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  • 1.
    Ahlin Sundman, Elin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Kjellström, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Signs of sinusitis in times of urbanization in Viking Age-early medieval Sweden2013In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 40, no 12, p. 4457-4465Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The influence and possible negative impact on sinus health of living conditions in rural and urban environments in Viking Age (AD 800–1050) and Early Medieval Sweden (AD 1050–1200) is investigated. Skeletal samples from 32 rural settlements in the Mälaren Valley (AD 750–1200) and burials in the nearby proto-urban port of trade Birka (AD 750–960) are examined. Based on the diagnostic criteria for maxillary sinusitis used in earlier studies, the results show that there is no significant difference in the prevalence of signs of sinusitis between the two materials (i.e. the Mälaren Valley versus Birka). Consequently, this provides no evidence that living in a proto-urban environment had a negative impact on sinus health. However, when compared with previously studied samples from the early medieval town Sigtuna, dated to AD 970–1100, the populations of the Mälaren Valley and Birka show significantly lower frequencies of bone changes interpreted as chronic maxillary sinusitis (95%, 70% and 82% respectively). This implies that the urban environment of Sigtuna could have led to impaired sinus health. There is also a significant difference between males and females in the Birka material, in which more females (100%) than males (68%) were affected. A gender based differentiation in work tasks is suggested by this, or exposure to environmental risk factors that affect sinus health. No difference between males and females could be detected in the samples from the Mälaren Valley and Sigtuna.

  • 2.
    Darmark, Kim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Measuring skill in the production of bifacial pressure flaked points: a multivariate approach using the flip-test2010In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 37, no 9, p. 2308-2315Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Skill is an aspect of prehistoric technology that can inform us on many areas of investigation. This article discusses the notion of skill in prehistoric contexts and how skill is to be formally defined in relation to lithic bifacial tools. The nature of bifacial manufacture entails simultaneous attention to the facial, profile- and cross- section morphology of the core, since each flake removal affects all features. It is argued that bifacial skill can be measured using a multivariate approach, which takes all these features into account. An index measure, the ""Bifacial Skill Score"", is proposed and evaluated using both experimental and archaeological data. This measure is argued to constitute a good proxy for skill in bifacial technology and a useful tool for comparative research.

  • 3.
    Economou, Christos
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Kjellström, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Lidén, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Panagopoulos, Ioannis
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Ancient-DNA reveals an Asian type of Mycobacterium leprae in medieval Scandinavia2013In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 40, no 1, p. 465-470Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Leprosy is a chronic infection of the skin and peripheral nerves caused by the pathogen Mycobacterium leprae. Its impact on human populations and societies of the past as well as its phylogeographic patterns around the world – at least in modern times – has been well documented. This slow growing bacterium has been shown to exist in distinct ‘SNP types’ that occur in relatively defined parts of the globe. The routes that the disease followed in the past are, however, still uncertain. This study of ancient-DNA typing of archaeological human remains from Sweden dated to early Medieval times provides genetic evidence that a transmission of M. leprae ‘SNP subtype’ 2G – found mainly in Asia – took or had already taken place at that time from the Middle East to Scandinavia. This finding is unique in the history of leprosy in Europe. All human specimens from this continent – both modern and ancient – that have been tested to date showed that the one responsible for the infection strains of M. leprae belong to ‘SNP type’ 3, whereas our results show that there were some European populations that were hosts to bacteria representing ‘SNP type’ 2 of the species as well.

  • 4.
    Finné, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Holmgren, Karin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Sundqvist, Hanna S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Weiberg, Erika
    Lindblom, Michael
    Climate in the eastern Mediterranean, and adjacent regions, during the past 6000 years - A review2011In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 12, p. 3153-3173Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The eastern Mediterranean, with its long archaeological and historical records, provides a unique opportunity to study human responses to climate variability. We review paleoclimate data and reconstructions from the region with a focus on the last 6000 years. We aim to provide an up-to-date source of information on climate variability and to outline present limitations and future opportunities. The review work is threefold: (1) literature review, (2) spatial and temporal analysis of proxy records, and (3) statistical estimation of uncertainties in present paleoclimate reconstructions (temperature, C). On a regional scale the review reveals a wetter situation from 6000 to 5400 yrs BP (note: all ages in this paper are in calibrated years before present (i.e. before 1950), abbreviated yrs BP, unless otherwise stated). This is followed by a less wet period leading up to one of fully-developed aridity from c. 4600 yrs BP. There is a need for more high-resolution paleoclimate records, in order to (i) better understand regional patterns and trends versus local climate variability and to (ii) fill the gap of data from some regions, such as the Near East, Greece and Egypt. Further, we evaluate the regional occurrence of a proposed widespread climate event at 4200 yrs BP. This proposed climate anomaly has been used to explain profound changes in human societies at different locations in the region around this time. We suggest that although aridity was widespread around 4200 yrs BP in the eastern Mediterranean region, there is not enough evidence to support the notion of a climate event with rapidly drying conditions in this region.

