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Tõrv, M. & Eriksson, G. (2023). Buried at home? Stable isotope analysis of the late hunter-gatherer cemetery population at Tamula, SE Estonia. Estonian Journal of Archaeology, 27(2), 98-128
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Buried at home? Stable isotope analysis of the late hunter-gatherer cemetery population at Tamula, SE Estonia
2023 (English)In: Estonian Journal of Archaeology, ISSN 1406-2933, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 98-128Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The function of European Stone Age forager sites with several burials has been debated for decades. One little-known site of this kind is the 4th–3rd millennium cal BC Tamula I (hereinafter Tamula) in south-eastern Estonia. Bringing together the results of archaeological and archaeothanatological analyses and departing from stable isotope based dietary reconstructions together with the idea of ‘you are what you eat’ as a basis for forming a group identity, we discuss the function of Stone Age forager sites with more than one interment.  Should these be considered cemeteries, meeting places or ordinary settlements? Bulk stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen isotope (δ15N) analysis of human skeletal remains from Tamula and a spatio-temporally close multiple burial at Veibri (5th millennium cal BC) demonstrate a significant consumption of freshwater resources. However, the stable isotope values from these two sites differ significantly, allowing a clear distinction between the two populations. Regarding these values not merely as a reflection of peoples’ dietary preferences, but also as a reflection of their primary identities and an indication of local ecologies, we argue that the stable isotope data together with the fact that the late foragers were sedentary provides additional insights into the discussion on the structure of buried populations. These new isotope data together with archaeological records from Tamula, Veibri and the Stone Age complex Zvejnieki in Latvia suggest that at least three different types of burial places existed among the hunter-gatherer communities in the eastern Baltic region during the Stone Age. In the future, these preliminary results about the people forming a burial community could be further consolidated by the establishment of local baseline information and the application of stable isotope analysis of single amino acids.

Keywords
bulk stable carbon, nitrogen isotope analysis, hunter-gatherer burials, site characteristics, Stone Age, Estonia
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-224615 (URN)10.3176/arch.2023.2.02 (DOI)001110710000001 ()
Available from: 2023-12-20 Created: 2023-12-20 Last updated: 2023-12-20Bibliographically approved
Gharibi, H., Chernobrovkin, A. L., Eriksson, G., Saei, A. A., Timmons, Z., Kitchener, A. C., . . . Zubarev, R. A. (2022). Abnormal (Hydroxy)proline Deuterium Content Redefines Hydrogen Chemical Mass. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 144(6), 2484-2487
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Abnormal (Hydroxy)proline Deuterium Content Redefines Hydrogen Chemical Mass
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2022 (English)In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, ISSN 0002-7863, E-ISSN 1520-5126, Vol. 144, no 6, p. 2484-2487Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analyzing the delta H-2 values in individual amino acids of proteins extracted from vertebrates, we unexpectedly found in some samples, notably bone collagen from seals, more than twice as much deuterium in proline and hydroxyproline residues than in seawater. This corresponds to at least 4 times higher delta H-2 than in any previously reported biogenic sample. We ruled out diet as a plausible mechanism for such anomalous enrichment. This finding puts into question the old adage that you are what you eat.

National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-203463 (URN)10.1021/jacs.1c12512 (DOI)000763125900011 ()35107291 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2022-04-04 Created: 2022-04-04 Last updated: 2022-04-04Bibliographically approved
Fjellström, M., Eriksson, G. & Lidén, K. (2022). Fishing at Vivallen – stable isotope analysis of a south Sámi burial ground. Fornvännen, 117(1), 37-57
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fishing at Vivallen – stable isotope analysis of a south Sámi burial ground
2022 (English)In: Fornvännen, ISSN 0015-7813, E-ISSN 1404-9430, Vol. 117, no 1, p. 37-57Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Vivallen is a Late Iron Age/Early Middle Ages South Saami site with a burial ground as well as a large dwelling site in Härjedalen, Sweden, located in the borderland between Saami and Norse groups. As food can be used as an indicator of cultural affiliation, we investigated the relative importance of various foodstuffs at this site, performing δ13C and δ15N analysis of human and faunal skeletal remains. The site was located along the St Olaf pilgrimage route, implying that some of the buried individuals may not have been local to the site, and therefore we performed δ34S analysis to study mobility. We set out to investigate if there were any changes in diet and mobility over the lifespan of the people buried at Vivallen. The results showed that freshwater fish were an important part of the diet, whereas reindeer and big game do not seem to have been major protein sources. We could not identify any substantial changes in diet in the individuals over time. Our results further demonstrated low mobility among the individuals, with one exception, a female who evidently grew up somewhere else.

