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Congruence of concordance in archaeobotany: assessing micro- and macro-botanical data sets from Icelandic middens

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archaeobotany, micro-botanical, macro-botanical, Iceland

Abstract (summary)

Archaeological farm middens dating from the Viking Age to early modern times are found throughout the North Atlantic region and contribute information regarding past ecological and economic conditions. Archaeobotanical investigations of two Icelandic farm midden sites are interpreted for plant-use trends in this northern pastoral economic system. Macro-botanical (i.e., seeds, leaves) and micro-botanical (i.e., pollen) remains are compared in order to assess the degree of congruence between these differing data sets. The background signature of macro- and micro-botanical variability in Icelandic pastoral practices is established through the analysis of present-day farmyard contexts for the assessment of differing archaeobotanical remains. Results indicate micro- and macro-botanical remains from Icelandic archaeological sites are not congruent since plants and plant parts are differentially collected and utilized by humans and these patterns of plant-use will effect whether or not micro- or macro-remnants are incorporated into the archaeological record.

Publication Information

Zutter, C. (1999). Congruence of concordance in archaeobotany: Assessing micro- and macro-botanical data sets from Icelandic middens. Journal of Archaeological Science, 26(7), 833-844. doi: 10.1006/jasc.1998.0349


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