Wild at heart: Approaching Pitted Ware identity, economy and cosmology through stable isotopes in skeletal material from the Neolithic site Korsnäs in Eastern Central Sweden
2008 (English)In: Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, ISSN 0278-4165, E-ISSN 1090-2686, Vol. 27, no 3, 281-297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Middle Neolithic Pitted Ware Culture on the Baltic Sea islands comprised a common identity distinguished, in part, by an almost exclusively marine diet. Based on evidence from the first stable isotope analysis on Pitted Ware skeletal material from the Eastern Central Swedish mainland, we suggest that this identity was shared by PWC groups in the archipelago of the west side of the Baltic. Fifty-six faunal and 26 human bone and dentine samples originating from the Pitted Ware site Korsnäs in Södermanland, Sweden were analysed, and the data clearly shows that the diet of the Korsnäs people was marine, predominantly based on seal. The isotope data further indicate that the pig bones found in large quantities on the site emanate from wild boar rather than domestic pigs. The large representation of pig on several Pitted Ware sites, which cannot be explained in terms of economy, is interpreted as the results of occasional hunting of and ritual feasting on wild boar, indicating that the animal held a prominent position, alongside seal, in the hunting identity and cosmology of the Pitted Ware people. Further, eleven new radiocarbon dates are presented, placing the Korsnäs site, with a large probability, within Middle Neolithic A.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 27, no 3, 281-297 p.
archaeology, Pitted Ware Culture, identity, diet, stable isotopes, carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, Sweden, Middle Neolithic
Research subject Archaeological Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16008DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2008.03.004ISI: 000259786500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-16008DiVA: diva2:182528