Movement of agricultural products in the Scandinavian Iron Age during the first millennium AD: 87Sr/86Sr values of archaeological crops and animals in southern Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the exchange of crops and livestock through the application of strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analysis on cereal grains and faunal tooth enamel from the regional center of Uppåkra and three nearby settlements in Scania, southern Sweden, dating to the first millennium AD. Around a third of the fauna have non-local 87Sr/86Sr values, indicating the import of livestock from several different regions. After cleaning, almost all of the cereal grains have non-local 87Sr/86Sr values, which is surprising given the nearby abundance of fertile agricultural soils. We therefore suggest considering non-locally grown crops to be those whose 87Sr/86Sr values fall outside the normal distribution; if this approach is used, around 20% of the analyzed crop samples are interpreted as having grown non-locally. This study demonstrates the potential of combining strontium isotopic data of archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological material for gaining insights into the movement of agricultural products in prehistory.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • The Archaeologists, National Historical Museums
  • University of Oxford
  • British Geological Survey
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology

Keywords

  • agriculture, cereal grain, mobility, Scandinavian Iron Age, Strontium isotopes, tooth enamel
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-112
Number of pages17
JournalScience and Technology of Archaeological Research
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes