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Title: Of fish and men (de iasg agus dhaoine) : aspects of the utilisation of marine resources as recovered from selected Hebridean archaeological sites
Author: Cerón-Carrasco, Ruby N.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis attempts to interpret the exploitation and management of marine resources during later prehistory in the Western Isles of Scotland. Particular attention was focused on the analysis of the fish, mollusca and cetacean remains recovered during the excavation of the settlement of Bostadh Beach in Great Bernera, Lewis. Comparisons are made with fish bone assemblages recovered from other later prehistoric sites in the Western Isles. A key objective was the reconstruction of regional fishing practices particularly during the Iron Age and Norse periods. The main task was to try to demonstrate how marine resource exploitation was undertaken and to show how these resources may have been used. Archaeozoological and ethnoarchaeological methods of study were employed. The approach focused on five aspects of research: fish biology, modern fisheries, ancient fisheries, taphonomy and ethnography. The role of fishing during the Iron Age and Norse periods in this area of the Hebridean Islands is assessed, in terms of economic, social and technological factors. Fish biology and taphonomy provided the necessary association between modern and ancient fishing traditions. Taphonomy and ethnographical studies also linked past and present and allowed a more solidly based reconstruction of the islands’ fishing industry through time. The combination of archaeological faunal analysis and ethnoarchaeological approaches provides data for understanding the character of fishing economies in the later prehistory of Great Bernera and other areas of the Hebridean Isles.  A key outcome is that a major difference is apparent between local Iron Age and subsequent Norse practices, with the latter displaying far greater reliance on the systematic exploitation of herring (Clupea harengus) rather than cod (Gadus morhua) that was characteristic of the Norse period in other areas of Scotland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available