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NORSEC SKU Interim Zooachaeological Report 2009 5.5.2010

Author(s): Megan Hicks

Year: 2010

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The discovery of an intact midden at Skútustaðir’s historic farmstead in 2007 was a key finding for the planned investigation of the medieval and early modern periods in the lake Mývatn area of northern Iceland. The 2009 field season followed a soil coring survey and surface collection in 2007 and the excavation of four test trenches in 2008. Work was carried out by international team of archaeologists (hailing from the City University of New York (CUNY), North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) Fornleifastofnun Islands(FSÍ) and the University of Bradford) as part of an ongoing National Science Foundation, International Polar Year (NSF, IPY) project focusing on long term subsistence practices and human and environmental interactions. Zooarchaeological evidence from Skútustaðir excavation seasons in 2008 and 2009 is reviewed in this report, and laboratory analysis of animal bones is ongoing at the CUNY Hunter College and CUNY Brooklyn College Zooarchaeology Laboratories. The ongoing analysis has shown that the most important domesticates were sheep and cattle- used for meat, wool. and dairy throughout all periods. Skútustaðir may have had some advantages in their ability to keep cattle over other farms in the area. Goats, pigs, and horses are also present in the archaeofauna in low numbers. The presence of birds, bird egg shell, seals, cetaceae (whales and porpoises), marine fish and freshwater fish points toward a breadth of local and non local resources being consumed at the site. Ongoing analysis aims to uncover the diets and economies of the site’s residents as well as the related social and ecological interactions through time.

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NORSEC SKU Interim Zooachaeological Report 2009 5.5.2010. Megan Hicks. 2010 ( tDAR id: 396475) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8NZ88RG

Spatial Coverage

min long: -17.15; min lat: 65.514 ; max long: -16.875; max lat: 65.673 ;

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  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
NORSEC-SKU-Interim-Zooachaeological-Report-2009-5.5.2010.pdf 1.26mb Apr 9, 2015 11:56:40 AM Public
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America