Ramona Harrison (CUNY) Early Globalization and Human Ecodynamics in Eyjafjord Iceland

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Ramona Harrison (CUNY) Early Globalization and Human Ecodynamics in Eyjafjord Iceland

  1. 1. Early Globalization and Human Ecodynamics in Eyjafjord, Iceland Ramona Harrison City University Of New York ramona.harrison@gmail.com
  2. 2. The research area
  3. 3. Gasir site Church/ ChurchyardLate medieval trading station – later 13th – late 14th c. AD (C14)Written sources indicate earlier useSeasonal occupationSunken feature buildings with turfwallsfor height and roofsMain ruin area c.180m x 70mChurch c.15m x5mChurchyard c.25m in diameter - no burials!As many as 120 “rooms” in 6 clusters.Central trackways Trading SiteCirca.10.000m² (1ha) of visible archaeology
  4. 4. Picture: Hörður Geirsson. 2006.http://www.gasir.is
  5. 5. Gasir subsistence
  6. 6. FishConsumer monger Gasir Fish Ratio of Cleithrum vs. Premaxilla (%) 100% • Fish Consumption profile 90% across site = many more 80% Consumer Producer post cranial elements vs. 70% cranial. 60% • One specialized activity 50% area: preparation of fresh fish – on-site fish monger 40% – there, many more cranial 30% elements vs. post-cranial. 20% • Story about fisherman 10% from Siglunes 0% (northwestern end of Gás total Gás 2076 SVK 2 SVK 3 HST 3 HST 4 gadid gadid gadid gadid HRH AKV AKV gadid 24 cod 22 cod GJO AU 2 GJO AU 1 FBS cod fjord), bringing a boat full gadid, w /o gadid cod cod of fish to trade at Gasir 2076 market (Sturlunga Saga, Cleithrum % Premaxilla % Vigfusson 1878) .
  7. 7. Nature of Exchangeand Site Activity Odobenus rosmarus – Walrus tusk Photo: Roberts et al 2004 Sulphur processing Lap dogs...keys.lucidcentral.org Falco rusticolus – Grain pests ... Gyrfalcon
  8. 8. Pottery drinking vessels, metal cooking vessels (?) and stone baking platesGisladóttir & Snæsdóttir in Roberts et al 2010 Baking plate - Norway Brorson in Roberts et al 2009 Siegburg Stoneware - Germany http://futuremuseum.rorywilson.net/ Brorson in Roberts et al 2009 Bronze cooking pot ... Majolica - Spain not Icelandic
  9. 9. The textilesSheep ked puparia at Gasir wool or textiles rather than live animals present http://coloradodisasterhelp.colostate.edu/prefair/disease /dz/Lice.htmlModruvellir medieval textiles re-used vaðmál/cloth money uniform assemblageGasir textiles Vaðmál in Churchyard & Trading site Hayeur Smith in Vesteinsson et al 2011 Range of qualities and threads counts Roving in Trading site Long twists of combed raw wool Hayeur Smith in Vesteinsson et al 2011
  10. 10. Possible Gásir supply streamsSiglunesFishing station  –supply of standardized cod fish product for commercial export? Gásir later 13th & 14th c. (AD)  Trading Site,  seasonalHörgárdalur Immediate Hinterland Supply Region – beef and mutton, wool –standardized product for export
  11. 11. Gasir later 13th Modruvellir – Monastic & 14th c. AD. Farm Estate, largest Trading Site, landholder in valley seasonal system. Midden dates: 13th – 20th c. AD. Akureyri – Capital of NE Oddstadir – Medium to Iceland, regional trading Larger scale farm site. port from 15th c. AD on. Dates to late 9th – late 14th c. AD. Skuggi – Small scaleKlausturhus – tenant farm. On farmlandSpecialized owned by the Monasticseasonal herding Estate. Dates to 10th –station, likely 12th c. AD.replaces Skuggifarm in 12th c. AD.
  12. 12. Gasir and Hinterlandscalibrated Radiocarbon dates (SUERC)
  13. 13. Long-term regional Chronology of the valley system: Transition from Settlement Time to Later Middle Ages H 1104 Tephra H 1300 Tephra V 871 Tephra Phase II Phase IV Later Viking Age; End of Commonwealth/ ca. AD 1000 Sturlunga Age; ca. 13th c Settlement (Oddstaðir and (Gásir, Möðruvellir, Oddstaðir; of Iceland Skuggi) possibly Klausturhús) AD 871 AD 1000 AD 1100 AD 1200 AD 1300 AD 1400 Phase I Phase III Phase VSettlement & Early Post-Christianization, Iceland under NorwegianViking Age (basal Commonwealth Period; (1264-1380) / Oddstaðir) ca. mid11th- mid12th c Danish (1380+) control; (Oddstaðir and Skuggi) late 13th-early 15th c (Gásir, Möðruvellir, Oddstaðir)
  14. 14. Increased storminess and temperature fluctuations in the 13th and 14th c.
  15. 15. Long-term regional and single site Chronologiesthrough faunal collections from local farm middens
  16. 16. 13th / 14th c. Cattle Bone Element Distributions –Gásir – Prime cuts from prime age cattle (and caprines)
  17. 17. Gasir, Iceland, North Atlantic/Norway, NW Europe – Medieval World System1500km= ca. 2-3 days ofsailing in favorablewindsHowell M. Roberts http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Archaic_globalization.svg
  18. 18. Siglunes ...Mound B – Section. Chess figurefrom Haddock bone in context (150)
  19. 19. THANKS!US National Science Foundation (Grants OPP ARC 0732327 and OPP ARC 0809033),• Thomas H. McGovern• Sophia Perdikaris• Howell M. Roberts• Andy Dugmore• Orri Vesteinsson• NABO – North Atlantic Biocultural Organization• FSI – Archaeological Institute of Iceland• HERC, NORSEC (CUNY)• Fornleifasjóður, Iceland (2011, 2008 excavations)• And many others!

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