Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Finding Moby: Novel approaches to identifying human-cetacean relationships in Atlantic Scotland from c. 2500 BC to c. AD 1400

Evans, Sally 2021. Finding Moby: Novel approaches to identifying human-cetacean relationships in Atlantic Scotland from c. 2500 BC to c. AD 1400. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of PhD Thesis] PDF (PhD Thesis) - Accepted Post-Print Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 7 December 2022 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (13MB)
[thumbnail of Appendix 4] Microsoft Excel (Appendix 4) - Accepted Post-Print Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 7 December 2022 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (9MB)
[thumbnail of Appendix 5] Microsoft Excel (Appendix 5) - Accepted Post-Print Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 7 December 2022 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (94kB)
[thumbnail of Appendix 7] Microsoft Excel (Appendix 7) - Accepted Post-Print Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 7 December 2022 due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (692kB)
[thumbnail of Cardiff University Electronic Publication Form] PDF (Cardiff University Electronic Publication Form) - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (31kB)

Abstract

This thesis examines cetacean bone zooarchaeological assemblages and investigates human-cetacean relationships on the Scottish Islands. Cetaceans provide a wide variety of resources including flesh, baleen, bone and oil and although cetacean bone is found on archaeological sites spanning millennia this material is often overlooked due to methodological and interpretive hurdles. By identification and examination of cetacean remains through time and space this thesis explores human-cetacean relationships in Atlantic Scotland over a four-thousand-year period. A key part of this work is the development of a method and toolkit for morphometric identification of cetacean vertebrae. This is achieved through study of a large novel dataset combined with data from existing studies and drawing on research into functional morphology and evolutionary biology. Species-level identifications using this method are possible, and the data covers all species which inhabit north-eastern Atlantic today, and one third of all species globally. Cetacean bone assemblages from two multiperiod sites, Cladh Hallan and Bornais, are recorded, analysed and identified using morphometric data and biomolecular analyses (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry). Investigation reveals complex patterns of utility. The Hebridean islanders used cetacean meat, oil, bone and likely blubber, but use also went beyond functional utility, and cetacean remains represent social processes. There are hints that active whaling may have occurred in prehistory, and comparison of historical evidence with zooarchaeological data revels complex patterns from the Norse period suggesting interplay between cetacean exploitation and that of other marine species. While many cetacean species were exploited, the sperm whale held a special place in the Hebridean past and the relationship with this animal may have been the focal point of human-cetacean relationships on the islands. The methodological advances and analysis of two large cetacean bone assemblages shed new light on human-cetacean relationships in the past and pave the way for future investigations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Funders: ZooMS analysis undertaken with a grant from the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 December 2021
Date of Acceptance: 7 December 2021
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2022 01:36
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/145992

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics