"Innovative subsistence strategies" : Neolithic hunting and husbandry at Lake Bienne on the basis of the archaeozoological data of the lakeshore sites of Sutz-Lattrigen (Switzerland)

Kerdy, Manar. "Innovative subsistence strategies" : Neolithic hunting and husbandry at Lake Bienne on the basis of the archaeozoological data of the lakeshore sites of Sutz-Lattrigen (Switzerland). 2018, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_13454

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Swiss Neolithic wetland sites offer an incomparable source of information for prehistoric pile dwellings.
The exceptional preservation of organic materials, such as animal bones, antler and plant remains, allow
extraordinary insights into the Neolithic life. The preserved wooden posts of the houses make an exact
dating of the sites as well as the reconstruction of the settlement patterns possible. The lake-dwellings
of Sutz-Lattrigen (Lake Bienne, Switzerland), which are situated at the southern shore of Lake Bienne,
provide a rich Neolithic sequence. The economic and environmental data presented here are based on
identifications of more than 20,000 animal bones from three Neolithic lake shore settlements dated
between 3800-3100 BC (Cortaillod and Horgen cultures).
With the aim of reconstructing subsistence practices and environmental conditions, animal bone
identification results were compared with other settlements at the Lake of Bienne. The results have
proven that chronological and geographical variation of economy and ecology of hunters and herders of
the 4th Millennium BC can be reconstructed. The species spectrum indicates a broad exploitation of
domestic and wild species. Multiple factors, such as topography, climatic, weather conditions or cultural
influences have played a role in the socio-economic society and the clever change in the herd
management during the Horgen period is based ultimately on economic imperatives.
Additionally, this thesis investigates in the bone and antler tools that have been excavated in the abovementioned settlements. Ca. 1100 pieces show a great variety of raw material usage and in the final form
of artefacts produced. Semi-finished objects and production debris have been studied, which helped in
reconstructing the modes of production. Tool production consists not only of manufacturing activity
aimed at particular tasks, but also comprises traditions of manufacturing know-how in production
techniques for exploiting the available fauna resources. Bone tools have been selected from the species
based firstly on their physical properties. Antler tools have developed locally at the settlements
influenced by people culture and their way of implementing the tools in daily wooden work. The usewear traces observed on the tools have shown broad techniques of hafting. The tools were hafted in a
variety of ways using different materials, such as sinew and tar. Most of the bone tools are either points
or chisels related to hunting activities and domestic works. While bone tools were employed in domestic
and hunting equipment, most of the antler tools were used in agricultural activities, such as clearing
land, construction of houses, wooden work etc.
Advisors:Schibler, Jörg and Hafner, Albert
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Archäozoologie (Schibler)
UniBasel Contributors:Kerdy, Manar
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:13454
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (156 Seiten)
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:16 Jan 2020 10:27
Deposited On:16 Jan 2020 10:27

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