Marine fish in the Czech lands in the Middle and Early Modern Ages: a multi-disciplinary study

René Kyselý, Petr Meduna, David Clive Orton, Michelle Marie Alexander, Jan Frolík, Tomáš Přikryl

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Archaeoichthyological research is not well developed in Czech archaeology, partly because of the country’s landlocked position. Nonetheless, fishing, fish consumption, and the fish trade played important roles in the Czech lands in the Middle and Early Modern Ages. This paper presents, as a case study, detailed documentation and analysis of a few archaeological bone finds from Prague determined as imported marine fish, and introduces this specialised field of research more generally. Beyond the archaeological bone finds, we conduct an in-depth analysis of historical written records of the marine fish trade in the Czech lands. A basic review of current archaeozoological knowledge of marine fish finds, especially cod and herring, which played the most important role in the long-distance fish trade is also provided. An important contribution — the first of its kind in Czech archaeology — is the use of carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur stable isotope analysis to determine the provenance of cod found at Prague Castle.
Original languageEnglish
Article number172
Number of pages21
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022

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