Keywords
Vivallen, Sápmi, diet, mobility, Late Iron Age/Early Middle Ages
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Scientific Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179989 (URN)
Funder
Berit Wallenberg Foundation, BWS 2015.0073
Available from: 2020-03-19 Created: 2020-03-19 Last updated: 2023-09-04Bibliographically approved
Dury, J., Eriksson, G., Savinetsky, A., Dobrovolskaya, M., Dneprovsky, K., Harris, A. J. T., . . . Lidén, K. (2022). Species-specific reservoir effect estimates: A case study of archaeological marine samples from the Bering Strait. The Holocene, 32(11), 1209-1221
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Species-specific reservoir effect estimates: A case study of archaeological marine samples from the Bering Strait
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2022 (English)In: The Holocene, ISSN 0959-6836, E-ISSN 1477-0911, Vol. 32, no 11, p. 1209-1221Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to the marine reservoir effect, radiocarbon dates of marine samples require a correction. Marine reservoir effects, however, may vary among different marine species within a given body of water. Factors such as diet, feeding depth and migratory behaviour all affect the 14C date of a marine organism. Moreover, there is often significant variation within single marine species. Whilst the careful consideration of the ΔR values of a single marine species in a given location is important, so too is the full range of ΔR values within an ecosystem. This paper illustrates this point, using a sample pairing method to estimate the reservoir effects in 17 marine samples, of eight different species, from the archaeological site of Ekven (Eastern Chukotka, Siberia). An OxCal model is used to assess the strength of these estimates. The marine reservoir effects of samples passing the model range from ΔR (Marine20) = 136 ± 41–ΔR = 460 ± 40. Marine reservoir effect estimates of these samples and other published samples are used to explore variability in the wider Bering Strait region. The archaeological implications of this variability are also discussed. The calibrating of 14C dates from human bone collagen, for example, could be improved by applying a dietary relevant marine reservoir effect correction. For humans from the site of Ekven, a ΔR (Marine20) correction of 289 ± 124 years or reservoir age correction of 842 ± 123 years is suggested. 

Keywords
Bering Strait, Ekven, marine reservoir effects, Old Bering Sea Culture, radiocarbon, reservoir age, ΔR
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-189695 (URN)10.1177/09596836211041728 (DOI)000692861800001 ()2-s2.0-85114420206 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-02-02 Created: 2021-02-02 Last updated: 2022-10-31Bibliographically approved
Dury, J., Eriksson, G., Savinetsky, A., Dobrovolskaya, M., Dneprovsky, K., Harris, A., . . . Lidén, K. (2021). Addressing the Chronology of the Ekven Mortuary Site (Chukotka, Russia).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Addressing the Chronology of the Ekven Mortuary Site (Chukotka, Russia)
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2021 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-189692 (URN)
Available from: 2021-02-02 Created: 2021-02-02 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Dury, J., Lidén, K., Harris, A. J. T. & Eriksson, G. (2021). Dental wiggle matching: Radiocarbon modelling of micro-sampled archaeological human dentine. Quaternary International, 595, 118-127
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dental wiggle matching: Radiocarbon modelling of micro-sampled archaeological human dentine
2021 (English)In: Quaternary International, ISSN 1040-6182, E-ISSN 1873-4553, Vol. 595, p. 118-127Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Marine reservoir effects (MRE) have the potential to increase the dating uncertainty of humans incorporating marine resources into their diets. Here we attempt a novel dental wiggle-match model to reduce dating uncertainty of seven individuals from the Resmo megalithic tomb (Öland, Sweden) and to test whether this model can be used to calculate MRE from a single tooth. Previous stable isotope ratio studies of these individuals demonstrated that their diets changed, between more or less marine protein, during the early years of their lives. Several incremental samples of dentine from each individual were subjected to radiocarbon dating and stable isotope ratio analysis. An OxCal model was designed that makes use of the known formation sequence of human teeth to reduce overall dating uncertainty. The new dental wiggle-match model is able to reduce overall dating uncertainty in all of the sampled individuals compared to more conventional 14C calibration methods. A utility of the dental wiggle model to estimate marine reservoir effects without associated faunal material is also demonstrated, with promising results.

