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Marine Ventures

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Human-sea relations are important factors in past and present human evolution. Discussions about these relations have ranged from shellfish gathering at beaches to the elaboration of technological, social and cognitive systems for marine foraging. The role of the marine environment is now seen as a primary factor in the understanding of social complexity. Archaeological data and methods are uniquely placed to produce interesting perspectives about human adaptations to the sea through global and local dimensions, geological, archaeological and ethnographic timescales, and empirical studies of cultural practice.

This volume brings together an international collection of papers in which human-sea relations are analyzed through various temporal and spatial scales. The themes covered include initial developments and further elaboration of marine foraging, technological and logistical implications of travelling by sea, interrelations between social and cognitive systems, settlement patterns and subsistence of marine hunter-gatherers, landscape archaeology and palaeogeographic models and the role of marine resources in human-sea relations. This volume will be of interest to students, archaeologists and researchers from related disciplines..
Chapter 1 is freely available here

Published: Nov 1, 2016

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
List of Tables Hein Bjerck
List of Figures Hein Bjerck
List of Contributors Hein Bjerck
Preface Hein Bjerck, Heidi Breivik, Silje Fretheim, Ernesto Piana, Birgitte Skar, Angélica Tivoli, A. Francisco J. Zangrando
1. Introduction: Marine Ventures -- Archaeological Perspectives on Human-Sea Relations Hein Bjerck, A. Francisco J. Zangrando
Beginnings: Early Marine Foraging and Adaptive Trajectories
2. Shells on the Hill: Marine Fauna in the Caves with Upper Pleistocene and Holocene Levels in La Garma Archaeological Zone, Cantabria, Spain Esteban Álvarez-Fernández
3. The Emergence of Sedentism in Mesolithic Western Norway. A Case-study from the Rockshelters of Sævarhelleren and Olsteinhelleren by the Hardanger Fjord Knut Bergsvik, Anne Hufthammer, Kenneth Ritchie
4. Exploring the Role of Pinnipeds in the Human Colonization of the Seascapes of Patagonia and Scandinavia Hein Bjerck, Heidi Breivik, Ernesto Piana, A. Francisco J. Zangrando
5. On the Applicability of Environmental and Ethnographic Reference Frames: An Example from the High-latitude Seascapes of Norway and Tierra del Fuego Heidi Breivik, Hein Bjerck, A. Francisco J. Zangrando, Ernesto Piana
6. Hakai, a Late-glacial to Early Holocene Paleoshoreline ‘Sweet Spot’ on the West Coast of Canada Daryl Fedje, Duncan McLaren
7. Two Case Studies in the Initial Early Holocene Colonisation in Parts of Europe's Atlantic Edges: It’s Not Getting There That Matters Peter Woodman
8. Exploring Trajectories towards Social Complexity: Marine Foragers in the Archipelagos of Tierra del Fuego and Norway A. Francisco J. Zangrando, Angélica Tivoli, Hein Bjerck, Heidi Breivik, Silje Fretheim, Ernesto Piana
Life Styles: Settlements and Subsistence by the Sea
9. Searching for Maritime Hunter-gatherer Archaeological Record in the Shifting Shorelines of the South Pacific Coast (Chonos and Guaitecas Archipelago, Chile) Omar Báez, Manuel Bontesii, Flavia Repettoii
10. Archaeology of Maritime Hunter-gatherers from Southernmost Patagonia, South America: Discussing Timing, Changes and Cultural Traditions during the Holocene Manuel San Roman, Omar Reyes, Flavia Morello, Jimena Torres
11. Home by the Sea: Exploring Traditions of Dwelling Reoccupation and Settlement Stability among Marine Foragers in Norway and Tierra del Fuego Silje Fretheim, Ernesto Piana, Hein Bjerck, A. Francisco J. Zangrando
12. Coastal Hazards, Resiliency and the Co-evolution of Human-natural Systems along the Southeast Coast of Sri Lanka during the Late Quaternary (ca. 30,000-3000 years BP): Preliminary Findings of the 2013 Bundala Archaeological Survey Hans Harmsen, Pryantha Karunaratne
13. Icescapes and Archaeology: Interactions Above and Below Zero Jason Rogers
14. A Submerged Mesolithic Grave Site Reveals Remains of the First Norwegian Seal Hunters Birgitte Skar, Kirsten Lidén, Gunilla Eriksson, Berit Sellevold
15. Rethinking the Mesolithic of the Sado Paleoestuary, Portugal: Semi-sedentary Hunter-gatherers Maria Soares
16. Marine Adaptation in the Middle Mesolithic of South-eastern Norway Steinar Solheim, Per Persson
17. Fishing as a New Commercial Profession and the Dawn of New Habitation along the Norwegian Coast Helge Sørheim
Seafaring: Logistics, Encounters and Communications
18. Indigenous Sailing in the Arctic Evguenia Anichtchenko
19. Chaloupes and Kayaks: European Mariners and the Seascapes of Intercultural Contact Amanda Crompton, Lisa Rankin
20. The Seascapes of Santarosae: Paleocoastal Seafaring on California’s Channel Islands Jon Erlandson
21. Marine Ventures in Stone Age Rock Art of Fennoscandia Jan Magne Gjerde
22. Marine Ventures and Thomas Bridges' Yamana-English Dictionary Magnhild Husøy, Elisabeth Swensen
23. Quartz Utilization along the Coast of Southern Norway: Results from a Stone Age Survey in Aust-Agder Svein Nielsen, Joachim Åkerstrøm, Jo-Simon Stokke, Knut Eskeland
24. Kayaks and Chaloupes: Labrador Inuit and the Seascapes of Inter‐Cultural Contact Lisa Rankin, Amanda Crompton
25. Bronze Age Connections across the Baltic Sea: Discussing Metalwork as Source of Maritime Contacts in Prehistory Uwe Sperling
End Matter
Index Hein Bjerck


Overall, this volume contains a plethora of useful information on maritime adaptation in different regions, including southernmost South America, which remains relatively poorly known to international scholarly audiences. The collection is richly illustrated, and the lists of references in several languages provide a valuable resource for further in-depth study. The wide chronological coverage -- from the Upper Palaeolithic to the early modern period -- will also attract a range of readers.

This book contains a very impressive range of archaeological evidence relating to coastal and maritime communities from a range of geographic regions and across a broad chronological time frame. The book contains a plethora of primary evidence presented in an accessible format. As such, this book will be of real value to both those with a special interest in Maritime landscapes as well as students, archaeologists and researchers from related disciplines. I tend to avoid edited conference proceedings, comprised of multiple short chapters constructed around a central theme, as brevity is frequently achieved at the expense of detail. However, in this instance I have been proved wholly wrong in my assessment. This volume is outstanding and will be a standard reference to human marine entanglements for many years to come.
Norwegian Archaeological Review