Hunting before herding: A zooarchaeological and stable isotopic study of suids (Sus sp.) at Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands (5450–4250 cal BC)

Nathalie Ø. Brusgaard*, Michael W. Dee, Merita Dreshaj, Jolijn Erven, Youri van den Hurk, Daan Raemaekers, Canan Çakirlar

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)
133 Downloads (Pure)


Suids (Sus sp.) played a crucial role in the transition to farming in northern Europe and, like in many regions, in the Netherlands pig husbandry became an important subsistence activity at Neolithic sites. Yet little is known about wild boar palaeoecology and hunting in the Late Mesolithic Netherlands with which to contextualize this transition. This paper presents the first multi-proxy analysis of archaeological suid remains in the Netherlands. It explores human-suid interactions at the Swifterbant culture sites of Hardinxveld-Giessendam Polderweg and De Bruin (5450–4250 BC) through biometric analysis, estimation of age-at-death, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. The results reveal targeted hunting of adult wild boar in the Late Mesolithic (5450–4850 BC), with a possible shift over time towards more juveniles. The wild boar in this period are demonstrated to be of comparably large size to contemporary northern European populations and exhibiting a wide range of dietary regimes. In the final occupational period (4450–4250 BC), small suids are present, possibly domestic pigs, but there is no evidence of pig management. This study demonstrates that the nature of human-suid interactions varied over time, which may have been connected to changing environmental conditions, human mobility, and wild boar behaviour. This study also contributes the first biometric and dietary baseline for mid-Holocene wild boar in the Netherlands.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's33
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Nummer van het tijdschrift2 February
StatusPublished - 2-feb.-2022

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