  • 5.
    Fors, Yvonne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Jalilehvand, Farideh
    Risberg, Emiliana Damian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Bjordal, Charlotte
    Phillips, Ebba
    Sandström, Magnus
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
    Sulfur and iron analyses of marine archaeological wood in shipwrecks from the Baltic Sea and Scandinavian waters2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 7, p. 2521-2532Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Analyses of marine archaeological wood from shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea area, Kronan, Riksnyckeln, Tattran, the Puck Bay Boat and the Ghost wreck, and at the Scandinavian West coast, the Gota wreck, Stora Sofia and the Viking shipwrecks of Skuldelev, show accumulation of sulfur compounds. The penetration profiles of sulfur and iron into the wood and the speciation of characteristic sulfur groups were evaluated by combining X-ray spectroscopic analyses, in particular S K-edge XANES (X-ray absorption near edge structure) and X-ray fluorescence, with ESCA and elemental analyses. The combined analyses support the hypothesis that hydrogen sulfide produced by sulfate-reducing bacteria reacts and accumulates at low iron concentration mainly as organically bound sulfur, which as in previous studies was found by X-ray spectro-microscopy to accumulate in lignin-rich parts of the wood cell walls. The presence of iron(II) ions from corroding iron promotes formation of pyrite and other iron(II) sulfides, which easily oxidise in aerobic conditions with high humidity. No significant differences in sulfur and iron accumulation were found in wood from shipwrecks in the east coast brackish water and the west coast seawater. Sediments from three wreck sites, the Gota wreck, Stora Sofia and Kronan, were analyzed to a depth of a few decimeters and showed especially at the Stora Sofia high sulfur concentrations, exceeding 3 mass%. S K-edge XANES analyses of the sediments showed mainly reduced forms of sulfur, in particular pyrite and iron(II) sulfides together with elemental sulfur.

  • 6. Hagenblad, Jenny
    et al.
    Morales, Jacob
    Leino, Matti W.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Linköping University, Sweden; Nordiska Museet, Sweden.
    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Amelia C.
    Farmer fidelity in the Canary Islands revealed by ancient DNA from prehistoric seeds2017In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 78, p. 78-87Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Canary Islands were settled in the first millennium AD by colonizers likely originating from North Africa. The settlers developed a farming economy with barley as the main crop. Archaeological evidence suggests the islands then remained isolated until European sea-travellers discovered and colonized them during the 14th and 15th centuries. Here we report a population study of ancient DNA from twenty-one archaeobotanical barley grains from Gran Canaria dating from 1050 to 1440 cal AD. The material showed exceptional DNA preservation and genotyping was carried out for 99 single nucleotide markers. In addition 101 extant landrace accessions from the Canary Islands and the western Mediterranean were genotyped. The archaeological material showed high genetic similarity to extant landraces from the Canary Islands. In contrast, accessions from the Canary Islands were highly differentiated from both Iberian and North African mainland barley. Within the Canary Islands, landraces from the easternmost islands were genetically differentiated from landraces from the western islands, corroborating the presence of pre-Hispanic barley cultivation on Lanzarote. The results demonstrate the potential of population genetic analyses of ancient DNA. They support the hypothesis of an original colonization, possibly from present day Morocco, and subsequent isolation of the islands and reveal a farmer fidelity to the local barley that has lasted for centuries.

