15. An Early Holocene Bearded Seal from the Trondheim Fjord: Environmental and Archaeological Implications
Ecology of Early Settlement in Northern Europe - Conditions for Subsistence and Survival (Volume 1) - Per Persson
Jorgen Rosvold [+]
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Heidi Mjelva Breivik [+]
Department of Historical Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Direct evidence of faunal resources available to the human colonizers of Norway following the last glacial period is highly limited, and the faunal history of the Early Holocene is usually inferred from other sources. Here we report the find of a well-preserved Early Holocene skeleton of a large, adult, male bearded seal from central Norway in the context of climate, geography and contemporary archaeological sites. The find of this sea ice obligate species coincides in time with the colder Preboreal oscillation period and some of the oldest traces of human activity in central Norway. Bone finds of bearded seals are generally rare worldwide; the find is thus important evidence of the history of the species as well as an indication of the resources available to early human settlers.