Tracing the trade of timber through aDNA and Sr isotopic analysis.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

Timber was a resource of primordial importance during the medieval period. It was used in a variety of applications, e.g. for shipbuilding, for housing or ecclesiastical decoration. Growth, processing, usage and final deposition of timbers can be far from each other. In the TIMBER project, we seek to explore the use, procurement and trade of timber in Northern Europe during the 11th to the 17th centuries. Shipwrecks provide large quantities of timber for study: both the timbers used for building the ship and those present in the cargo. n this project, the study of the movement of timbers is achieved through a combination of archaeology, history, dendrochronology, aDNA and Sr isotopic analysis. As such we want to provide an interdisciplinary framework for answering questions of provenance, trade and use of raw timber and finished products around the Baltic sea. Historical records provide some information about the trade of timber and the procurement for large (state) projects. Through dendrochronology the felling date and geographical origin can be obtained if appropriate master chronologies are available. In some cases, for example the so-called ’Baltic 1‘, ’Baltic 2‘ and ’Baltic 3‘ oak chronologies built from art-historical objects, we still do not know what the precise geographical origin of the oaks are. The application of Sr isotopic analysis and aDNA on timber remains from shipwrecks can provide an answer to these questions and provide a fuller picture of th stakeholders in the lucrative Baltic trade. During this presentation, we will explore the possibilities and challenges of aDNA and Sr isotopic analysis of this wood. Furthermore, applying these methods, we will further refine the knowledge on timber trade in Northern Europe
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event26th European Archaeological Association Virtual Annual Meeting -
Duration: 24 Aug 202030 Aug 2020


Conference26th European Archaeological Association Virtual Annual Meeting

ID: 321561762