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Knowledge from the ancient sea : a long-term perspective of human impact on aquatic life in Mesolithic Scandinavia

Boethius, Adam LU ; Bergsvik, Knut Andreas and Nilsson, Björn LU (2020) In The Holocene 30(5). p.632-645
Abstract
Lately, evidence for early-Holocene emerging sedentism has been suggested among foragers in Northern Europe. The core of this suggested sedentism lies in the increasing dependency on large-scale fishing and mass consumption of fish and a territorial behaviour associated with access to the best fishing locations. This territoriality might also be associated with increasing numbers of people settling and living in Northern Europe at this time. In this article, we review the evidence for forager sedentism and territoriality and relate it to large-scale fishing, during a time of global warming, in early-Holocene Scandinavia. We explore the requisites of using the archaeological record to study the long-term effect of intense fishing on some of... (More)
Lately, evidence for early-Holocene emerging sedentism has been suggested among foragers in Northern Europe. The core of this suggested sedentism lies in the increasing dependency on large-scale fishing and mass consumption of fish and a territorial behaviour associated with access to the best fishing locations. This territoriality might also be associated with increasing numbers of people settling and living in Northern Europe at this time. In this article, we review the evidence for forager sedentism and territoriality and relate it to large-scale fishing, during a time of global warming, in early-Holocene Scandinavia. We explore the requisites of using the archaeological record to study the long-term effect of intense fishing on some of the best-preserved Stone Age sites in the area of study. We suggest that the archaeological record can enable a discussion of how aquatic life varies corresponding to human exploitation and climate change. In addition, we discuss how these changes might be traceable through temporal fluctuations in species composition, within species size reduction/increases, temporal fish age changes and within species dietary changes. In the end, we suggest that the archaeological record holds one of the keys to predict future impact on life below the surface, by offering a long-term perspective on aquatic exploitation in a period of climate change. At the same time as we acknowledge the potential hidden in the archaeological record, we also raise the dire warning that this record might be rapidly disappearing, because of an accelerated deterioration of archaeological organic remains in areas previously known for their good preservation. (Less)
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; and
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
The Holocene
volume
30
issue
5
pages
14 pages
publisher
SAGE Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85077585510
ISSN
0959-6836
DOI
10.1177/0959683619895585
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9dadeb74-cc10-4a6f-8cfa-c0391ffdd3f9
date added to LUP
2020-01-23 14:44:35
date last changed
2020-12-29 04:43:32
@article{9dadeb74-cc10-4a6f-8cfa-c0391ffdd3f9,
  abstract     = {Lately, evidence for early-Holocene emerging sedentism has been suggested among foragers in Northern Europe. The core of this suggested sedentism lies in the increasing dependency on large-scale fishing and mass consumption of fish and a territorial behaviour associated with access to the best fishing locations. This territoriality might also be associated with increasing numbers of people settling and living in Northern Europe at this time. In this article, we review the evidence for forager sedentism and territoriality and relate it to large-scale fishing, during a time of global warming, in early-Holocene Scandinavia. We explore the requisites of using the archaeological record to study the long-term effect of intense fishing on some of the best-preserved Stone Age sites in the area of study. We suggest that the archaeological record can enable a discussion of how aquatic life varies corresponding to human exploitation and climate change. In addition, we discuss how these changes might be traceable through temporal fluctuations in species composition, within species size reduction/increases, temporal fish age changes and within species dietary changes. In the end, we suggest that the archaeological record holds one of the keys to predict future impact on life below the surface, by offering a long-term perspective on aquatic exploitation in a period of climate change. At the same time as we acknowledge the potential hidden in the archaeological record, we also raise the dire warning that this record might be rapidly disappearing, because of an accelerated deterioration of archaeological organic remains in areas previously known for their good preservation.},
  author       = {Boethius, Adam and Bergsvik, Knut Andreas and Nilsson, Björn},
  issn         = {0959-6836},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {632--645},
  publisher    = {SAGE Publications},
  series       = {The Holocene},
  title        = {Knowledge from the ancient sea : a long-term perspective of human impact on aquatic life in Mesolithic Scandinavia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959683619895585},
  doi          = {10.1177/0959683619895585},
  volume       = {30},
  year         = {2020},
}