steamed in hot sand. Cooking times and temperatures were monitored. Stable isotope ratios (δ13C and δ15N) were measured on multiple fractions (bulk flesh, lipids, lipid-extracted flesh, water-extracted flesh, water-soluble compounds, and fish-bone collagen) before and after cooking. The results show that, for some fractions, cooking modified the composition, but changes in isotopic values relative to raw fish were in general <1‰. The results also show that isotopic signals of fish-bone collagen were not significantly altered during cooking, and confirm previous findings that showed significant isotopic offsets between fish-bone collagen and edible fish fractions. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Meadows J.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | Meadows J.,University of Kiel | Lubke H.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | Zagorska I.,University of Latvia | And 3 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2014

Riņņukalns is the only known prehistoric shell midden in the eastern Baltic, and is one of the few middens in northern Europe consisting mainly of freshwater mussel shells. Situated on the Salaca River at the outlet of Lake Burtnieks, in northeastern Latvia, the site was originally excavated in the 1870s, and reinvestigated several times over the following decades. A new excavation in 2011 showed that part of the midden remained intact. The new exposure, dated to the later 4th millennium cal BC, yielded rich fishbone and mollusk shell assemblages, herbivore, human and bird bones, and a wide range of artifacts typical of a subsistence economy based on fishing, hunting, and gathering. Human remains from burials excavated in the 1870s were also located in archives. The co-occurrence at Riņņukalns of human remains with a broad range of terrestrial and aquatic food remains provides an ideal setting to study freshwater reservoir effects and other isotopic signals of diet and mobility. The extent of 14C depletion in local freshwater resources is an essential parameter for such studies; on the basis of 14C ages of modern and paleoenvironmental samples, we estimate that the applicable reservoir age in Lake Burtnieks is in the order of 800-900 14C yr. © 2014 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Nikulina E.A.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | Schmolcke U.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology
Environmental Archaeology | Year: 2016

The sturgeon was an important dietary resource for people living in the eastern North Sea coastal area, especially in the 19th century but also in previous millennia. However, since the discovery in 2002 that not only the European sturgeon (A. sturio) but also the Atlantic sturgeon (A. oxyrinchus) occurred in northern European waters, we still do not know which of these species was dominant in the North Sea and hence of primary economic importance. The 800-year-old, well-preserved sturgeon remains presented in this paper, from the ringfort Itzehoe by the Stör River (which is a tributary of the Elbe in northern Germany), provides an opportunity to answer the question for the first time. The aDNA amplified and sequenced from seven bones of at least five different individuals derives from A. oxyrinchus exclusively. Moreover, morphological analyses of the whole assemblage of 15 bones provided no evidence for the presence of A. sturio. Even though the dataset is still too small for general reconstructions, this study demonstrates the occurrence and possibly the dominance of the Atlantic sturgeon in at least parts of the North Sea region 800 years ago. However, further research is necessary to prove if A. oxyrinchus was the only sturgeon species in the North Sea then. © 2015, © Association for Environmental Archaeology 2015.


Schmolcke U.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | Ritchie K.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2010

A new method to reconstruct aquatic palaeoenvironments is presented. It is based on a non-metrical 'fish environment reconstruction index' (FERI), calculated for the total fish community recorded at an archaeological site. As an example, a FERI is generated for the Baltic Sea using the ecological requirements of northern European fish species. The present study evaluates the proposed method by using fish bone assemblages from a region (the middle Holocene Baltic Sea coast) with well-studied hydrographic history. The bones originate from consecutive human riparian and coastal settlements of hunter-gatherers. The results obtained for the parameters salinity and sediment structure correlate well with geological knowledge. The new method shows a successive change from freshwater to brackish and finally to nearly marine conditions before, during, and towards the end of the marine transgression that created the present Baltic Sea. Additionally, a shift in the sediment structure from muddy to sandy/rocky conditions is recognisable. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Loading Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology collaborators
Loading Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology collaborators