Dufeu Valerie, Human ecodynamics in the North Atlantic

Dufeu Valerie, Human ecodynamics in the North Atlantic : environmental and interdisciplinary reconstructions of the emergence of fish trade in Iceland and the Faeroes, c.800-1480, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. R. Oram, I. Simpson, Université de Stirling)

Résumé/abstract :
Over the past two decades, environmental history as an approach to the understanding and explanation of historical processes has become gradually fashionable amongst academics; empirical data collected over the North Atlantic proposed new trends with regards to economic patterns during the Viking Age. The increasing number of Viking Age sites exposed in Iceland, the amount of zooarchaeological collections highlighting an abundant presence of fish bones in the overall archaeofauna, together with one’s expertise in environmental history as well as a strong interest in socio-economic development during the Viking Age and medieval periods were many factors which help identify strengths and weaknesses with regards to the understanding of the emergence of commercial fish trade in Iceland, and to a lesser extent, the Faeroe Islands. The thesis proposes a new theory with regards to human adaptation to new environments, and subsequent economic developments based on the commercial exploitation of fish. The interdisciplinary aspect of this project using cultural sediment analysis and zooarchaeology, as well as concepts from anthropology and economic anthropology, allows for the theory to be tested by empirical data.

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