Contributions Workshop 1.4.C:
Subsistence strategies for Mountain regions

ID: 175
Workshop & Poster
The plant remains with the “Ice Maiden”, the Inca mummy from Mt. Ampato, Peru
Keywords: the Andes, human sacrifice, capacocha

Oeggl, Klaus1; Reinhard, Johan2
University of Innsbruck, Austria; 2National Geographic Society

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

In 1995 the frozen body of an Inca girl, named the “Ice Maiden” in analogy to the Neolithic Tyrolean Iceman, was discovered during an expedition led by the archaeologist Johan Reinhard on the inner slope of the Mt. Ampato crater, a dormant Andean stratovolcano located in southern Peru. After the Incas had become well settled in the Colca Canyon and after the eruption of Misti in the mid-1400s the girl at the age of 13 – 14 years was offered at about 6300 m altitude and buried in a platform associated with female figurines, food and pottery. This combination of material offerings and human sacrifices in the Inca ritual is termed a “capacocha complex”. Between August 1993 and September 1995 the Ampato summit ridge collapsed with most of the burial site in consequence of sustained tephra eruptions of the nearby Sabancaya volcano and the mummy with most of the associated artefacts had fallen inside the crater about 65 m below the summit. In between 1995 and 1997 the offering assemblage inclusive the mummy was rescued in course of four expeditions. Here we present the analysis of the plant remains recovered with the body.

All of the retrieved plant remains are edible and most of them belong to crops. Predominant are carbohydrates delivering plants, e.g. corn (Zea mays), quinoa(Chenopodium quinoa), potato (Solanum tuberosum), batata(Ipomea batatas), but also legumes like bean (Phaseolus ssp.)are detected. Single fruits of guava (Psidium guajava) and lúcuma (Pouteria lucuma) are observed also in the find assemblage. Furthermore a bundle of leaves from coca (Erythroxylum coca) documents its involvement in the ritual act and suggests its consumption. The implications of the plant findings and the Inca offering ritual are discussed. 

ID: 192
Workshop & Poster
Investigating historical subsistence and land-use strategies in mountain environments: the integration of computer simulation and ethnoarchaeological methods

Carrer, Francesco1; Sarson, Graeme1; Angelucci, Diego E.2; Baggaley, Andrew1; Shukurov, Anvar1
Newcastle University, United Kingdom; 2University of Trento, Italy

Workshop Abstract:

The study of past human-environment interaction in mountain environments is of critical importance to understand the evolution of human impact on alpine and subalpine ecosystems, and to assess sustainability and resilience in pre-modern mountain communities. However, the dearth and complexity of archaeological and historical evidence prevents a full understanding of socio-ecological dynamics in these challenging environments. In this study a static mathematical model is developed to simulate rural economic strategies in two villages of the Italian Alps, between the 18th and the 19th century. Simulation scenarios are created using the ethno-historical data collected in the area, and simulation results are validated against land-use evidence, provided by historic cartographies and archaeological surveys of upland landscapes. The results of this simulation provide an overview of the complex and long-term effects of farming and pastoral economies on vulnerable mountain ecosystems. This in turn fostered a new understanding of these unique socio-ecological systems, characterised by the coexistence of permanent and seasonal rural practices. The outcomes of this study also suggest that the use of ethnoarchaeological methods to develop and validate hypothetical scenarios can be extremely beneficial for improving the heuristic potential of archaeological simulation, not only in historical periods. 

