(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists from the Arctic University of Norway have discovered that artificial islands off the coast of Britain were used by the wealthy for banquets and as storehouses of valuable resources. The study was published in the journal Antiquity.
Scandinavians call crannogs artificial islands in lakes, swamps or other bodies of water. Hundreds of crannogs were created not only in Scandinavia, but also in Scotland, Wales and Ireland between 4000 BC.
and 16th century AD. To do this, a special hill was built in shallow water from any available natural material – stone, wood or peat.
At first they were erected to protect against aliens from the mainland, but gradually the crannogs turned into places of feasts for the elite.
Perhaps they were needed to demonstrate wealth. The work of scientists showed that food was not only eaten on the islands, but also stored.
The scientists examined crannogi using sedimentary DNA analysis (sedaDNA). The authors found that livestock was slaughtered on the islands – cows, sheep, pigs and goats.
Valuable resources were also stored here, and the elite held feasts. The latter was found out from the remains of pottery and other archaeological evidence.
They also found DNA from the poisonous Pteridium fern, which was probably introduced to the islands as roofing or underlayment.
The sedaDNA method may become a common approach to the study of crannogs, since other evidence of human life on these islands is not preserved due to adverse conditions.
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