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Beaver hunting on the shores of the Baltic – animal bones from the Polish settlement of Dąbki 9 (completed)

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Dr. Ulrich Schmölcke

Since 2005, a German-Polish team of archaeologists has carried out excavations at the Stone Age bog site of Dąbki 9 on the Polish Baltic coast near Koszalin. The animal bones recovered during the course of this work are expected to provide valuable insights into the appearance of the first domestic animals in the Baltic Region and about changes in the natural environment during the 6th millennium BC.

Dabki Grabung

Numerous animal bones were preserved in the archaeological layers located below the water table. (Photo: Wolfgang Lage, ALM, Schleswig)

Radiocarbon dates for food crust on potsherds, for wood and for animal remains show that the area investigated at Dąbki was occupied from about 4800 to 3900 BC. The excellent conditions for preservation of organic material allow reconstruction of changes in the fauna which took place at this time. The most recent archaeological layers at the site can be expected to contain evidence of the first domestic livestock, such as sheep and cattle, but it has not proved possible to verify this in the first instance. A very striking feature is, however, the high proportion of remains of beaver (Castor fiber) in the animal bones investigated so far.

Dabki Grabungsleitung

The excavations are being directed by Dr Jacek Kabaciński (University of Poznan, centre) and Prof. Dr Thomas Terberger (University of Greifswald, right). To the left, Dr Sönke Hartz of the Archäologisches Landesmuseum Schleswig-Holstein (Photo: Wolfgang Lage).

 

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