  • 7.
    Hjulström, Björn
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. AFL. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Isaksson, Sven
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Identification of activity area signatures in a reconstructed Iron Age house by combining element and lipid analyses of sediments2009In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 36, no 1, p. 174-183Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Hjulström, Björn
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Isaksson, Sven
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution.
    Hennius, Andreas
    Organic geochemical evidence for tar production in Middle Eastern Sweden2006In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 283-294Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Isaksson, Sven
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Christina, Karlsson
    Eriksson, Thomas
    Ergosterol (5, 7, 22-ergostatrien-3β-ol) as a potential biomarker for alcohol fermentation in lipid residues from prehistoric pottery2010In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 37, no 12, p. 3263-3268Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we explore the potential use of ergosterol (5, 7, 22-ergostatrien-3β-ol) as a possible biomarker for yeast and alcohol fermentation, applying the analytical technique previously used routinely in Swedish archaeology for the analysis of lipid residue in prehistoric pottery. Taking note on the connection between brewing, baking and agriculture the frequency of vessels showing gas chromatography mass spectrometry traces of this compound in lipid residues from a clearly agricultural Bronze Age/Early Iron Age population was compared with the same signal in a clearly non-agricultural Neolithic foragers pottery population. The result shows a small but statistically significant difference between the two populations, indicating a connection between the presence of ergosterol in lipid residues from pottery and agriculture. The results are also discussed in terms of varying cleanliness, degradation, deposition conditions and contamination. Suggestions for future research include the use of a more sensitive analytical protocol in order to improve detection limits and to include materials from clear agricultural Neolithic vessel populations.

  • 10.
    Isaksson, Sven
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Hallgren, Fredrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeology.
    Lipid residue analyses of Early Neolithic funnel-beaker pottery from Skogsmossen, eastern Central Sweden, and the earliest evidence of dairying in Sweden2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 12, p. 3600-3609Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study address the question of the use and function of Early Neolithic (4000-3000 cal. BC) funnel-beaker pots from Malardalen in eastern Central Sweden. The material studied is pottery from a wetland offering at the site Skogsmossen in the province of Vastmanland. While deposited under ritual circumstances in a fen, the pots were likely used in a domestic domain on the settlement adjacent to the offering fen, prior to final deposition. The lipid analysis indicate a varied vessel use, there are traces of aquatic resources, plants, terrestrial animals and milk. The identification of milk residue is the oldest so far from Sweden.

  • 11. Kaal, Joeri
    et al.
    López-Costas, Olalla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; University of Granada, Spain.
    Martínez Cortizas, Antonio
    Diagenetic effects on pyrolysis fingerprints of extracted collagen in archaeological human bones from NW Spain, as determined by pyrolysis-GC-MS2016In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 65, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ancient collagen is used as archive for multiple pre-mortem traits. Testing the quality of the collagen extract is a common concern of those who engage in the reconstruction of ancient diets. The aim of this study is to improve our understanding of the pyrolysis fingerprints of human bone collagen especially in relation with diagenetic alteration. Pyrolysis-GC-MS was applied to 28 collagen samples extracted from archaeological human bone, corresponding to different chronological periods (Bronze Age to post Medieval period; 1900 BC-1800 AD) and different types of burial environment (acidic and alkaline) from NW Spain. Collagen was extracted following the common methodology used in paleodiet analysis, and a commercial gelatin sample was included for comparison. Data evaluation was based on 58 pyrolysis products using Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Principal component 1 (PC1, 45% of total variance) was related to the relative abundances of pyrolysis products of specific amino acids, with relatively degraded samples having larger proportions of the pyrolysis products of Pro/Hyp, Phe and Ala, while more intact samples showed larger proportions of Tyr, Trp and pyrolysis products of unspecific amino acid origin. PC1 scores were related to the period to which the samples corresponded, which reflects differences in diagenetic impact, probably controlled by a combination of age and burial deposit characteristics. PC2 (15%) probably reflects the well-known effects of disruption of the amino acid sequence (depolymerization), causing a decline in dimerization products (diketopiperazines) upon pyrolysis. This process was more intense in the collagen samples from acidic deposits than in the samples from alkaline deposits (a calcareous cave and coastal sand deposits with biogenic carbonates). The relationships between the PCA and individual pyrolysis products with known parameters of collagen quality (% C, % N, C/N ratio, % extractable collagen) were generally insignificant or weak. This might be explained by the rather narrow C/N range (3.19-3.36) of the samples, which had to meet the criteria for suitability for paleodiet analysis. Moreover, there was no significant relation between the isotopic composition of the extracted collagen (613C, 815N) and pyrolyzate composition, suggesting that diagenesis has little effect on the isotopic fingerprints used in palaeodietary studies. Finally, no substantial contamination of microbial or exogenous tissue from the deposition environment to the osteological collagen extracts was identified. It is concluded that the delta C-13 and delta N-15 as proxies of palaeodiet from these diverse necropoleis in NW Spain is sustained.

