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Zooarchaeology and Climate Change in Northeast Iceland

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Céline Dupont-Hébert
Department of Historical Sciences and Center for Northern Studies
Université Laval

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Zooarchaeology and Climate Change in Northeast Iceland

  1. 1. ZOOARCHAEOLOGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN NORTHEAST ICELAND CÉLINE DUPONT-HÉBERT PhD CANDIDATE IN ARCHAEOLOGY DEPARTMENT OF HISTORICAL SCIENCES AND CENTER FOR NORTHERN STUDIES UNIVERSITÉ LAVAL EXPECTATION, IDENTIFICATION AND (MIS)INTERPRETATION
  2. 2.  PHYSICAL AND HISTORICAL SETTING  RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS  EXPECTATION  ASSEMBLAGES  IDENTIFICATION  (MIS) INTERPRETATION  CONCLUSIONS PRESENTATION PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS
  3. 3. PHYSICAL AND HISTORICAL SETTING (1/2) ICELAND SVALBARDSTUNGA SVALBARD HJALMARVIK PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS  COASTAL VS. INLAND  SEA ICE AND ANNUAL CLIMATE  NATURAL RESOURCES  TEPHRAS?
  4. 4. PHYSICAL AND HISTORICAL SETTING (2/2)  SETTLEMENT?  SVALBARÐ  HJALMARVIK  JARÐABOK  LAKI ERUPTION  ABANDONMENT PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS
  5. 5. RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS « WHY SUSTAINABLE COASTAL FARMS HAVE BEEN ABANDONED OR HAVE MODIFIED THEIR ORIGINAL ECONOMIC STRATEGIES DURING ICELAND’S MEDIEVAL PERIOD »  RECREATE THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF A DISTRICT  UNDERSTAND RESOURCE EXPLOITATION AND RESOURCE EXCHANGE FOR EACH SITE AND FOR THE DISTRICT  IDENTIFY POSSIBLE SOURCES OF ECONOMIC CHANGES (CLIMATE, POLITIC, ECONOMY, ETC.) AND IMPACTS ON OTHER FARMS AND WHY NOT…  TEST SETTLEMENT THEORIES IN SVALBARÐSHREPPUR  AND IDENTIFY LIMITS OF THE ZOOARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD IN THE SEARCH FOR CLIMATE CHANGE SIGNALS PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS
  6. 6. PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS EXPECTATION  SIGNS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE POST-1300 DEPOSITS IN SVALBARÐ’S MIDDEN : SHOULD BE VISIBLE IN HJALMARVIK AS WELL (1990’S ANALYSIS)  CHANGE IN HERDING STRATEGIES AROUND THE 14TH CENTURY : SHOULD BE VISIBLE AT SOME POINT IN THE TWO FARMS  HJALMARVIK ABANDONED?
  7. 7. ASSEMBLAGES (preliminary) PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS  DIFFERENCES IN DOMESTICATE EXPLOITATION  DIFFERENCES IN WILD FAUNA EXPLOITATION (BUT STILL NOT THAT DIFFERENT) %NISP for major taxonomic groups for SVB and HVK 11 14,5 71 2,56 0,13 20 15 52,7 11,75 0,03 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 domesticates marine mammals fishes birds wild terrestrial Taxonomic groups %NISP hvk svb
  8. 8. IDENTIFICATION: THE SVALBARD CASE (1/2) PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS PRE-1300 POST-1300 NISP NISP SPECIES SCIENTIFIC NAME Domesticate mammals Cattle Bos taurus 206 58 Horse Equus caballus 1 - Pig Sus scrofa 5 - Sheep Ovis aries 69 39 Goat Capra hircus 2 5 Sheep/goat Ovis/Capra 809 271 Marine Mammals Common seal Phoca vitulina 14 32 Greenland seal Phoca groenlandica - 33 Seal species Phocid species 148 691 Walrus Odobenus rosmarus - 1 Whale species Cetacean species 150 29 Wild terrestrial mammals Fox Alopex lagopus - 1 Polar bear Ursus maritimus 1 1 Birds Avian species 804 45 Fishes Fish species 1784 2027 Molluscs (sampled) Mollusca species 162 430 TOTAL 4155 3663
  9. 9. IDENTIFICATION: THE SVALBARD CASE (2/2) PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS SIGNALS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN SVALBARD (1990’S):  GROWTH (2,5%) OF WILD MAMMAL EXPLOITATION (EXCEPT CETACEAN SPECIES): AVAILABILITY?  PRESENCE OF THE GREENLAND SEAL (MIGRATORY AND COOLER CLIMATE INDICATOR)  DROP IN CATTLE EXPLOITATION DECREASE IN SHEEP/GOAT EXPLOITATION  DROP (18%) IN BIRD EXPLOITATION (POPULATION MOVEMENT TO THE SOUTH) ± 3%
  10. 10. (MIS) INTERPRETATION (discussion 1/3) PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS POST-1300 %NISP for major taxonomic groups for the pre-1300 phase 9,4 2,5 0,1 7,05 42,93 19,35 0,02 73,6 14,43 26,28 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 domesticates marine mammals fishes birds wild terrestrial Taxonomic groups %NISP hvk svb %NISP for major taxonomic groups for the post-1300 phase 30,05 17 49,9 2,9 0,1 11,5 24,5 62,6 1,3 0,06 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 domesticates marine mammals fishes birds wild terrestrial Taxonomic groups %NISP hvk svb PRE-1300
