Early pottery use and subsistence economies of the Narva-stage in Estonia


This project focused on the analysis of the earliest ceramics in Estonia, the so-called Narva-type pottery. A total of 12 sites covering different environments and settlement systems were sampled, including islands and inland sites as well as riverine estuaries and coastal regions. The aim of the project is to understand and compare early pottery use, its distribution and chronology in different regions of Estonia. We concentrated on lipid analysis (employing bulk EA-IRMS, GC-MS, GC-C-IRMS) in combination with AMS dating, the latter in order to tackle marine and freshwater reservoir effects, which can be problematic when dating food-crusts, especially when resources of aquatic origin were used. Moreover, the results of pottery function were compared with the faunal remains and environmental data in order to understand the significance of the arrival of pottery in the region as well as its relation to the exploitation of aquatic resources.

Prolonged/elongated bowl from Kääpa (Kriiska et al. 1999).


From 2014-2016, the Early pottery use and subsistence economies of the Narva-stage in Estonia project will be carried out by Ester Oras, University of Tartu, Estonia in collaboration with Aivar Kriiska, University of Tartu, Estonia and Lembi Lõugas, University of Tallinn, Estonia as well as John Meadows, Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie/University of Kiel, Germany and Oliver Craig, University of York, UK.