eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1997
Archaeology cover
Estonian Journal of Archaeology
ISSN 1736-7484 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-2933 (Print)


Full article in PDF format |

Alise Gunnarssone, Ester Oras, Helen M. Talbot, Kristi Ilves, Dardega Legzdiņa


This paper is intended as a contribution to the understanding of Late Iron Age food consumption patterns and dietary preferences along the lower course of the River Daugava. The multidisciplinary study analysed the ceramic vessels from the 11th–13th century Rauši settlement and cemetery. We used lipid residue analysis employing GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry), GC-C-IRMS (gas-chromatography-combustion-isotope ratio mass spectrometry) and bulk EA-IRMS (elemental analyser-isotope ratio mass spectrometry) of food-crusts for identifying vessel contents. The results are compared and assessed in the context of food refuse finds at the site, and the carbon and nitrogen isotopic baseline of River Daugava. Other evidence of dietary practices reported in previous research and historical sources is also integrated in the discussion.

      The results point to the Liv burial pottery being taken directly from the household as a secondary use. The pottery analyses and bone refuse indicate that the people of Rauši mostly based their diet on fish, beef and milk. Pork, however, seems to have gone through alternative cooking practices like drying, curing or fermenting. Surprisingly none of the analysed pots had been used for extensive processing plant matter. Cultivated crops seem to have been used as a supplement to the protein rich diet.



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