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Huts and Deposition of Refuse at Fräkenrönningen, a Neolithic Coastal Dwelling Site in Eastern Middle Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
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2011 (English)In: International journal of osteoarchaeology, ISSN 1047-482X, E-ISSN 1099-1212, Vol. 21, no 2, 173-186 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present detailed taphonomic study deals with faunal remains from the Middle Neolithic site of Fräkenrönningen, located in Eastern Middle Sweden. Archaeological excavations in 1993 revealed the remnants of eight hut-structures and several different features spread over approximately 1500 m2. Large amounts of pottery and stone artefacts were recovered together with approximately 14.6 kg of burnt faunal remains. Our specific aim was to examine the depositional patterns of burnt bones at the site; the diversity between the huts and the sub-areas between the huts. Spatial patterns of seal and fish bones as well as that of the anatomical representation of seals were investigated.The refuse disposal patterns were spatially organised, and some site areas exhibited large refuse agglomerations of burnt bones. Most faunal remains were recovered immediately outside of the huts. The size of the huts did not correspond with absolute amounts of refuse. Both large and small huts showed a variation in amount of bones. The bones of harp seal (Phoca groenlandica) and ringed seal (Phoca hispida) were deposited in all areas of the site, showing a rather similar anatomical representation in all areas. The size of the huts was associated with the composition of the faunal remains. The huts in the western area were smaller in size than those in the eastern area, and they exhibited a higher frequency of fish bones. Interestingly, the fish bones showed the most marked variability between the different areas of the site. The largest amounts of fish bones were deposited in a restricted area of the north-western part of the site, in association with three of the huts. The present study highlights the importance of detailed taphonomic studies of fishbone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 21, no 2, 173-186 p.
Keyword [en]
Neolithic, taphonomy, fish bones, Fräkenrönningen, intra-site study, depositional patterns
National Category
Archaeology Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25491DOI: 10.1002/oa.1119ISI: 000288872100005OAI: diva2:199827
authorCount :3Available from: 2008-10-02 Created: 2008-10-02 Last updated: 2012-01-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Neolithic Fisheries: Osteoarchaeology of Fish Remains in the Baltic Sea Region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neolithic Fisheries: Osteoarchaeology of Fish Remains in the Baltic Sea Region
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The variety of fish species found at the archaeological sites indicates the exploitation of local and regional ecosystems. The focus of the fisheries varies from site to site.

The study is based on the analyses of faunal materials from 10 archaeological sites from Eastern Middle Sweden, Gotland, and Åland dating to approximately 3800 – 1850 B.C. The mainland assemblages are mainly burnt and highly fragmented. When comparing burnt and unburnt bone materials, results showed a marked predominance of fish specimens within the unburnt assemblages. The burnt bone materials showed a striking preponderance of marine mammals. The burning process impairs identification and quantification of fishbone. Species presence per context complemented summary data and showed that low and medium frequency species were handled more often than summary data indicate. Intra-site studies of burnt bones demonstrated the importance of detailed studies of the taphonomic history of the faunal assemblages.

At Ajvide on the island of Gotland, large amounts of well preserved unburnt faunal remains, and ca. 600 bone fishhooks have been unearthed. Replicas of fishhooks from this assemblage were subjected to strength test, osteometric, morphological, and breakage studies. Results point to an elaborated fishing technology for capturing medium sized cod. Incremental studies of cod otoliths (ear stones) from Ajvide showed that most cod were captured in fall and winter. A comparison with the contemporaneous Jettböle site on the Åland islands, showed that in general smaller cod and herring were captured there.

The ecological conditions were somewhat different during the Neolithic. The growth pattern for cod indicate a more rapid growth for young cod but with a lower asymptotic length compared to modern cod.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur, 2008. 52 p.
Theses and papers in osteoarchaeology, ISSN 1652-4098 ; 5
Neolithic fisheries, local and regional ecosystems, species variation, burnt and unburnt bones, representativeness, contextual quantification, fishing technology, spatial patterns
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Research subject
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8215 (URN)978-91-7155-729-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-10-24, DeGeersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8A, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2008-10-02 Created: 2008-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Olson, CarinaStorå, Jan
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