Special Issue "Zooarchaeology"

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408). This special issue belongs to the section "Biological and Natural Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 4877

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Lembi Lõugas
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Archaeological Research Collection, Tallinn University; Rüütli Str 10, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia
Interests: zooarchaeology; archaeoichtyology; environmental archaeology; palaeozoology; palaeoecology; palaeogenetics; Northern Europe
Dr. Eve Rannamäe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Archaeology, Institute of History and Archaeology, University of Tartu, Jakobi Str 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
Interests: zooarchaeology; palaeogenetics; population history; morphometrics; native breeds; domestic livestock

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Zooarchaeology as a discipline investigates faunal remains from archaeological sites and includes the study of the cultural, as well as natural, history of animals. There are many topics in zooarchaeology to deal with. One of the major issues facing this subject is provenance. The word provenance (alternatively: provenience) comes from the Latin provenire, meaning “to come forth, originate”. Thus, zooarchaeological provenance refers to the verifiable information regarding the origin of a zooarchaeological find: the archaeological site or location in which it was discovered with its stratum, dating and age; but also, its biological parameters, like taxon, anatomy, natural habitat and origin. While the taxonomic and anatomical identification of a faunal remnant is a routine process in zooarchaeological study, detecting the spatiotemporal and/or genetic origin of an animal is a much more complicated task. Already, at the end of the Prehistoric and over the Medieval period, the long distance trade of animals and animal products (including mammals, birds, fish and even invertebrates) intensively emerged. It caused the mixing of local and foreign animal breeds and the introduction of new species, food and traditions, as well as shared ownership of hunting lands and fishing grounds. These past developments have largely laid the foundation for today’s animal management, with many of the processes still continuing nowadays.

The aim of this Special Issue is to look for local and/or foreign found in zooarchaeological material, to detect spatiotemporal and genetic origin of wild and domestic animals, as well as to demonstrate up-to-date methods in such research.

Contributions are invited (both case studies and synthesis articles), but not restricted, on the following topics, related to provenance studies in zooarchaeology:

  • Trade of animals and animal products
  • Genetic origin of animals
  • Natural habitats and introduction of different animal species
  • Provenance of food through stable isotope analyses
  • Production and breeding (including the development of contemporary native breeds)

