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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.

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

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.

Bocherens H.,University of Tubingen | Hofman-Kaminska E.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Drucker D.G.,University of Tubingen | 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.

Olsen J.,University of Aarhus | Olsen J.,Queens University of Belfast | Heinemeier J.,University of Aarhus | Lubke H.,Center for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology | And 2 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2010

Within a project on Stone Age sites of NE Germany, 26 burials from the Ostorf cemetery and some further Neolithic sites have been analyzed by more than 40 accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dates. We here present the results of stable isotope and radiocarbon measurements together with reference 14C dates on grave goods from terrestrial animals such as tooth pendants found in 10 of the graves. Age differences between human individuals and their associated grave goods are used to calculate 14C reservoir effects. The resulting substantial reservoir effects have revealed misleadingly high 14C ages of their remains, which originally indicated a surprisingly early occurrence of graves and long-term use of this Neolithic burial site. We demonstrate that in order to 14C date the human bones from Ostorf cemetery, it is of utmost importance to distinguish between terrestrial- and freshwater-influenced diet. The latter may result in significantly higher than marine reservoir ages with apparent 14C ages up to ~800 yr too old. The carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition may provide a basis for or an indicator of necessary corrections of dates on humans where no datable grave goods of terrestrial origin such as tooth pendants or tusks are available. Based on the associated age control animals, there is no evidence that the dated earliest burials occurred any earlier than 3300 BC, in contrast to the original first impression of the grave site (~3800 BC). © 2010 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.

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