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Gunilla ErikssonUniversitetslektor

Publikationer

I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Dental wiggle matching

    2021. Jack P. R. Dury (et al.). Quaternary International 595, 118-127

    Artikel

    Marine reservoir effects (MRE) have the potential to increase the dating uncertainty of humans incorporating marine resources into their diets. Here we attempt a novel dental wiggle-match model to reduce dating uncertainty of seven individuals from the Resmo megalithic tomb (Öland, Sweden) and to test whether this model can be used to calculate MRE from a single tooth. Previous stable isotope ratio studies of these individuals demonstrated that their diets changed, between more or less marine protein, during the early years of their lives. Several incremental samples of dentine from each individual were subjected to radiocarbon dating and stable isotope ratio analysis. An OxCal model was designed that makes use of the known formation sequence of human teeth to reduce overall dating uncertainty. The new dental wiggle-match model is able to reduce overall dating uncertainty in all of the sampled individuals compared to more conventional 14C calibration methods. A utility of the dental wiggle model to estimate marine reservoir effects without associated faunal material is also demonstrated, with promising results.

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  • Reconstructing the ecological history of the extinct harp seal population of the Baltic Sea

    2021. Aikaterini Glykou (et al.). Quaternary Science Reviews 251

    Artikel

    The harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus), today a subarctic species with breeding populations in the White Sea, around the Jan Mayen Islands and Newfoundland, was a common pinniped species in the Baltic Sea during the mid- and late Holocene. It is puzzling how an ice dependent species could breed in the Baltic Sea during the Holocene Thermal Maximum (HTM), and it remains unclear for how long harp seals bred in the Baltic Sea and when the population became extirpated. We combined radiocarbon dating of harp seal bones with zooarchaeological, palaeoenvironmental and stable isotope data to reconstruct the harp seal occurrence in the Baltic Sea. Our study revealed two phases of harp seal presence and verifies that the first colonization and establishment of a local breeding population occurred within the HTM. We suggest that periods with very warm summers but cold winters allowed harp seals to breed on the ice. Human pressure, salinity fluctuations with consequent changes in prey availability and competition for food resources, mainly cod, resulted in physiological stress that ultimately led to a population decline and local extirpation during the first phase. The population reappeared after a long hiatus. Final extinction of the Baltic Sea harp seal coincided with the Medieval Warm Period. Our data provide insights for the first time on the combined effects of past climatic and environmental change and human pressure on seal populations and can contribute with new knowledge on ongoing discussions concerning the impacts of such effects on current arctic seal populations.

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  • Fishing at Vivallen – stable isotope analysis of a south Sámi burial ground

    2021. Markus Fjellström, Gunilla Eriksson, Kerstin Lidén. Fornvännen

    Artikel

    Vivallen is a Late Iron Age / Early Middle Age south Sámi site in Härjedalen, Sweden. We investigated the relative importance of various foodstuffs at this site, performing δ13C and δ15N analysis of human and faunal bones. As the site was located along a pilgrimage route, we performed δ34S analysis to study mobility. The results showed that freshwater fish was an important part of the diet, whereas reindeer and big game do not seem to have been a major protein source. They further demonstrated low mobility among the individuals, with one exception, a female who evidently grew up somewhere else.

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  • Diet and mobility among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers in Motala (Sweden) - The isotope perspective

    2018. Gunilla Eriksson (et al.). Journal of Archaeological Science 17, 904-918

    Artikel

    Recent excavations at the sites of Strandvägen and Kanaljorden in Motala, Eastern Central Sweden, have unearthed complex and varied funerary remains from the Mesolithic. The two sites are situated on opposite banks of the river Motala Ström. While geographically close and roughly covering the same time span (c. 8000–7000 cal. BP), the funerary remains reveal differences and similarities in the treatment of the dead between the two localities. While at Strandvägen human bones were mostly found either scattered along the river bed or in inhumation graves, Kanaljorden contains wetland depositions of disarticulated skulls. We have conducted multi-isotope analyses of δ13C, δ15N, δ34S and 87Sr/86Sr of human and animal remains with the aim of reconstructing the dietary patterns, geographic provenance and mobility of the interred. A series of faunal reference samples and, in the case of 87Sr/86Sr, soil samples have been analysed in order to establish relevant isotopic baselines. The results show a protein intake dominated by aquatic resources, probably consisting of both freshwater and marine fish in varied proportions. The strontium isotope data indicate an interesting distinction between the individuals buried on either side of the river Motala Ström. Five out of six sampled individuals from Strandvägen have isotope ratios consistent with a local provenance, whereas ratios from seven out of eight Kanaljorden individuals indicate a non-local origin. The δ34S analysis proved problematic as a majority of the samples appear to be affected by diagenesis. This is probably the result of contamination by exogenous sulphur from surrounding fluvial and lacustrine sediments, as has previously been reported from other waterlogged sites.

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  • Dietary life histories in Stone Age Northern Europe

    2013. Gunilla Eriksson, Kerstin Lidén. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32 (3), 288-302

    Artikel

    We present here a framework for using stable isotope analysis of bone and teeth to study individual life history. A sampling strategy and analytical approach for stable carbon and nitrogen analysis of bone and dentine collagen optimised for intra-individual purposes is put forward. The rationale behind this strategy, various requirements and constrains, and recommendations on how to modify it according to variations in material and analytical instrumentation, are discussed and explained in detail. Based on intra-individual data for 131 human individuals from Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in Northern Europe, we consider the sources and various kinds of variation one is likely to find, and how the data can be explained and transformed into an archaeologically meaningful interpretation. It is concluded that the use of stable isotope analysis to trace individual life history is not limited to carefully excavated, neatly preserved, single burials with articulate skeletal remains. Even collective burials, disturbed graves, disarticulated human remains in cultural layers, or other depositions that deviate from what is often considered as a proper burial, offer the possibility to look at individual life biographies.

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