ID: 342
Workshop & Poster
Traditional Mountain Hunting Blind Networks of Southern Yukon, Canada
Keywords: Seasonal resources, hunting, habitat, hunting infrastructure, caribou

Thomas, Christian1; Herkes, Jennifer2; Meikle, John3; Greer, Sheila4
Government of Yukon, Canada; 2Carcross/Tagish First Nation; 3Kwanlin Dun First Nation; 4Champagne and Aishihik First Nations

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

The Yukon Ice Patch Research Project has resulted in the discovery of hundreds of hunting weapons that have been melting from mountain ice fields. Despite this evidence suggesting that alpine ice fields were targeted hunting sites, ethnographic accounts of mountain subsistence do not record any indication that hunters specifically targeted caribou or sheep on ice. What ethnographic sources do record, is that mountain hunting occupied a very distinct time in the seasonal round. Called Shakat in the Tutchone language of the southern Yukon, mountain hunting occurred in the late summer or fall, and C14 evidence suggests this tradition was enacted annually for at least 9,000 years. In this paper we analyze and discuss the distribution of ancient hunting blinds that were maintained across the mountainscapes of southern Yukon as proxy evidence for the systems by which hunters planned group hunting activities for many millennia. The distribution of these features suggest that ice patch hunting formed a minor component of the overall hunting strategy. Further, evidence suggests that ancient First Nation hunters may have variably situated infrastructure across the mountains of their hunting territories in order to increase hunting success in response to variable game movement. 

ID: 405 
Workshop & Poster
Plant-based resources of a Late Bronze Age copper mining site in the eastern Alps – Archaeobotany at Prigglitz-Gasteil (Lower Austria)
Keywords: archaeobotany, late bronze age, eastern alps, charcoal analysis, processed food

Jakobitsch, Thorsten1; Heiss, Andreas G.1; Wiesinger, Silvia1; Trebsche, Peter2
Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, Austria; 2Universität Innsbruck, Austria

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

The mining site of Prigglitz-Gasteil is the easternmost Bronze Age mining area in the Alps. The early to late urnfield culture site is interpreted as a large work station for the extraction and processing of copper ore. Excavations revealed various tools, ceramics, bronze finds, animal bones and charcoal. The massive mining waste heap was investigated in order to reconstruct the work flow of the mining community, using flotation samples which were taken in a high-resolution approach. We aimed at the reconstruction of the supply chain necessary to provide the miners with timbers and food, and of spatial and temporal patterns of plant resource use. Both charcoal and other charred plant macroremains were used as sources of information. The rarely occurring finds of cultivated crops were represented mainly by millets (Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica) as well as processed food based on barley (Hordeum vulgare). Gathered wild fruits such as Raspberries (Rubus idaeus), wild pome fruits (Malus/Pyrus sp.) and rosehips (Rosa sp.) occur as well. The vast majority of macroremains consists of coniferous leaves, namely the needles of fir (Abies alba) and spruce (Picea abies). While this initially suggested the burning of mainly these two coniferous species for copper processing, charcoal analyses revealed a larger spectrum of the woody taxa used. Combined analyses and comparisons in a trans-regional way including previously analyzed mining sites will allow a further comprehensive reflection of the prehistoric environment of Prigglitz-Gasteil, enabling to understand and reconstruct plant-based supply management models for the people living and working at the copper-mine. This research was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): [P30289-G25].


ID: 512
Workshop & Poster
Mountain archaeological sites as a part of organized prehistoric settlement systems - testing the hypotheses: Case study Liptov region (northern Slovakia)
Keywords: mountain sites, settlement systems, prehistory, hypotheses testing, multiproxy approach, Liptov region, Slovakia

Tamaškovič, Jakub1; Hajnalová, Mária1; Benediková, Lucia2
1Constantine the Philosopher University Nitra, Slovak Republic; 2Institute of Archaeology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovak Republic

Workshop Abstract:

The contribution presents methodological approaches used to test the existing hypothesis on the settlement of the mountain region Liptov (northern Slovakia). The region is situated in the northern part of Western Carpathians and connects the inner and outer Carpathian regions. Available archaeological data indicate variable settlement patterns, which evolved during 5500 years since middle Neolithic (c. 5000–4700 BC) up to the Migration period (5th cent. AD). It has been suggested that the sites differed in social organisation and subsistence.

Understanding human adaptation and exploitation strategies in this region is important as the mountain ranges surrounding the Liptov basin were not a barrier. Cultural superregional contacts are clearly attested in archaeological records.