  • 12.
    Kjellström, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Storå, Jan
    Possnert, Göran
    Linderholm, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Dietary Patterns and Social Structures in Medieval Sigtuna, Sweden as reflected in Stable Isotope Values in Human Skeletal Remains2009In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 36, p. 2689-2699Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Linderholm, Anna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Kjellström, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Stable isotope analysis of a medieval skeletal sample indicative of systemic disease from Sigtuna Sweden2011In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 4, p. 925-933Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sigtuna, Sweden, several medieval cemeteries have been excavated, from which approximately 800 skeletons have been excavated and analysed. Archaeological finds and anthropological analyses have exposed social differences between the cemeteries. Stable isotope analyses have shown that the inhabitants of the town consumed a mixed diet. Significant differences in dietary patterns between the cemeteries may be related to social stratification. In the outskirts of a churchyard excavated in 2006, bone changes showing systemic inflammatory disease indicative of leprosy were observed in six individuals. The burial location suggests that the affected belonged to a lower social stratum. Bone samples were taken from these six individuals, 19 other human skeletons and five animals from the same cemetery for analysis of the stable isotope composition of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S). The results showed no significant differences in delta(13)C and delta(15)N values between the groups, i.e. the seemingly healthy humans and the humans affected by severe inflammatory disease appear to have had similar diets. Nor was a significant difference observed in delta(34)S data between the six affected individuals and the rest of the sample, implying that no difference in origins could be observed between the two groups studied. However, a comparison between the present study and the previous analysis resulted in significant differences in carbon values. Based on the results obtained in this investigation it is suggested that if a dietary difference existed between people in the outskirts of a cemetery (for example those suffering from leprosy) and people buried in higher ranked regions, it was not a difference in food source but rather in other parameters. Instead dietary differences and possibly social variations are demonstrated between cemeteries. The results from the present study highlight the hierarchical arrangements of social classes in the early medieval society.

  • 14.
    López-Costas, Olalla
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; University of Granada, Spain.
    Lantes-Suárez, Óscar
    Martínez Cortizas, Antonio
    Chemical compositional changes in archaeological human bones due to diagenesis: Type of bone vs soil environment2016In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 67, p. 43-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Diagenesis in human remains is a subject of growing interest due to the increase in bone chemical studies to reconstruct pre- and post-mortem features in archaeological and forensic sciences. The efforts made during the last decades have solidified our understanding of diagenetic processes; however, their high complexity demands more research to address them empirically, specifically considering factors such as types of soil substratum and skeletal element. In this work, a geochemical study of human remains from the archaeological site of A Lanzada (NW Spain) is performed to understand diagenesis (i.e. chemical alteration) and life environmental exposure. Three types of bone (thoracic, long and cranial) from 30 skeletons of two periods (9 Roman, 21 post-Roman) were analysed by X-ray fluorescence. Bones were recovered from burials located in slightly alkaline (Haplic Arenosol (calcaric)) and acidic (Cambic Umbrisol (humic)) soils. Principal components analysis was applied to extract the main chemical signatures, and analysis of variance to determine the influence of different factors. Bone composition was characterized by four chemical signals related to: i) alteration of bone bioapatite; ii) metal sorption from the soil solution; iii) presence of fine (silt-clay) soil particles; and iv) lead incorporation. Thoracic bones were found to be more sensitive to diagenesis and the burial environment; long bones and crania presented a similar response. Skeletons buried in the acidic soil were significantly poorly preserved. Lead content was higher in bones of the Roman period, which seems to be related to pre-mortem conditions. Previous investigations on palaeopollution in NW Spain enable us to hypothesize that Roman individuals may have been subjected to a high exposure of Pb due to elevated atmospheric metal contamination.

  • 15.
    Löfgren, Sylvia Sandelin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Isaksson, Sven
    The oldest evidence of painted furniture from Sweden - The 12th century chair from Suntak2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 6, p. 1665-1673Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The 12th century Suntak chair is one of the earliest pieces of furniture known from Sweden. A close examination revealed minute remnants of possible colour pigments on several parts of the chair. Chemical analyses of the pigments revealed the presence of several colours such as black, white and red. This paper attempts to shed light upon the identification and origin of the pigments as well as the time of painting. The original use and the setting of the chair will also be discussed.

