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New research at Riņņukalns, a Neolithic freshwater shell midden in northern Latvia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 August 2014

Valdis Bērziņš
Affiliation:
1Institute of Latvian History, University of Latvia, Kalpaka bulvāris 4, Rīga 1050, Latvia
Ute Brinker
Affiliation:
2State Archaeology, State Authority for Culture and Preservation of Monuments Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Domhof 4/5, Schwerin 19055, Germany
Christina Klein
Affiliation:
3Department of Geophysics, Institute of Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Otto-Hahn-Platz 1, Kiel 24118, Germany
Harald Lübke
Affiliation:
4Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation, Schlossinsel 1, Schleswig 24837, Germany
John Meadows
Affiliation:
4Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation, Schlossinsel 1, Schleswig 24837, Germany
Mudīte Rudzīte
Affiliation:
5Museum of Zoology, University of Latvia, Kronvalda bulvāris 4, Rīga 1586, Latvia
Ulrich Schmölcke
Affiliation:
4Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Schleswig-Holstein State Museums Foundation, Schlossinsel 1, Schleswig 24837, Germany
Harald Stümpel
Affiliation:
3Department of Geophysics, Institute of Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Otto-Hahn-Platz 1, Kiel 24118, Germany
Ilga Zagorska
Affiliation:
1Institute of Latvian History, University of Latvia, Kalpaka bulvāris 4, Rīga 1050, Latvia

Extract

The prehistoric shell middens of Atlantic Europe consist of marine molluscs, but the eastern Baltic did not have exploitable marine species. Here the sole recorded shell midden, at Riņņukalns in Latvia, is on an inland lake and is formed of massive dumps of freshwater shells. Recent excavations indicate that they are the product of a small number of seasonal events during the later fourth millennium BC. The thickness of the shell deposits suggests that this was a special multi-purpose residential site visited for seasonal aggregations by pottery-using hunter-gatherer communities on the northern margin of Neolithic Europe.

Type
Research
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2014

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