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Title: Evaluating the change of consumption and culinary practices at the transition to agriculture : a multi-disciplinary approach from a Danish kitchen midden
Author: Robson, Harry
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 2792
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2015
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Due to the excellent conditions for preservation of anthropogenic materials, the introduction of domesticated fauna and flora into southern Scandinavia, ca. 3950 cal BC, has been debated for over 165 years. In order to test questions relating to the nature and timing of this cultural change, the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition, a number of archaeological and biomolecular techniques have been applied in recent decades. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses of human bone collagen is one such method that has been regularly performed. Interestingly, every study has argued for a dramatic or sudden dietary change (Tauber 1981) despite evidence to the contrary (Milner et al. 2004). However, there has not been a single study that has employed a range of techniques to materials derived from one site in order to evaluate the change of consumption and culinary practices across the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition. This thesis uses a combination of stable isotope analyses (carbon, nitrogen and sulphur) and radiocarbon dating of human bone collagen to reconstruct long-term dietary practices, and place these individuals into context. In order to provide an indication as to when the site was occupied, incremental growth line analysis of the European oyster (Ostrea edulis) was undertaken. In addition, organic residue analysis of ceramic vessels was performed to explore food consumption as well as culinary practices. Furthermore, an archaeoichthyological analysis was carried out to reconstruct the subsistence economy. This marks the first large-scale application of these methods to materials derived from one kitchen midden. Furthermore, it includes materials derived from 32 additional contemporaneous sites. The combined results demonstrate a degree of complexity: some things changed, others remained the same and there was variation both between sites and regions.
Supervisor: Craig, Oliver ; Milner, Nicky Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available