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Was it for walrus?: Viking Age settlement and medieval walrus ivory trade in Iceland and Greenland
Natl Museum Denmark, Environm Archaeol & Mat Sci Labs, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Univ Cape Town, Dept Archaeol, ZA-7700 Rondebosch, South Africa.
CUNY, Doctoral Program Anthropol, New York, NY USA.
CUNY Hunter Coll, Zooarchaeol Lab, New York, NY 10021 USA.
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2015 (English)In: World archaeology, ISSN 0043-8243, E-ISSN 1470-1375, Vol. 47, no 3, 439-466 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Walrus-tusk ivory and walrus-hide rope were highly desired goods in Viking Age north-west Europe. New finds of walrus bone and ivory in early Viking Age contexts in Iceland are concentrated in the south-west, and suggest extensive exploitation of nearby walrus for meat, hide and ivory during the first century of settlement. In Greenland, archaeofauna suggest a very different specialized long-distance hunting of the much larger walrus populations in the Disko Bay area that brought mainly ivory to the settlement areas and eventually to European markets. New lead isotopic analysis of archaeological walrus ivory and bone from Greenland and Iceland offers a tool for identifying possible source regions of walrus ivory during the early Middle Ages. This opens possibilities for assessing the development and relative importance of hunting grounds from the point of view of exported products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 47, no 3, 439-466 p.
Keyword [en]
lead (Pb) isotopes, zooarchaeology, Walrus, Greenland, Norse, proto-world system, Iceland
National Category
History and Archaeology Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-25646DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2015.1025912ISI: 000355197300005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84930089598OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-25646DiVA: diva2:849443
Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-18 Last updated: 2016-01-04Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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