  • 16.
    Naumann, Elise
    et al.
    University of Oslo, Faculty of Humanities.
    Krzewinska, Maja
    Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo,.
    Götherström, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Eriksson, Gunilla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Slaves as burial gifts in Viking Age Norway?: Evidence from stable isotope and Ancient DNA analyses2013In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 41, p. 533-540Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ten Viking Age individuals from the northern Norwegian site at Flakstad were analysed for δ13C, δ15N and ancient mitochondrial DNA fragments. The material derives from both single and multiple burials with individuals treated in different ways. The genetic analyses show that the individuals buried together were unlikely to be maternally related, and stable isotope analyses suggest different strata of society. It is, therefore, suggested that slaves may have been offered as grave gifts at Flakstad. A comparison with the remaining population from single graves shows that the presumed slaves had a diet similar to that of the common population, whereas the high status individuals in multiple graves had a diet different from both slaves and the common population. The results provide an insight into the subsistence of different social groups in a Viking Age society, exposing unexpected patterns of living conditions and food distribution.

  • 17.
    Olson, Carina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Limburg, Karin
    Söderblom, Mikael
    Stone Age fishhooks - how were they dimensioned?: Morphology, strength test, and breakage pattern fo Neolithic bone fishhooks from Ajvide, Gotland, Sweden2008In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 35, no 10, p. 2813-2823Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The late Stone Age Pitted Ware site at Ajvide, Gotland, in the Baltic Sea, Sweden, has revealed a large deposit of fishbone and approximately 400 bone fishhooks, complete and incomplete. Cod (Gadus morhua), which is one of the most abundant fish species in the bone assemblage, was probably caught with hook and line fishing. To investigate the fishhooks' field of application, a morphological and morphometric study was performed on 384 available hooks. Two sets of replicas made Of four selected Original fishhooks were submitted to a strength test. A breakage study of the incomplete hooks in comparison with the strength-tested hooks was carried out in order to distinguish fresh breaks from dry breaks. It seems that a certain morphology for fishhooks was preferred at Ajvide, indicating they were produced by skilled craftsmen for special usage. The strength test showed that the hooks had a weight bearing capacity more than the average size of cod caught at Ajvide. Using results of these tests, we predicted that the mean breaking Strength of 46 intact Ajvide hooks was 96.6 +/- 26.1 (s.d.) Newtons (equivalent to 9.85 +/- 2.7 kg). The design of fishhooks changed somewhat over time, being slightly larger in the oldest layers of the site. The breakage patterns of the hooks show that the bow was the most common area of breakage. The design and weight bearing capacity of the hooks point to a specialized cod fishery from boats in deep water.

  • 18.
    Sahlén, Daniel
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Selected with care?: - the technology of crucibles in late prehistoric Scotland. A petrographic and chemical assessment2013In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 40, no 12, p. 4207-4221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prehistoric crucibles and other metalworking ceramics are often described as highly specialised tools made from refractory materials, but little is known about regional trajectories and individual material developments. Hence, further analyses of materials from less studied regions are needed. The current study investigates the technological development of crucibles from late prehistoric Scotland and its relation to technological choices and specialisation. The examination, using ceramic petrography and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy, focuses on the selection of clays and additives for the manufacture of crucibles in contrast to moulds and pottery. It is demonstrated that the production of crucibles in the late prehistoric period predominantly used local resources. Late Bronze Age crucibles have a close relationship with other types of technical and domestic ceramics, while materials in the Iron Age indicate an increased material specialisation for the preparation of particular fabrics. This development is seen across Scotland and echoes trends seen in other areas of Europe, emphasising the role and importance of metallurgical and technological networks.

  • 19.
    Schultzén, Joakim
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Remodelling the past: Archaeometrological analysis applied on Birka weight material using a 3D scanner & Computer-Aided Design2011In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 9, p. 2378-2386Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Archaeometrological analysis has traditionally involved reconstructing the originally intended mass of a weight by hand; measuring with a calliper or a profile microscope, as well as using the artefact's displacement in water for factors such as volume and density. Ideally, corrosion was to be left intact, which is inconsistent with the goals of the conservationist. In all, the process was time consuming and may in some cases even have accelerated the deterioration of the artefacts. The CAD-method described in this article has been developed as a non-destructive alternative, employing a 3D scanner to create a virtual representation of the weight on which analysis can be performed. Density is calculated by dividing current mass with current volume, as supplied from the virtual model. Original volume is calculated by reconstructing the weight using basic geometrical shapes in a Computer-Aided Design program. Finally, to obtain the weight's original mass, the recreated original volume is multiplied by its current density. If the latter is found to have been altered through corrosion, a mean value of previously analysed weights in good condition (MNCA) may be applied instead. This new method for archaeometrological analysis is put to the test on a population of weights excavated at Birka. Four of these were previously analysed with the Traditional method, which makes it possible to compare results and draw conclusions on the accuracy of the CAD-method. An additional seven weights were analysed for further evaluation and also to investigate Sperber's theory of a 4.0 g standard unit in the metrology of Birka.

