Session: #310

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

The Importance of Fishing for Cultural Development in the Early and Mid Holocene in Northern Europe [PaM]
Cutting-edge interdisciplinary research of the last 10-15 years has clearly demonstrated that aquatic resources have constituted an essential part of the economic base of the early and mid Holocene hunter-gatherers of Northern Europe and, therefore, it may be better to refer to these groups as hunter-fisher-gatherer communities. New research has revealed archaeological sites also in submerged and wetland conditions, which has led to the discovery of well-preserved fishing equipment as well as the recovery of larger quantities of small-sized and fragmentary fish remains. In addition, isotopic research on human bones and chemical analyses of early pottery have attested to the considerable consumption of aquatic resources by early forager communities. Some novel approaches have also been developed, for example, in studying the sedimentary record of open-air sites suggesting systematic utilisation of fish even in areas where the direct evidence confirming this is scarce or missing.
The fishing topic seems to be central for the understanding of various hunter-fisher-gatherer communities, and therefore this session aims to distribute information about novel and cutting-edge scientific methodologies for furthering our knowledge about the subsistence and cultural development of early and mid Holocene populations. The purpose here is to convene specialists who work actively on fishing-related topics in Northern Europe, between the North Atlantic and the Urals. Presentations will be highly appreciated on topics concerning, e.g., the application of novel and/or interdisciplinary approaches for improving our understanding of the importance of fishing, how to proceed within fishing studies and what methodologies and cooperation (inter/multidisciplinary) ought to be established and developed further.
Fishing, Hunter-Fisher-Gatherer, Early and Mid-Holocene, Stone Age, Baltic Sea
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:
Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Community (PaM) of the EAA


Main organiser:
Harald Luebke (Germany) 1
Satu Koivisto (Finland) 2,3
Valdis Bērziņš (Latvia) 4
1. Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology - ZBSA
2. University of Helsinki - Archaeology
3. Archaeological Field Services, National Board of Antiquities
4. Institute of Latvian History at the University of Latvia