Early medieval shellfish exploitation in Northwest Europe: investigations at the Sands of Forvie Shell Middens, Eastern Scotland, and the role of coastal resources in the First Millennium AD

Noble, G., Turner, J., Hamilton, D. , Hastie, L., Knecht, R., Stirling, L., Sveinbjarnarson, O., Upex, B. and Milek, K. (2017) Early medieval shellfish exploitation in Northwest Europe: investigations at the Sands of Forvie Shell Middens, Eastern Scotland, and the role of coastal resources in the First Millennium AD. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, (doi:10.1080/15564894.2017.1329242) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Coastal shell middens represent a well-known element of the archaeological record of island and coastal regions across the world and shellfish have been an important resource for subsistence since the mid Holocene. However, the factors that influence shellfishing remain poorly understood and in many regions investigations into the role of shellfish gathering often have remained focused on prehistoric examples to the detriment of shell middens of later dates. This article reports on the emerging evidence for large-scale exploitation of shellfish during a hitherto understudied period for shell midden archaeology in northwest Europe: the first millennium AD. The article includes a review of a series of previously unknown large mussel-dominated middens in eastern Scotland, an outline of their chronology and character, including Bayesian modeling of dates, and a synthesis of the emerging evidence for shellfish gathering in northwest Europe during the first millennium AD. The research represents the first investigation of large-scale early Medieval middens in Britain and the first review of their international parallels and the important new information they can provide for the early Medieval economy.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Historic Environment Scotland funded the radiocarbon dating for the Sands of Forvie work.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hamilton, Dr William
Authors: Noble, G., Turner, J., Hamilton, D., Hastie, L., Knecht, R., Stirling, L., Sveinbjarnarson, O., Upex, B., and Milek, K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1556-4894
ISSN (Online):1556-1828
Published Online:06 June 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC
First Published:First published in Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 2017
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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