Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections
Personal tools

Fishy food crusts

Dr. John Meadows

Carbonised food crusts adhering to pottery are now routinely dated to provide 14C ages for the use of the pottery concerned.

Food crust 1Because fish and other aquatic foods are usually depleted in 14C relative to plants and animals in terrestrial food chains, however, such dates can be misleadingly old. This problem must be addressed if we are to develop realistic chronologies for the introduction and spread of pottery across Eurasia (see Dating the spread of pottery among hunter-gatherer-fisher communities in north-eastern Europe project). The challenge is to identify the sources of carbon in food crusts – or at least, to identify which food crusts are derived mainly from terrestrial foods, and to correct the 14C ages of “fishy” food crusts for any aquatic reservoir effects. Food crust 2This project is concerned with gauging the effectiveness of screening methods that might be used to identify the potential for reservoir effects in food crusts. Effective methods must be faster and more economical than 14C dating, and use little or no material; we also need to be able to test previously dated food crusts as well as screening potential samples for future dating. Results so far indicate that the light stable isotopes δ13C and δ15N are reasonably reliable indicators of the contribution of aquatic foods to the carbon content of a food crust, particularly at coastal sites. At inland sites, potential reservoir effects in food crusts are much greater and more variable, and the differences in δ13C and δ15N between terrestrial and aquatic foods can be less marked, so a third isotopic system may be required to identify fishy food crusts. There are several methodological challenges (e.g. diagenesis, sample pretreatment, sample inhomogeneity) that require further investigation, in part using modern experimental food crusts.Food crust 3

Document Actions
Aktueller Hinweis!

Das Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie arbeitet aufgrund der Corona-Krise ab dem 17.3.2020 überwiegend im Homeoffice. Unter den bekannten Mailadressen sind die Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter erreichbar.

Daher haben auch Gastwissenschaftler zur Zeit keinen Zugang zu unseren Räumlichkeiten. Bitte wenden Sie sich zu gegebener Zeit an die bekannten Ansprechpartner.

Siehe auch:https://landesmuseen.sh/de/coronavirus

 

From 17/3/2020 the staff of the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology will be mainly working from home due to the Corona crisis. The employees can be reached under the known email addresses.

For this reason, guest researchers do currently not have access to our facilities. Please get in touch with the known contact persons in due course.

See further: https://landesmuseen.sh/de/coronavirus

In Cooperation with

Carl Heron, Bradford University; Bente Philippsen, Aarhus University, Henny Piezonka, German Archaeological Institute; Aikaterini Glykou, Stockholm, Sönke Hartz, ALM Schleswig Holstein

Staff
Chiefs:
Dr. John Meadows
 
x
Unsere Webseite verwendet Cookies. Weitere Informationen. Einverstanden!