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Early Holocene human population events on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea (9200-3800 cal. BP)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory. Lund University, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
2018 (English)In: Quaternary International, ISSN 1040-6182, E-ISSN 1873-4553, Vol. 465, p. 276-286Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The summed probability distribution of 162 radiocarbon dates from Gotland was analysed with reference to archaeological and environmental data in order to evaluate possible variations in settlement intensity on the island. The data indicated variations in demographic development on the island, with probably several different colonization events and external influences; the pioneer settlement reached the island around 9200 cal. BP. After the initial colonization, the radiocarbon dates were rather evenly distributed until around 7700–7600 cal. BP, then there was a drop in the number of dates between 8300 and 8000 cal. BP that may be associated with the 8200 cold event. A marked decline in the number of dates between 7600 and 6000 cal. BP may be associated initially with the Littorina I transgression, but this transgression cannot explain why the Late Mesolithic period is not well represented on Gotland: the climatic development was favourable but did not result in increased human activity. The number of radiocarbon dates indicated that the population size remained low until around 6000 cal. BP, after which there was a gradual increase that reached a first ‘threshold’ after 5600 cal. BP and a second ‘threshold’ after 4500 cal. BP. The first apparent population increase was associated with the appearance of the Funnel Beaker Culture (FBC) and the second with Pitted Ware Culture (PWC) complexes. A decline in the number of dates occurred after 4300 cal. BP, i.e. towards the Late Neolithic. There was an association between the frequency distributions of the radiocarbon dates and the number of stray finds from different time periods but any correlation was not straightforward.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 465, p. 276-286
Keywords [en]
Gotland, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Settlement intensity, Population events, Demography
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149615DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2017.03.044ISI: 000427454900010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149615DiVA, id: diva2:1163398
Projects
The Pioneer Settlements of Gotland. Early Holocene Maritime Relations in the Baltic Sea Area
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-730Available from: 2017-12-06 Created: 2017-12-06 Last updated: 2018-04-30Bibliographically approved

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