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Plant subsistence and environment at the Mesolithic site Tågerup, southern Sweden: new insights on the ‘‘Nut Age’’
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. (Kvartärgeologi)
2012 (English)In: Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, ISSN 0939-6314, E-ISSN 1617-6278, Vol. 21, no 1, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pollen was analysed from a sediment sequencecollected in the close vicinity of the Mesolithic settlementTa°gerup, southern Sweden. Macroremains were alsoretrieved from numerous samples taken at the site of thearchaeological excavations of Kongemose and Ertebøllesettlement phases, 6700–6000 B.C. and 5500–4900 B.C.respectively. Plants and other organic remains were wellpreserved in the refuse layers from the settlementsembedded in the gyttja. The pollen record includes no clearindications of human impact on the vegetation during theMesolithic. The occurrence of charcoal particles and pollenof grass and herbs associated with nutrient-rich soils arecontemporaneous with the Kongemose settlement. TheErtebølle settlement phase, although characterised byconsiderable dwelling activities less than a hundred metresfrom the pollen sampling site, is scarcely seen in the pollendata. Numerous finds of crushed dogwood stones from theKongemose phase, often partly carbonised, suggest thatthese stones were used for the extraction of oil. Otherplants found in the Kongemose refuse layers that may havebeen used are apples, cherries, raspberries, acorns androwan-berries. Based on the abundance of hazelnut shellsfound at the studied site and in other studies of Mesolithicsites in southern Scandinavia it is proposed that theseremains may testify to an important food supply rather thanjust use as a supplement to animal protein. It is alsohypothesised that a regional decrease in hazel populationsand thus hazelnut availability at the end of the Mesolithicmay have motivated the adoption of Neolithic subsistence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, 2012. Vol. 21, no 1, 1-16 p.
Keyword [en]
Plant macroremains, Pollen, Mesolithic, Environmental history, Plant subsistence, Hazelnuts
National Category
Environmental Sciences Archaeology
Research subject
Quarternary Geology; Archaeology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75219DOI: 10.1007/s00334-011-0299-xOAI: diva2:515108
Available from: 2012-12-28 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2013-02-20Bibliographically approved

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