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Fur-bearing species and Scottish islands

Fairnell, Eva H. and Barrett, J.H. (2007) Fur-bearing species and Scottish islands. Journal of Archaeological Science, 34 (3). pp. 463-484. ISSN 0305-4403

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Analysis of a database comprising archaeological records of fur-bearing species in Scotland has highlighted the pesence of foxes, badgers and other mustelids in areas outside their modern-day geographic range. Of particular interest is the apparent presence of foxes on Orkney for a number of centuries, from perhaps the last few centuries BC to the mid to late first millennium AD, pine marten on Orkney in the Neolithic, and badgers on the Outer Hebrides in the Early Bronze Age and 6e7th centuries AD. While zooarchaeological analysis of the data suggests the evidence from the Outer Hebrides is indicative of imported products of fur-bearing species, such as skins or ‘trophies’, the evidence from Orkney suggests populations of fur-bearing species may have been purposefully introduced by humans. This raises interesting questions regarding human perception and use of the different species in prehistoric North Atlantic Scotland.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Badger; Biogeography; Fox; Fur-bearing species; Mustelids; Scottish islands; Zooarchaeology
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Depositing User: Mrs Eva Fairnell
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2010 15:11
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2010 16:27
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2006.09.005
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.09.005
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10873

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