We combine several sources of evidence – GIS, archaeology, archaeobotany, palaeoecology (palynology) – to:

1. detect and characterise the settlement pattern and its changes in time and space;

2. reconstruct subsistence strategies of different types of sites;

3. characterise the interaction of human populations with their environment.

The first results show, that three morphographic zones – the bottom of the basin with foot-hills, piedmont hills and the peaks – were exploited differently in different times. The combination of results from various disciplines suggests, that while settlements aimed at self-sufficiency, they were rarely isolated units, but as a rule were part of a wider vertically and horizontally distributed settlement systems. We define functionally and economically types of sites within each zone (and period). Then we evaluate the region as a whole also concerning the results of palaeoecology indicating that human populations producing variable patterns in the region were confronted (also) with variable climates.

Using the GIS software we created a model of long-term settlement sequence of the region. Synthesis of this model with other palaeocological data helps us to understand and raises new questions on subsistence strategies and social-economical processes.

Poster Abstract:

 Compared to better accessible parts of the landscape a specific aspect of settlement strategy creating a specific system of settlement structure is represented by utilization of the mountain regions. Poster describes the methodological steps and presents the GIS tools employed in the research of the development and dynamics of settlement structure of selected mountain region during 5500 years since middle Neolithic (c. 5000–4700 BC) up to the Migration period (5th cent. AD).

Liptov is a region of northern Slovakia, surrounded from the north, west and south by mountain ranges. The area is well defined by fixed landscape forming elements. It is therefore an ideal coherent segment for modelling (reconstruction of) the past settlement structure. Nevertheless, the geographical boundaries were not a barrier for cultural contacts in prehistory, as the cultural superregional contacts are clearly attested in archaeological records since Neolithic. Available archaeological and geographical data indicate variable settlement patterns. It has been suggested that the sites differed in social organisation and subsistence.

In our study two groups of data have been processed. The first one are the archaeological data, gathered in the Central Evidence of the Archaeological Sites in Slovakia (CEANS), established and managed by the Slovak Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology. The second one are environmental data (DTM, soils, watercourses). Data were analysed using ArcGIS ESRI 10.2. software. We focused on the spatial characteristics of the sites, their relation to ecoparameters (environmental variables) and on their selected socio-cultural attributes (visibility, mutual accessibility, etc.). Main objective of the work in GIS environment was to:

1. detect and characterise the settlement pattern and its changes in time and space;

2. characterise the interaction of human populations with their environment.

The first created models of settlement structures show diverse intensity of use of three morphographic zones, definable in the region – the bottom of the basin with foot-hills, piedmont hills and the peaks. Diversity of sites evidences the multi-layered (vertical) settlement structure, embracing the mutual relations between the hilltop sites, between the hilltop sites and their hinterland (open settlements, isolated homesteads), etc. Intentionality of the system organisation is obvious when taking into account the spatial characteristics and function of the sites – utilization of strategically important hills, settling the important passes, building of refuge places.


ID: 527
Workshop & Poster
Subsistence strategies around the salt
Keywords: salt mining, archaeology, landscape

Kowarik, Kerstin; Reschreiter, Hans
Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria

Workshop Abstract:

 Main nutrition of salt miners was standardised for almost 1000 years. From bronze age in Hallstatt until La Téne period in Hallein, millet, barley and beans were the staple diet of the miners. The high standardisation of nutrition in Hallstatt is comparable to the used tools and equipment. They also were very highly standardised, both in the used raw material and the construction. But appearantly only the food was standardised, not the dished or transport devices for food, which shows no trace of uniformity. All dishes are completely different and also the splint boxes are found in a very wide variation.
The use of the surrounding landscape of Hallstatt is viewable in different levels and shows a massive impact on the region from bronze age on.

