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Icelandic Agricultural Heritage and Environmental Adaptation: Osteometrical and Genetic Markers of Livestock Improvement

Author(s): Kevin Gibbons

Year: 2016

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Summary

In the early settlement of Iceland, Scandinavian pioneers brought their social knowledge alongside herds of livestock to the untamed island and in turn initiated a millennium-long tradition of livestock husbandry and survivorship in a harsh and unpredictable environment. Decades of integrated historical ecological research across Iceland allows for an exploration of the complex human ecodynamics of this marginal European outpost in the North Atlantic. Comparative osteometrical data from multiple sites from Iceland’s settlement to the modern period suggest that Icelandic livestock were subjected to breeding improvements during the late medieval period – before the conventional initiation of these practices during the Second Agricultural Revolution on continental Europe. These osteometrical data have the potential to be coupled with ancient genetic material retrieved from faunal remains to begin untangling the social, environmental, and ecological processes that shaped agricultural heritage and resource management practices through time. 


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Icelandic Agricultural Heritage and Environmental Adaptation: Osteometrical and Genetic Markers of Livestock Improvement. Kevin Gibbons. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434437)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 456

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America