  • 20. Sholts, Sabrina B.
    et al.
    Stanford, Dennis J.
    Flores, Louise M.
    Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Flake scar patterns of Clovis points analyzed with a new digital morphometrics approach: evidence for direct transmission of technological knowledge across early North America2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 9, p. 3018-3026Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Clovis points are the principal diagnostic artifacts of a Clovis complex that spread across North America between ca. 11,050-10,800 radiocarbon years before present. Clovis may be the best documented Paleoamerican culture in North America, but much remains to be learned about the movement and interactions of Clovis peoples. Similarities among Clovis points from geographically diverse locations have led some researchers to suggest that a uniform projectile point technology existed across North America during Clovis times. Others have rejected this idea, proposing local and independent technological adaptations to different regional environments. To investigate these ideas, we used digital morphometrics to analyze 50 Clovis points from nine different contexts. First, 3D surface models of the points were created with a portable laser scanner. Next, these models were digitally cross-sectioned through both faces, yielding two-dimensional isoheight contours of flake scar patterns that reflect the original reduction techniques used to shape the projectile points. In the final step, the contours were transformed with elliptic Fourier analysis into Fourier coefficient series, and patterns of variation and symmetry were explored with principal components analysis. When compared to modern Clovis point replicas made by an expert knapper, the flake scar contours of the ancient Clovis points showed little morphological variation and a large degree of bifacial symmetry. Our results support the existence of a widespread standardized Clovis knapping technique, most likely transmitted through direct interaction between knappers from different groups.

  • 21. Skoglund, Pontus
    et al.
    Storå, Jan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Götherström, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
    Jakobsson, Mattias
    Accurate sex identification of ancient human remains using DNA shotgun sequencing2013In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 40, no 12, p. 4477-4482Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Accurate identification of the biological sex of ancient remains is vital for critically testing hypotheses about social structure in prehistoric societies. However, morphological methods are imprecise for juvenile individuals and fragmentary remains, and molecular methods that rely on particular sex-specific marker loci such as the amelogenin gene suffer from allelic dropout and sensitivity to modern contamination. Analyzing shotgun sequencing data from 14 present-day humans of known biological sex and 16 ancient individuals from a time span of 100 to similar to 70,000 years ago, we show that even relatively sparse shotgun sequencing (about 100,000 human sequences) can be used to reliably identify chromosomal sex simply by considering the ratio of sequences aligning to the X and Y chromosomes, and highlight two examples where the genetic assignments indicate morphological misassignment Furthermore, we show that accurate sex identification of highly degraded remains can be performed in the presence of substantial amounts of present-day contamination by utilizing the signature of cytosine deamination, a characteristic feature of ancient DNA.

  • 22. Smith, Kevin N.
    et al.
    Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Vellanoweth, Rene L.
    Smith, Chelsea M.
    Kendig, William E.
    Residue analysis links sandstone abraders to on San Nicolas Island, California shell fishhook production2015In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 54, p. 287-293Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Excavations at the upper component of the Tule Creek site (CA-SNI-25), dating between approximately 600-350 cal BP, yielded numerous well-preserved sandstone abraders referred to as saws. Many of these tools show heavy use-wear and abundant white residue still adhering to the surface. We used X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis to characterize the residue from two of the abraders, which identified the mineral phases calcite and aragonite (both CaCO3), albite (NaAlSi3O8), and quartz (SiO2). A scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped for Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDS) analysis identified the elements C, Ca, S, Na, and Al in the samples, confirming the XRD results. Albite, quartz, and calcite in the scrapings are consistent with the mineralogy of sandstone, though the presence of calcium carbonate in the form of calcite and aragonite suggests marine shell is also present in the residue samples. XRD and SEM analysis of a modern red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) shell indicates that the inner-layer (nacre) consists mostly of aragonite phase calcium carbonate, whereas the outer layer (epidermis) is made up mostly of calcite phase. SEM images revealed that calcite and aragonite from the archaeological residues display similar morphologies as the material from a modern abalone sample, and a greater presence of aragonite over calcite suggests the abraders were primarily used to work the inner layer of the abalone shell. These results provide a functional linkage between sandstone saws and shell fishhook production at CA-SNI-25.