ID: 595
Workshop & Poster
The Iceman’s Last Meal Consisted of Fat, Wild Meat, and Cereals
Keywords: Iceman, stomach content, multi-omics dietary analysis

Maixner, Frank1; Turaev, Dmitrij2; Cazenave-Gassiot, Amaury3; Janko, Marek4; Krause-Kyora, Ben5; Hoopmann, Michael R.6; Engstrand, Lars7; Moritz, Robert L.6; Doble, Philip8; Oeggl, Klaus9; Rattei, Thomas2; Grimm, Rudolf10; Zink, Albert1
Eurac Research - Institute for Mummy Studies, Viale Druso 1, 39100 Bolzano, Italy; 2CUBE - Division of Computational Systems Biology, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria; 3SLING, Life Sciences Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore; 4Center of Smart Interfaces, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Alarich-Weiss-Str. 10, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany; 5Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University, Rosalind-Franklin-Str. 12, 24105 Kiel, Germany; 6Institute for Systems Biology, 401 Terry Avenue North, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA; 7Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institutet, 141 83 Stockholm, Sweden; 8Elemental Bio-imaging Facility, University of Technology Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales, 2007, Australia; 9nstitute of Botany, Sternwartestrasse 15, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria; 10Agilent Technologies, 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara, Ca 95051, USA

Workshop and Poster Abstract:

Human evolution and subsistence strategies are closely linked to dietary changes and food processing. This is clearly observed with the transition from hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture, which gave rise to cultivation of crops, animal husbandry and permanent settlements. The more stable availability of food boosted ancient population growth. However, changes in diet had drawbacks for health such as increased rates of caries. Added to this, permanent large settlements with adoption of agriculture promoted the spread of density-dependent infectious diseases. This study aims to reconstruct the dietary choices of ancient populations and the consequences these may have had for their health.
The detection of the Iceman´s stomach content provided the unique opportunity to fully reconstruct the main components of an Alpine Copper Age meal. Initial macro- and microscopic analysis revealed that the material is extraordinarily well preserved and contains large amounts of fat residues. By using a combined multi-omics approach targeting biomolecules (ancient DNA, proteins, metabolites, and lipids), we obtained a molecular “fingerprint” of the Iceman’s diet preceding his death.
The molecular data we present shows the presence of four components in the Iceman´s last meal: ibex and red deer meat supplemented with cereals and traces of bracken. In addition, the distribution of triglycerides and their constituting fatty acids is consistent with the consumption of animal muscle and adipose tissue. Our multi-omics study provides important insights into the general life and nutritional habits of a Copper Age individual in the Alpine area.

ID: 121
Specific Research Poster
Andean Sociocryosphere: pre-Columbian and postcolonial civilizations responses to glacier-related hazards in Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Keywords: Climate change, Glacier-related disasters, Adaptation, Pre-Columbian civilizations, Ethnoknowledge

Figueiredo, Anderson Ribeiro de; Simões, Jefferson Cardia; Menegat, Rualdo
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Poster Abstract:

The populations that inhabit the periglacial regions of the Central Andes have always been susceptible to glacier-related hazards. Climate change intensifies these risks because it accelerates the retreat of the Cordillera Blanca glaciers, thereby forming new glacial lagoons and increasing water volume and area of pre-existing lagoons. This work investigates whether there is an adaptation culture to mountain periglacial environments in the Central Andes on the western flank of the Huascarán, Huandoy and Chinchey glaciers in the Callejón de Huaylas region. This research was performed for two historical periods, specifically, an older period where pre-Columbian civilizations occupation strategies were identified and another more recent period where postcolonial strategies were considered against the risk of glacier-related disasters. Ancestral civilizations, predominantly including occupied high mountainous slopes and few archaeological sites, were found in high-risk areas of glacier-related disasters. Therefore, it is pertinent to recognize native cultures as societies that adapted to glacier-related disasters; this adaptation is recorded as an Andean ethno-cognition. On the other hand, the most populated postcolonial cities are located in zones of high risk of occurrence of alluvium, such as Huaraz. The recognition of the geographical position of these cities predominantly in areas of high risk as a mark of Spanish colonialism is important; therefore, we can understand that this system implied a disruption of the Andean cognitive system. In short, this work shows that the postcolonial society model tends to complicate possible adaptation strategies to climate change in the Callejón de Huaylas.


