Megan Hicks (CUNY) Millennial Scale Sustainability around Lake Mývatn Iceland
A Millennial Sustainability at the District Center farm of Skútustaðir N. Iceland Megan T. HICKS City University of New York, Ph.D. Program in Archaeology firstname.lastname@example.org CUNY HERC Open Corkshop in Sustainability Science and Education Archaeological CUNY North Atlantic Biocultural Organization REU Institute Iceland Northern (nabohome.org), US National Science Foundation Science and International Polar Year Education Center
Sitesbandonedbefore 1300 From McGovern et al 2007
Skútustaðir’s Main Farm AreaMývatn’s Arctic Charmajor Fishing groundssouthern Historicroute Hay infields Farm Mound Hay infields Eider duck habitat Hay infields Framengjar (outer hayfields)
Excavation Areas:approximate locations2008 E1 & 2, D and F2009 G and H2010 H and E32011 H F D H G Top of farm Mound N E3 E1&2 10 MAerial Kite Photograph by Garðar Guðmundsson (FSI)
Skútustaðir Present Infield & Midden Excavation Area
Area G V1717 V1477 H1300 H1300 K1262 V940 V871Profile by Edwald 2009, radiocarbon dates provided by SUERC
Zoo‐archaeology Preliminary ResultsSkútustaðirTotal Number of Fragments (TNF) and Number of Identified Specimens (NISP)(Hicks 2010)Analysis began in 2009 and is ongoing. Results are preliminary. DATA from Hicks 2010
13th c.Increasing climate variability. Dugmore Caprine per Cattle : Myvatn et al. 2012 Archaeofaunas (Brewington et al. 2004)A greater focus on cows than other Mývatn farms? DATA from Hicks 2010
Hay Portioning Reports late 19th c through early 20th c.Hay portioning reports in the Mývatn area apparently came into use after “catastrophic shortages” in the mid to late 1800’s‐ The reports categorize hay and tally livestock‐ Tracked which farmers might need support‐ not all farmers complied with this practice at firstHay Portioning Reports Show:• Individual level and community level decision making to manage risk• Landscape use• Livestock demography• Status differences Example of a hay portioning report 1896Supported by the Comparative Island Ecodynamics project lead by Thomas H.McGovern (National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs grant 1202692).
Species Proportions from 1882 Skútustadir District Hay Report Cattle Horses Sheep Cattle to sheep ratio at this time is 1:75
Livestock Counts from Skutustaðir District Hay Report 1889 Sheep are the250 near total focus of early modern200 production 8 7 6 32 22 5 Ewes and 30 20 lambs are the150 3 0 Horses majority while 4 0 Wethers wethers are 76 55 70 3 3 67 65 Lambs more rare 6 23 18 Ewes100 68 30 Calves Among cattle, Steer 40 40 15 Milk Cows milk cows 2 3 outnumber 12 5 50 80 80 2 90 74 85 steer and 20 4 22 64 17 54 56 60 1 0 calves 12 2 0 1 0 28 13 12 26 20 17 0 0 1,5 0 1,5 0 1 2 1 2 0 1 3 0 1 0 1 1 2 2 1 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 0,5 10 0 0,5 12 0 Visible status differentiation between farms and farmers.