  • 23.
    Telldahl, Ylva
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Svensson, Emma
    Götherström, Anders
    Storå, Jan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
    Ostemetric and molecular sexing of cattle metapodia2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 121-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sex identification of skeletal remains based on morphology is a common practice in Zooarchaeology. Knowledge of the sex distribution of slaughtered or hunted animals may help in the interpretation of e.g. hunting or breeding strategies. Here we investigate and evaluate several osteometric criteria used to assess sex of cattle (Bos taurus) metapodia using molecular sex identification as a control of the metric data. The bone assemblage used to assess these new criteria derives from the Eketorp ringfort in the southern parts of Öland Island in Sweden. One hundred metapodia were selected for molecular analysis of sex and we were able to genetically identify the sex of 76 of these elements. The combined results of the molecular and osteometric analyses confirm a significant size difference between females and males for several measurements for both metacarpals (Mc) and metatarsals (Mt). Our results show that some measurements are applicable for metapodials. These measurements include the slenderness indices such as the Mennerich’s index 1 and 3, as well as the distal breadth (Bd), the breadth between the articular crests (Bcr), and the maximum breadth of the lateral trochlea (BFdl). We show that they can be used for sexing of both metacarpals and metatarsals. The latter measurements offer an opportunity to study fragmented elements and thus a higher number of elements may be utilized for morphological sexing of archaeological bones. Size comparisons of Mc and Mt may also aid in the separation of bulls and oxen.

  • 24.
    Viberg, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Berntsson, Annika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Lidén, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Archaeological prospection of a high altitude Neolithic site in the Arctic mountain tundra region of northern Sweden2013In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 40, no 6, p. 2579-2588Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During the summer of 2008 archaeological excavations and geophysical prospection surveys were carried out in the mountain tundra region of north-eastern Sweden. The investigations focused on locating settlement remains connected with a Middle Neolithic tool production site discovered by archaeologists in 2001. Magnetic susceptibility surveys using the MS2D system by Bartington Instruments and an EM38 by Geonics measuring the Inphase component of the electromagnetic field were used for the prospection of measurable traces of anthropogenic activity and structures such as hearths and middens within the estimated settlement area. Soil samples for phosphate analysis were also collected and analysed using a field analysis method developed by Merck. The magnetic susceptibility measurements successfully located a waste heap containing fire-cracked stones and refuse from a seasonal settlement. The results of the survey were confirmed by subsequent archaeological excavations, which also revealed a piece of resin with the imprint of a human tooth. One additional piece of resin dated the site to 3340-3100 BC. The soil phosphate analysis showed slightly increased values over the central part of the site and over the heap of fire-cracked stones. Comparison between the MS2D and EM38 measurements revealed a weak impact of the bedrock on the results, indicating a potential for the applicability of magnetic surveys to this specific type of environment. Future geophysical archaeological prospection in the Swedish mountain tundra region could benefit from a combined approach using high-resolution magnetometry and magnetic susceptibility measurements.

  • 25.
    Viberg, Andreas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Berntsson, Annika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Lidén, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Archaeological Prospection of a High Altitude Neolithic Site in the Arctic Mountain Tundra Region of Northern SwedenIn: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The project Arctic Sweden initiated during the International Polar Year (2007-2008) was aimed at investigating aspects of the natural and cultural environment in this area. During the summer of 2008 archaeological excavations and geophysical prospection surveys were carried out in the mountain tundra region of north-western Sweden. The investigations focused on locating settlement remains connected with a Middle Neolithic tool production site discovered by archaeologists in 2001. Magnetic susceptibility surveys using the MS2D system by Bartington Instruments and an EM38 by Geonics measuring the Inphase component of the electromagnetic field were used for the prospection of measureable traces of anthropogenic activity and structures such as hearths and middens within the estimated settlement area. Soil samples for phosphate analysis were also collected and analysed using a field analysis method developed by Merck. The magnetic susceptibility measurements successfully located a waste heap containing fire-cracked stones and refuse from a seasonal settlement. The results of the survey were confirmed by subsequent archaeological excavations, which also revealed a piece of resin with the imprint of a human tooth. One additional piece of resin dated the site to 3340 to 3100 BC. The soil phosphate analysis showed slightly increased values over the central part of the site and over the heap of fire-cracked stones, suggesting the applicability of the method to a mountain tundra environment. Comparison between the MS2D and EM38 measurements revealed a weak impact of the bedrock on the results, indicating a potential for the applicability of magnetic surveys to this specific type of environment. Future geophysical archaeological prospection in the Swedish mountain tundra region could benefit from a combined approach using high-resolution magnetometry and magnetic susceptibility measurements.