Keywords
Wiggle matching, Dentine, Radiocarbon, Marine reservoir effect, The Baltic sea, Sub-sampling
National Category
Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-189694 (URN)10.1016/j.quaint.2021.03.030 (DOI)
Available from: 2021-02-02 Created: 2021-02-02 Last updated: 2023-11-21Bibliographically approved
Dury, J. P. R., Lidén, K., Harris, A. J. T. & Eriksson, G. (2021). Dental wiggle matching: Radiocarbon modelling of sub-sampled archaeological human dentine. Quaternary International, 595, 118-127
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dental wiggle matching: Radiocarbon modelling of sub-sampled archaeological human dentine
2021 (English)In: Quaternary International, ISSN 1040-6182, E-ISSN 1873-4553, Vol. 595, p. 118-127Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Marine reservoir effects (MRE) have the potential to increase the dating uncertainty of humans incorporating marine resources into their diets. Here we attempt a novel dental wiggle-match model to reduce dating uncertainty of seven individuals from the Resmo megalithic tomb (Öland, Sweden) and to test whether this model can be used to calculate MRE from a single tooth. Previous stable isotope ratio studies of these individuals demonstrated that their diets changed, between more or less marine protein, during the early years of their lives. Several incremental samples of dentine from each individual were subjected to radiocarbon dating and stable isotope ratio analysis. An OxCal model was designed that makes use of the known formation sequence of human teeth to reduce overall dating uncertainty. The new dental wiggle-match model is able to reduce overall dating uncertainty in all of the sampled individuals compared to more conventional 14C calibration methods. A utility of the dental wiggle model to estimate marine reservoir effects without associated faunal material is also demonstrated, with promising results.

Keywords
Wiggle matching, Dentine, Radiocarbon, Marine reservoir effect, The Baltic sea, Sub-sampling
National Category
History and Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-195984 (URN)10.1016/j.quaint.2021.03.030 (DOI)000663575400002 ()
Available from: 2021-08-31 Created: 2021-08-31 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Fjellström, M., Lindgren, Å., López-Costas, O., Eriksson, G. & Lidén, K. (2021). Food, Mobility, and Health in a 17th and 18th Century Arctic Mining Population in Silbojokk, Swedish Sapmi. Arctic, 74(2), 113-238
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Food, Mobility, and Health in a 17th and 18th Century Arctic Mining Population in Silbojokk, Swedish Sapmi
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2021 (English)In: Arctic, ISSN 0004-0843, E-ISSN 1923-1245, Vol. 74, no 2, p. 113-238Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Established in 1635, the silver mine of Nasafjall and the smeltery site in Silbojokk in Swedish Sapmi were used during several phases until the late 19th century. Excavations in Silbojokk, c. 40 km from Nasafjall, have revealed buildings such as a smeltery, living houses, a bakery, and a church with a churchyard. From the beginning, both local and non-local individuals worked at the mine and the smeltery. Non-locals were recruited to work in the mine and at the smeltery, and the local Semi population was recruited to transport the silver down to the Swedish coast. Females, males, and children of different ages were represented among the individuals buried at the churchyard in Silbojokk, which was used between c. 1635 and 1770. Here we study diet, mobility, and exposure to lead (Pb) in the smeltery workers, the miners, and the local population. By employing isotopic analysis, delta C-13, delta N-15, delta S-34, Sr-87/Sr-86 and elemental analysis, we demonstrate that individuals in Silbojokk had a homogenous diet, except for two individuals. In addition, both local and non-local individuals were all exposed to Pb, which in some cases could have been harmful to their health.

