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'Of Fish and Men' ('De iasg agus dhaoine')

A Study of the Utilization of Marine Resources as Recovered from Selected Hebridean Archaeological Sites

Ruby N. Cerón-Carrasco
Publication Year:
273pp. Includes 94 figures, maps, plans, drawings and photographs, 25 tables, 6 black and white plates, 5 Appendices of data.
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This book interprets the exploitation of marine resources and the organisation of their uses during later prehistory in the Western Isles of Scotland. Particular attention is focused on the analysis of the fish, molluscan and cetacean remains recovered during the excavation of a settlement at Bostadh Beach in Great Bernera, Lewis. A key objective is the reconstruction of regional fishing practices particularly during the Iron Age and Norse periods. Five aspects of research are considered: fish biology, modern fisheries, ancient fisheries, taphonomy and ethnography. The role of fishing during the Iron Age and Norse periods around the Hebridean Islands is assessed, in terms of economic, social and technological factors. Fish biology and taphonomy provided the necessary association between modern and ancient fishing traditions. Taphonomy and ethnographical studies also linked past and present and allowed a more solidly based reconstruction of the islands' fishing industry through time. The combination of archaeological faunal analysis and ethnoarchaeological approaches provides data for understanding the character of fishing practices in the later prehistory of Great Bernera and other nearby Hebridean Isles.