Versatility as a cultural niche: palynological evidence on Iron Age and medieval land use on the Åland Islands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The quantitative archaeological record of the Åland Islands (Finland) indicates a population boom in the mid-sixth century CE. Yet the number of palynological investigations on Åland is limited, resulting in a knowledge gap of anthropogenic landscape modification generated by the land use that followed the increased population. This article presents the results of a pollen analysis from Lake Lavsböle Träsk in central Åland, covering the period from the end of the Bronze Age into the modern period. The results of this study provide evidence of continuous land use throughout the Iron Age and the medieval period, and the population boom during the sixth century CE is indicated in the pollen signal. Altogether we argue for an economy based on cereal cultivation, animal husbandry, and maritime resource utilization (e.g. seal hunting, fishing, and fowling) as well as trading. The results indicate a society able to manage risks connected to their subsistence strategies, in which versatility seems to have had a key role.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Borealia
Volume40
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)113-139
Number of pages27
ISSN0800-3831
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Cultural niche construction
  • land use
  • Iron Age
  • medieval period
  • Åland Islands
  • risk management
  • Pollen

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