Multidisciplinary History of Goats in Finland : A Comparative Approach
Bläuer, Auli; Solala, Hilja; Kinnunen, Jussi; Rannamäe, Eve (2022)
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This article aims to study the history of goats (Capra hircus) in Finland using a multisource approach combining zooarchaeological data with evidence from written sources, the Silver Tax Record of 1571, and statistical data from the year 1900. We present an overview of an abundance of goat bones in zooarchaeological sites dating from the Middle Iron Age to the Post-Medieval period. Furthermore, we use Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) to study the presence of goats in material where it has not been identified by morphological methods. Where the zooarchaeological material and written sources overlap, the results support each other. The meaning of goats in the animal husbandry system in Finland has varied temporally and spatially, and their numbers were in decline by the year 1900. Their diminishing role in 20th-century Finland and their reputation of being the ‘poor man’s cow’ is likely the reason why they have not attracted much research interest. However, according to our data, goats have been an integral part of the animal husbandry system at least from the Late Iron Age onward, even if their proportion among other livestock is never very high.
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