Hay Stores in Skútustadir district 1896 measured in Vt. (1 Vt. = 80 pounds)1000 900 800 700 600 500 Outfield Hay 400 Infield Hay 300 Land tenure and resources- 200 this hay report 100 from 1896 shows the two 0 farms richest in hay, border the framengjar or, “wet meadows”
IMPORTS Colonial vs. Post‐industrial1477 - 1717 tephra Early Modern Red earthenware Fish Hooks Industrial whitewares/porcelain Sheet Industrially Copper produced Luxury nails Tobacco imports Pipes (walrus ivory or incisor) Photographs by A. Kendall, T. Petursdottir, M. Hicks, A. Edwald
Bird eggs and bird bones: long term sustainable resource management Hofstadir 12 101 12 Skútustaðir 23 8 2 Waterfowl 17 9 Steinbogi Ptarmigan Coastal Birds Sveigakot 23 697 6 Hrisheimar 7 230 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Egg Shell, magnified Egg Shell, In situ at SKUData from McGovern et al. 2006 and Hicks 2010 Egg shell in situ at Skútustaðir(All phases combined, no AVSP)
Fish and Marine Resources‐ “coping with hard times?” Skútustaðir: Preliminary NISP of Seals Higher proportion of fish into the early modernperiod? DATA from Hicks 2010
Future Directions• Ongoing faunal analysis• SEM Identification of egg shell from all phases • Additional Archival Research• Continued outreach with the Kids’ Archaeology Program http://www.nabohome.org/projects/kap/fornleifaskol ibarnanna1.pdf
THANK YOUColleagues: Thanks to Dr. Thomas H. McGovern, Dr. Sophia Perdikaris. Our work partners at Fornleifastofnun Islands, especially Thora Petursdottir and Agusta Edwald. Orri Vesteinsson and the field teams in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 which included CUNY Graduate students George Hambrecht, Frank Feeley, Aarron Kendall, Seth Brewington and Amanda Schriener, Marianne Robson (Uni. Bradford), Veronique Forbes (Aberdeen) and Val De Feu (Stirling). Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students from Brooklyn College under the supervision of Dr. Sophia Perdikaris also contributed greatly in the field.Community: Thanks to our hostess at Skútustaðir, Gerdur Benediktsdóttir. We also owe many thanks to Dr. Arni Einarsson for locating this important site in 2007 and providing us with excellent support and hospitality at the splendid Mývatn Research Station. Thanks are also due to the students, community supervisors, and school staff of the Kids Archaeology project, Iceland (KAPI, formerly Fornleifaskóli barnanna).Support: Funding support from the US National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs Arctic Social Science Program through International Polar Year grant 0732327 is gratefully acknowledged. This report is a product of the International Polar Year program and of the NABO research cooperative.
Sources CitedBrewington, S., R. Harrison, C. Amundsen, and T. H. McGovern.2004. An early 13th‐century Archaeofauna from Steinbogi, Mývatn District, NorthernIceland. NORSEC Laboratory, CUNY. New York, NY, USA. Report No. 11Andrew J. Dugmore, Thomas H. McGovern, Orri Vésteinsson, Jette Arneborg, Richard Streeter, and Christian Keller. Cultural Adaptaion, componding vulnerabilities and conjunctures in Norse Greenland 2012 PNAS March 6, 2012 vol. 109 no. 10 3658‐3663 Hicks, Megan. 2010. Skútustaðir: an Interim Zooarchaeological report following the 2009 field season. Norsec Report No 48. www.nabohome.org.Karlsson, Gunnar. 2000. Iceland’s 1100 years: the history of a marginal society. C Hurst: London.McGovern, Thomas, Sophia Perdikaris, Arni Einarsson, and Jane Sidell. 2006 Coastal Connections, local fishing, and sustainable egg harvesting: patterns of Viking age inland resource use in Mývatndistrict N. Iceland. Environmental Archaeology. Volume 11 No.2.McGovern, Thomas H., Orri Vésteinsson, Adolf Fridricksson, Mike Church, Ian Lawson, Ian A. Simpson, Arni Einarsson, AndyDugmore, Gordon Cook, Sophia Perdikaris, Kevin J. Edwards, Amanda M. Thompson, W. Paul Adderly, Anthony Newton, Gavin Lucas, Ragnar Edvardsson, Oscar Aldred, and Elaine Dunbar. 2007. Landscapes of Settlement in Northern Iceland: Historical Ecology of Human Impact and Climate Fluctuation on the Millenial Scale. American Anthropologist 109(1) 27‐51.ISLEIF Database administered by Fornleifastofnun Islands, Icelandic Institute of Archaeologywww.instarch.is/english/ Iceland Hicks 2012, 77th SAA’s
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