  11. 11. (MIS) INTERPRETATION (discussion 2/3) PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS  DRASTIC GROWTH OF WILD MAMMAL EXPLOITATION (EXCEPT CETACEAN SPECIES): AVAILABILITY? SVB HVK  PRESENCE OF THE GREENLAND SEAL (MIGRATORY AND COOLER CLIMATE INDICATOR) SVB HVK  DROP IN CATTLE EXPLOITATION SVB HVK  DECREASE IN SHEEP/GOAT EXPLOITATION SVB HVK  DROP IN BIRD EXPLOITATION (POPULATION MOVEMENT TO THE SOUTH) SVB HVK SVALBARD POST-1300 (WITH HJALMARVIK IN THE PORTRAIT): =
  12. 12. (MIS) INTERPRETATION (discussion 3/3) PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS  HJALMARVIK NO LONGER AN INDEPENDANT FARM (ca 1318)  LOST OF ITS CONTROL OVER COASTAL RESOURCES  GROWTH IN SHEEP/GOAT HERDING AND CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS STRATEGY: Ovis/Capra mortality profile for the two major phases at Hjalmarvik 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 0-10 months 15-20 months 20-36 months more 36 months Age group %NISP 10th century to AD1300 AD1300 to 19th century
  13. 13. CONCLUSIONS… PRESENTATION PHYSICAL & HISTORICAL SETTING RESEARCH QUESTION AND MAIN GOALS ASSEMBLAGES EXPECTATION IDENTIFICATION (MIS) INTERPRETATION CONCLUSIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE IDENTIFICATION:  PRESENCE/ABSENCE OF SPECIES ASSOCIATED TO COOLER CLIMATE (SEA MAMMALS, BIRDS)  HIGH MORTALITY OF SHEEP NEONATES AT BOTH SITES (ECONOMIC OR CLIMATE?) AND DECREASE OF CATTLE  ARE THE SIGNALS STRONG ENOUGH TO ASSOCIATE THIS DISTRICT CHANGE TO CLIMATE CHANGE? ON THE SEARCH FOR CLIMATE CHANGE IN ICELAND:  IS ONE SITE ENOUGH?  IS « REGIONAL SCALE » ENOUGH?  DOES THE SOLUTION LIES IN THE INTEGRATION OF « LESS INFLUENCED BY ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIONS » DATA…OR NOT?
  14. 14. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Many thanks to Sigtryggur Þorláksson and Guðmundur Þorláksson enthusiastic landowowners of Svalbarð, Daníel Hansen schoolmaster at Svalbarðsskoli and Bjarnveig Skaftfel caretaker of the school, and thanks to our many collaborators! Thanks to George Hambrecht for the organisation of this GHEA meeting and for welcoming us in his new home Thanks to Jim Woollett, Gudrun Alda Gisladottir, Uggi Aevarsson and Stefan Olafsson : awesome Svalbard team FINANCIAL AND LOGISTIC SUPPORT, AND COLLABORATORS: LITTERATURE: Amorosi T.(1992) Climate impact and human response in Northeast Iceland: archaeological investigations at Svalbard 1987-1988, In C.D. Morris and D.J. Rackham (eds) Norse and Later Settlement and Subsistence in the North Atlantic, Archetype Publication, Glasgow; Gisladottir et al. (2013) The Svalbard project, Archaeologia Islandica 10: 69-103; Gísladóttir et al. (2012) Interim report of archaeological fieldwork at the farm of Svalbarð in the summer 2011, Unpublished field report, Fornleifastofnun Islands (Reykjavík) and Département d’histoire de l’Université Laval (Qc); Gísladóttir et al. (2011) Interim report of archaeological fieldwork at the farm of Svalbarð in summer 2010 and winter 2011, Unpublished field report, Fornleifastofnun Islands (Reykjavík) and Département d’histoire de l’Université Laval (Qc); Gísladóttir et al. (2010) Preliminary report on archaeological fieldwork on and around the farm of Svalbarð, Svalbarðshreppur, 2009, Unpublished field report, Fornleifastofnun Islands (Reykjavík) and Département d’histoire de l’Université Laval (Qc); JAM: Jarðabók Arná Magnússonar og Páls Vidalins, Thingeyjarsýsla, 11 Bindi (1943), Kaupmannahöfn, Hið Islenska Freadjafjelag í Kaupmannahöfn; Ólafsson et al. (2013) Interim report of the 2012 fieldwork programme in Svalbarðhreppur: Hjálmarvík and Sjóhúsvík, Unpublished field report, Fornleifastofnun Islands (Reykjavík) and Center for Northern Studies of University Laval (Qc); Woollett J. (2008) Preliminary report of archaeological fieldwork at Svalbarð (Svalbarðshreppur)in 2008, Unpublished field report, Fornleifastofnun Islands (Reykjavik) and Département d’histoire de l’Université Laval (Qc).

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