ID: 139
Specific Research Poster
The role of high alpine landscape for prehistoric communities – The case study Schnals

Keywords: Subsistence Strategies, Prehistoric community, Schnals, territory, Diary farming

Putzer, Andreas
South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Italy

Poster Abstract:

Archaeological research on the high-alpine landscape of the Alps increased considerable in the last decades. It has now been generally accepted, that this inhospitable area was molded by men since thousands of years. Prehistoric communities considered especially the inner alpine valleys and their high altitudes as a source of food and resources, whereby the procurement of raw materials is not exclusively limited to the extraction of metals. This results in an extension of the economic territory. The main goal of the Schnals case study was the investigation of the different motivations to occupy an alpine area. The causes are manifold and can be the political and economic importance of a new territory, the necessity of high alpine farming, as well as the religious and cosmological dimension of property for representation or the control of transit routes. From the archaeological point of view, the most discussed issue is the occupation and subdivision of the acquired high alpine landscape by the settlers of different farming communities of the main valleys and the differences in agricultural practices. The research at Schnals produced an unparalleled data set for high-alpine Archaeology, based on archaeological, botanical, osteological, petrographic and organic residue analyses of potteries to provide an insight of agricultural practices in high alpine landscapes in prehistory.


ID: 344
Specific Research Poster
New Insights into the Ancient Throwing Dart Technology of Southern Yukon, Canada
Keywords: hunting weapons, atlatl, design

Thomas, Christian1; Herkes, Jennifer2; Monahan, Valerie1; Alix, Claire3
Government of Yukon, Canada; 2Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Canada; 3Université Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne / CNRS UMR8096, France

Poster Abstract:

In the mountains of the Yukon, northern Canada, mountain ice patches have been melting and revealing a 9,000-year record of First Nations’ hunting weapons. Included in this assemblages are lost hunting arrows as well as a more ancient hunting spear referred to as a throwing dart or atlatl dart. For 20 years the fragmentary remains of this extinct technology have been recovered from a variety of sites across southern Yukon. For the first time in the summer of 2018 a complete, and entirely intact throwing dart was recovered from the overlapping territories of the Carcross Tagish and Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s. In this talk we will describe the construction and design of this weapon and how new insights from our analysis lend insight to previously made discoveries.


 ID: 454
Specific Research Poster
Evidence of absence? Discussing the lack of evidence for Early Iron Age high alpine land use in part of the Eastern Alps

Brandner, Daniel; Mandl, Franz
ANISA - Verein für alpine Forschung, Austria

Poster Abstract:

Starting in the 1980ies micro-regional archaeological surveys on the Dachsteinplateau (Austria) conducted by ANISA – Association for Alpine Research, under its founder and chairman Franz Mandl uncovered abundant evidence for alpine land use in this area since the Early Bronze Age. Radiocarbon dates of 21 sites evidence intense human presence, and most probably seasonal pastoral activities in altitudes between 1300 and 2100 m above sea level, especially during the Middle and Late Bronze Age (1500-1000 BC). These activities have been correlated with supplying the nearby Hallstatt salt mines. In the following centuries of the Iron Age evidence of human presence on the Dachsteinplateau is missing out completely in contrast to intensive mining activities in Hallstatt. Up to now this circumstance has been explained by a change in supply structures of the Hallstatt salt mines. However new results from archaeological surveys on the Tennengebirge, a neighbouring mountain massif to the west, show similar intense Bronze Age pastoral activities and the same hiatus in land use in the Early Iron Age, for which the same explanation cannot be applied. Therefore it seems necessary to discuss alternative explanations for the absence of archaeological evidence in the Early Iron Age on Dachstein- and Tennengebirge as well as future perspectives for scientific research on this topic. As studies in comparable areas in Tyrol, Switzerland and Slovenia have demonstrated a developed high alpine land use for this time period.


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