Reindeer retrieved from melting snow patches reveal information on prehistoric landscape use in Swedish Sápmi
In this study we discuss the remains of reindeer skeletal elements found at two different snow patches at Varánjunnje and Gárránistjåhkkå situated in the National Park of Stuor Muorkke in northern Sweden. Unfortunately, glaciers and snow patches are melting; however, this offers a unique opportunity to study the use of mountainous landscape in the past. Here we compare modern, historic and archaeological reindeer to Forest and Mountain Sámi reindeer herding districts. By using radiocarbon dating and osteological and stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N and δ34S) we aim to study reindeer mobility and land use in the past. The results from the morphometric data, stable isotope analysis and radiocarbon dating from prehistoric and historic reindeer (n=40) show that there is very little variation over time in the diet of the reindeer retrieved from the snow patches. We also found that these reindeer must have grazed in different geographic areas. There was no correlation between age, gender, pathological changes and diet, and the castrated reindeer did not differ from other reindeer.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Markus Fjellström, Anna-Kaisa Salmi, Kjell-Åke Aronsson, Kerstin Lidén
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