  • 26. Webb, Emily C.
    et al.
    Honch, Noah V.
    Dunn, Philip J. H.
    Eriksson, Gunilla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Lidén, Kerstin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
    Evershed, Richard P.
    Compound-specific amino acid isotopic proxies for detecting freshwater resource consumption2015In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 63, p. 104-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Of central importance to palaeodietary reconstruction is a clear understanding of relative contributions of different terrestrial (i.e., C3 vs. C4 plants) and aquatic (i.e., freshwater vs. marine) resources to human diet. There are, however, significant limitations associated with the ability to reconstruct palaeodiet using bulk collagen stable isotope compositions in regions where diverse dietary resources are available. Recent research has determined that carbon-isotope analysis of individual amino acids has considerable potential to elucidate dietary protein source where bulk isotopic compositions cannot. Using δ13CAA values for human and faunal remains from Zvejnieki, Latvia (8th – 3rd millennia BCE), we test several isotopic proxies focused on distinguishing freshwater protein consumption from both plant-derived and marine protein consumption. We determined that the Δ13CGly-Phe and Δ13CVal-Phe proxies can effectively discriminate between terrestrial and aquatic resource consumption, and the relationship between essential δ13CAA values and the Δ13CGly-Phe and Δ13CVal-Phe proxies can differentiate among the four protein consumption groups tested here. Compound-specific amino acid carbon-isotope dietary proxies thus enable an enhanced understanding of diet and resource exploitation in the past, and can elucidate complex dietary behaviour.

  • 27. Wilson, Rob
    et al.
    Wilson, David
    Rydval, Milos
    Crone, Anne
    Buntgen, Ulf
    Clark, Sylvie
    Ehmer, Janet
    Forbes, Emma
    Fuentes, Mauricio
    Gunnarson, Björn E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
    Linderholm, Hans W.
    Nicolussi, Kurt
    Wood, Cheryl
    Mills, Coralie
    Facilitating tree-ring dating of historic conifer timbers using Blue Intensity2017In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 78, p. 99-111Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Dendroarchaeology almost exclusively uses ring-width (RW) data for dating historical structures and artefacts. Such data can be used to date tree-ring sequences when regional climate dominates RW variability. However, the signal in RW data can be obscured due to site specific ecological influences (natural and anthropogenic) that impact crossdating success. In this paper, using data from Scotland, we introduce a novel tree-ring parameter (Blue Intensity BI) and explore its utility for facilitating dendrohistorical dating of conifer samples. BI is similar to latewood density as they both reflect the combined hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin content in the latewood cell walls of conifer species and the amount of these compounds is strongly controlled, at least for trees growing in temperature limited locations, by late summer temperatures. BI not only expresses a strong climate signal, but is also less impacted by site specific ecological influences. It can be concurrently produced with RW data from images of finely sanded conifer samples but at a significantly reduced cost compared to traditional latewood density. Our study shows that the probability of successfully crossdating historical samples is greatly increased using BI compared to RW. Furthermore, due to the large spatial extent of the summer temperature signal expressed by such data, a sparse multi -species conifer network of long BI chronologies across Europe could be used to date and loosely provenance imported material.

  • 28.
    Wärmländer, Sebastian K. T. S.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.
    Zori, Davide
    Byock, Jesse
    Scott, David A.
    Metallurgical findings from a Viking Age chieftain's farm in Iceland2010In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 37, no 9, p. 2284-2290Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The metalworking, metal import, and use of metal in medieval Iceland is still little understood. When the Scandinavian settlers colonized Iceland in the 9th c. AD, the island was found to contain no useful metal deposits save for bog iron, and the deforestation that followed the settlement resulted in a scarcity of wood. Only in the last decades have archaeological excavations begun to unravel how the first Icelanders dealt with this lack of resources. This paper presents the metallurgical findings from a Viking Age chieftain's farmstead at Hrisbru in the Mosfell valley, located just outside Iceland's present-day capital Reykjavik. The excavated metal objects had all been crafted with good workmanship employing technology similar to that used in mainland Scandinavia. However, most excavated metal finds show evidence of re-use, which together with the second-grade metal in some of the objects indicates a shortage of raw material that prompted the Icelandic colonizers to improvise and make do with whatever material was at hand. Even though this chieftain's farm was materially poorer than contemporaneous high-status farms in mainland Scandinavia, it was wealthy by Icelandic standards. The analytical results show that some excavated objects were imported trade goods deriving from both neighboring and far-away localities, proving that the farm was part of the extensive trade network of the Viking world. Most likely, this farm represents the upper limit to what a Viking Age farm in Iceland could afford in terms of material objects and trade goods.

1 - 28 of 28
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