Keywords
Arctic mining, Sapmi, delta C-13, delta N-15, delta S-34, Sr-87/Sr-86, Pb, diet, mobility, colonialism
National Category
History and Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-196290 (URN)10.14430/arctic72709 (DOI)000662899700008 ()
Available from: 2021-09-06 Created: 2021-09-06 Last updated: 2022-03-23Bibliographically approved
Glykou, A., Lõugas, L., Piličiauskienė, G., Schmölcke, U., Eriksson, G. & Lidén, K. (2021). Reconstructing the ecological history of the extinct harp seal population of the Baltic Sea. Quaternary Science Reviews, 251, Article ID 106701.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reconstructing the ecological history of the extinct harp seal population of the Baltic Sea
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2021 (English)In: Quaternary Science Reviews, ISSN 0277-3791, E-ISSN 1873-457X, Vol. 251, article id 106701Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus), today a subarctic species with breeding populations in the White Sea, around the Jan Mayen Islands and Newfoundland, was a common pinniped species in the Baltic Sea during the mid- and late Holocene. It is puzzling how an ice dependent species could breed in the Baltic Sea during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM), and it remains unclear for how long harp seals bred in the Baltic Sea and when the population became extirpated. We combined radiocarbon dating of harp seal bones with zooarchaeological, palaeoenvironmental and stable isotope data to reconstruct the harp seal occurrence in the Baltic Sea. Our study revealed two phases of harp seal presence and verifies that the first colonization and establishment of a local breeding population occurred within the HTM. We suggest that periods with very warm summers but cold winters allowed harp seals to breed on the ice. Human pressure, salinity fluctuations with consequent changes in prey availability and competition for food resources, mainly cod, resulted in physiological stress that ultimately led to a population decline and local extirpation during the first phase. The population reappeared after a long hiatus. Final extinction of the Baltic Sea harp seal coincided with the Medieval Warm Period. Our data provide insights for the first time on the combined effects of past climatic and environmental change and human pressure on seal populations and can contribute with new knowledge on ongoing discussions concerning the impacts of such effects on current arctic seal populations.

Keywords
Holocene, Holocene Thermal Maximum, Europe, Baltic Sea, Archaeology, Paleoecology, Harp seal, Presence/absence, Isotopes, Radiocarbon dates
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-190085 (URN)10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106701 (DOI)000600739300010 ()
Available from: 2021-02-16 Created: 2021-02-16 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Fjellström, M., Eriksson, G., Angerbjorn, A. & Lidén, K. (2020). Approaching historic reindeer herding in Northern Sweden by stable isotope analysis. Journal of Nordic Archaeological Science, 19, 63-75
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Approaching historic reindeer herding in Northern Sweden by stable isotope analysis
2020 (English)In: Journal of Nordic Archaeological Science, ISSN 1650-1519, Vol. 19, p. 63-75Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A strong cultural connection exists between reindeer and modern Sámi identityand economy. Reindeer domestication is, however, a rather late event, andthere are many Sámi who live off resources other than reindeer herding. Theuse of stable isotope analysis on historic reindeer from different geographicareas can contribute to analysing both the processes involved in reindeer domesticationand different environmental utilization by the Sámi. In this study,reindeer bones from six different sites in northern Sweden, ranging in datefrom the 11th to the 20th century, were analysed for stable isotopes to studyhow reindeer have been utilized in various historic contexts – settlements,offering sites and a marketplace. The stable isotope analysis demonstrateddifferent practices in utilization of reindeer, such as foddering. Foddering issuggested to have caused the elevated δ15N values found in reindeer at theoffering sites Vindelgransele and Unna Saiva, as well as at the settlementVivallen. The analysis further indicates that the offering sites were used bysingle Sámi groups. An important outcome of our study is that the biologyof reindeer in Sápmi was culturally influenced by the Sámi even before thereindeer was domesticated.

Keywords
reindeer pastoralism, stable isotope analysis, carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, bone collagen, Sámi cultures, northern Sweden, diet, mobility
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Scientific Archaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-179988 (URN)
Note

Finansiär:

Stiftelsen Konung Gustaf VI Adolfs fond för svensk kultur

Available from: 2020-03-19 Created: 2020-03-19 Last updated: 2021-11-26Bibliographically approved
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Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-9926-6524

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