The Bear in the Grave: Exploitation of Top Predator and Herbivore Resources in First Millennium Sweden: First Trends from a Long-Term Research Project
2015 (English)In: European Journal of Archaeology, ISSN 1461-9571, E-ISSN 1741-2722Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
This paper focusses on animal remains associated with archaeological contexts dated to the middle and later phases of the Scandinavian Iron Age, which corresponds to the first millennium AD. The main question to be addressed is whether this record can be used for identifying human impact on certain animal populations for modelling faunal exploitation and interregional trade. In the first part of the paper, we undertake a detailed inventory of animal finds recorded in published excavation reports, research catalogues, and in existing databases maintained primarily by the Historical Museum in Stockholm. We compare the chronological pattern identified in the burial assemblages with a chronological sequence retrieved from pitfall hunting systems located in the Scandinavian inland region. The chronologies of the animal finds from burials and the pitfall systems are then compared with dated pollen-analytical sequences retrieved in the inland region and additional archaeological assemblages, such as graves and hoards of Roman coins. In our discussion, we outline an interregional model of faunal exploitation between ad 300 and 1200, including the possible location of hunting grounds and end-distribution areas for animal products. The paper provides deeper insights into the burial record of the middle Iron Age, arguing for the need for broader interregional approaches, and focussed archaeological research in the inland regions of Scandinavia.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Scandinavia, Sweden, Iron Age, grave, phalanges, bear, lynx, pitfall systems, faunal exploitation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253298OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-253298DiVA: diva2:814028