Prof. Lembi Lõugas
Dr. Eve Rannamäe
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Provenance
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Genetic origin
  • Trade
  • Breed improvement
  • Food and diet
  • Stable isotopes
  • Radiocarbon dating
  • Adaptation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Multidisciplinary History of Goats in Finland: A Comparative Approach
Heritage 2022, 5(3), 1947-1959; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5030101 - 29 Jul 2022
Viewed by 689
Abstract
This article aims to study the history of goats (Capra hircus) in Finland using a multisource approach combining zooarchaeological data with evidence from written sources, the Silver Tax Record of 1571, and statistical data from the year 1900. We present an [...] Read more.
This article aims to study the history of goats (Capra hircus) in Finland using a multisource approach combining zooarchaeological data with evidence from written sources, the Silver Tax Record of 1571, and statistical data from the year 1900. We present an overview of an abundance of goat bones in zooarchaeological sites dating from the Middle Iron Age to the Post-Medieval period. Furthermore, we use Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) to study the presence of goats in material where it has not been identified by morphological methods. Where the zooarchaeological material and written sources overlap, the results support each other. The meaning of goats in the animal husbandry system in Finland has varied temporally and spatially, and their numbers were in decline by the year 1900. Their diminishing role in 20th-century Finland and their reputation of being the ‘poor man’s cow’ is likely the reason why they have not attracted much research interest. However, according to our data, goats have been an integral part of the animal husbandry system at least from the Late Iron Age onward, even if their proportion among other livestock is never very high. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zooarchaeology)
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Article
European Flat Oyster (Ostrea Edulis L.) in the Eastern Baltic as Evidence of Long-Distance Trade in Medieval and Early Modern Times
Heritage 2022, 5(2), 813-828; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020044 - 05 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Along most of the European littoral, oysters were appreciated as a wholesome and palatable food from the Stone Age onwards, yet were transported much further from their natural habitats when long-distance trade in marine foodstuffs began in medieval times. The brackish waters of [...] Read more.
Along most of the European littoral, oysters were appreciated as a wholesome and palatable food from the Stone Age onwards, yet were transported much further from their natural habitats when long-distance trade in marine foodstuffs began in medieval times. The brackish waters of the Baltic Sea are not considered a suitable environment for this mollusc, and therefore all archaeological oyster shell finds are the result of import to the eastern Baltic. In this study, over 1000 shells found in different medieval and early modern archaeological contexts in Estonia were analysed, and the obtained data recorded in a data repository. Some conclusions are set out, based on shell size and shape, and breakage traces, but more detailed taphonomic studies are left for the future. This study identifies the earliest imports of oysters recorded by archaeological material and written sources. Both show records not much earlier than the 16th century AD. Although no information is preserved about the exact origin of oysters imported to Estonia, the oyster beds most probably exploited are those in the central eastern North Sea, i.e., the Wadden Sea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zooarchaeology)
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Article
The Origin of Late Roman Period–Post-Migration Period Lithuanian Horses
Heritage 2022, 5(1), 332-352; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5010018 - 02 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1028
Abstract
In this paper, we present the 87Sr/86Sr data of 13 samples from horses from six Lithuanian burial sites dating from the 3rd to the 7th C AD. Alongside these data, we also publish the bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr data [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present the 87Sr/86Sr data of 13 samples from horses from six Lithuanian burial sites dating from the 3rd to the 7th C AD. Alongside these data, we also publish the bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr data of 15 Lithuanian archaeological sites, based on 41 animals which enabled the construction of a reliable baseline for the Southeast Baltic area. The 87Sr/86Sr values partially confirmed the hypothesis that the unusually large horses found in Late Roman Period to Post-Migration Period burials are of non-local origin. Of the three non-local horses identified, two were among the largest specimens. However, the overlap of bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr data across different European regions does not permit us to establish whether the non-local horses originated from other areas in Lithuania or from more distant regions. With regards to the 87Sr/86Sr data, the place of origin of the non-local horses could be Southern Sweden. This encourages discussions on the possible directions of migration and compels us to rethink the current models that posit South and Central Europe as the main sources of migration. The results of the 87Sr/86Sr, δ13C, and δ15N analyses demonstrate that horses buried in the same cemetery had different mobility and feeding patterns. Differences could be due to the different function and sex of the horses as well as the lifestyle of their owners. The most sedentary horses were pregnant mares, while the extremely high δ15N of three horses may reflect additional fodder and probably a better diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zooarchaeology)
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Article
Human Impact on Antler Conformation in Western Red Deer (Cervus elaphus elaphus Linnaeus, 1758)
Heritage 2021, 4(4), 4233-4248; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4040233 - 05 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1003
Abstract
A stray find of red deer antler from Sweden with the braincase was collected due to an apparently pathological deformation, the strongly retarded right antler. Measurements of the complete left antler inspired the analysis of general antler conformation in order to place this [...] Read more.
A stray find of red deer antler from Sweden with the braincase was collected due to an apparently pathological deformation, the strongly retarded right antler. Measurements of the complete left antler inspired the analysis of general antler conformation in order to place this archaeological specimen in a zoological context. This stray find and another prehistoric antler from Sweden as well as three complete prehistoric antlers from Hungary were metrically compared using measurements of over 17,000 trophies of extant red deer from Hungary. The results confirmed that the stray specimen from Sweden and prehistoric antlers from Hungary were similar in that they were stouter (smaller length measurements but greater circumferences) than their 20th century counterparts. Most of their measurements fell within the ±1 standard deviation interval of the means of extant trophies. The pathological lesion on the studied stray specimen directed attention to the role of human selection. Twentieth century record trophies show a significant increase in antler weight and “quality” as defined in the international trophy grading system. While these morphometric observations cannot be taken as a proxy for absolute dating or precise contextual identification for the stray find central to this study, its size and apparent lack of consistent human selection (pathological deformation, “archaic” antler proportions) point to possibly early origins, prior to major human influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zooarchaeology)
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