Tag Archives: fish

Among fish, bird, fur beetles and larder beetles

Some years ago I got a couple of boxes with eagle candy, e.g. the leftovers collected underneath eagles nest. These were collected in the 70’s and given to me a few years back. They’ve never really looked through been neither by the colletor or me  and has been stored in my food cellar until now. As you can see on the pictures there are lots of parts of plastic bags which show that they have dived in one way or another but mice or other rodents have been feasting in the boxes and destroyed the plastic bags.


I and my fiancée, who sheers my interest in bones; her particular interest is fish bones, started to sort them today. As there was a bundle of them it took the better part of the day just to sort the fish from birds, we also found some bones from rodents and other small animals.



This is therapy work with an osteological edge; it is fun and interesting but a bit bizarre. Fur beetles (Attagenus pellio), larder beetles (Dermestes lardarius) and rat/mice turds made the process a bit groce. But all in all we found a lot of interesting bones that will be part of our reference collection, will have lots of doubles so there might be some if anyone interested though we have some who already queues.


Most of the bones are from birds; wading birds, ducks and hens of different sorts and of course fishes such as pike, herring, perch etc.

Pike head (large)
Pike head (large)
Pike head (large)
Pike head (large)

In the future we will take the bones to the osteological laboratory and art determine them.

In a way this was good preparation for the Osteological association’s seminar tomorrow (today) which is called “Bird and fish bones – methods and seasonality” (more info here).

Magnus Reuterdahl

Neolithic Fisheries – Osteoarchaeology of fish remains in the Baltic Sea region

Last Friday I sat in on Carina Olson defence of her doctoral thesis; Neolithic Fisheries – Osteoarchaeology of fish remains in the Baltic Sea region at Stockholm University. Her dissertation is of importance for those interested in fish osteology and marine economy during the Neolithic’s especially regarding the Pitted ware culture along the east coast of Sweden and on the islands of the Baltic Sea.

I’ll get back with some notes on the papers in her dissertation but one that I felt was especially interesting is paper III; Selectivity across the millennia. Prehistoric vs. modern Baltic cod fisheries by Karin Limburg, Yvonne Walther, Bongghi Hong, Carina Olson and Jan Storå as it introduces some new elements and interesting openings within osteology. This concerns life history of cod during the Neolithic’s and present, the authors are trying to say something of the how the environment has changed from then to now and how that has affected the cod. There are several factors that are in work, such as the salinity of the water, the temperature, natural predators, the industrial fishery etc. 

The thesis is available in an pdf file here. ‘

Magnus Reuterdahl

%d bloggers like this: