Laura van der Sluis


PhD title:

Stories of subsistence: People and coast over the last 6000 years in the Limfjord, Denmark

Research field:

Stable isotope analysis has been widely applied on both human and faunal bone material to determine past dietary behaviour. Although contemporaneous environmental data is often absent in these studies, this is required for correct interpretation of the stable isotopic results. The human and faunal bone material used in this study originates from archaeological sites around the Limfjord area in Denmark, covering a time span of nearly 5000 years from the end of the Mesolithic (3900 B.C.) to the Viking Age (AD 1050). The bone remains will be accompanied by contemporaneous environmental data obtained from analysing sediment records (undertaken by J. Lewis & D. Ryves, Loughborough University).

The main aim of my research is to determine if the availability of marine resources has driven cultural changes seen in the coastal archaeological record. The Limfjord provides an ideal location to study this interaction, as this area has been fluctuating between marine and brackish conditions over the centuries. Additionally, multiple isotope proxies (carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and strontium) can provide insight into both the palaeodiet and palaeomobility.

Funding body:

Leverhulme Trust award (details here)