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A bird in the hand: Data collation and novel analysis of avian remains from South Uist, Outer Hebrides

Best, Julia and Mulville, Jacqueline ORCID: 2013. A bird in the hand: Data collation and novel analysis of avian remains from South Uist, Outer Hebrides. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 24 (3) , pp. 384-396. 10.1002/oa.2381

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The island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides has a rich archaeological past and a rich ecotonal landscape which provides access to a wide range of avian resources. Throughout the island's past these have played an important but sometimes modest role in the subsistence and life of the local populations. This paper explores fowling and avian resource use on South Uist through the analysis of new bone assemblages and their integration with collated existing avian data. The dataset shows that the inhabitants of South Uist made use of a wide range of avian resources year-round. Some species were specifically and repeatedly targeted whilst others were exploited infrequently or in low numbers. A targeted use of seabirds was identified, with period-specific increases in the capture of waders and waterfowl. A range of habitats from sea to moors were utilized for avian resources and several capture techniques would have been employed. Evidence also suggests that birds were taken from further afield. The introduction of domesticates is traced from initially low numbers in the Iron Age to their increased occurrence in the Norse period. Over time there is a notable decrease in the presence of great auk (Pinguinus impennis). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Uncontrolled Keywords: avian; bird; fowling; Outer Hebrides; Scotland; South Uist
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1047-482X
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:58

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