The basis of Hunting in Northern Europe until 1500 AD consists of the proceedings of a workshop initially dedicated to Hunting in Northern Europe AD 500–1500. Old Traditions, Regional Developments and Foreign Influences. The workshop was organized by Dr. Oliver Grimm and Dr. Ulrich Schmölcke and held at the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology in June 2011. The overall objective of Hunting in Northern Europe until 1500 AD's articles is to consider hunting in a long-term perspective by means of case studies from various disciplines. Two key questions are of special relevance. What kind of tradition was there in northern European hunting from the Stone Age up to the Middle Ages, and what kind of regional development and/or continental influence was given, e.g. with regard to hunting weapons, the hunting technique and upper class hunting? The second key question relates only to the non-archaeological sources: what about the common traits and the differences in the written sources, depictions and place names about hunting in central Europe and the north?
Archaeology today is a matter of an entire series of specialised subdisciplines with distinctions in chronological and also regional respects. This is reflected in the structure of Hunting in Northern Europe until 1500 AD since altogether 35 contributions, representing archaeology and archaeozoology along with aDNA analysis, art history, history, place name studies, Scandinavian studies and stable isotope analysis, have been gathered. Archaeologists and archaeozoologists consider both northern and central Europe from the Stone Age to medieval times (contributions of Sveinung Bang Andersen, Claus Dobiat, Aikaterini Glykou, Oliver Grimm, Leif Hansen, Sönke Hartz/Ulrich Schmölcke, Bodil Holm Sørensen, Ulf Ickerodt, Svein Indrelid, Wietske Prummel, Christoph Reichmann, Ulrich Schmölcke, Peter Trebsche, Peter Vang Pedersen, Maria Vretemark, Mara-Julia Weber). In addition, the archaeology of the Roman Provinces is represented (Thomas Fischer), as well as a case study of the role of hunting in prehistoric and historic Lithuania (Algirdas Girininkas/Linas Daugnora). Experimental archaeology is about the modern rebuilding and testing of archaeological artefacts (Harm Paulsen), landscape archaeology is sound when in the period 500–1500 AD the analysis of deer parks and forests reserved for the noble hunt includes attempts to locate the respective sites or, more specifically, their demarcations (Åsa Åhrland, Martina Giese, Christian Radtke, Christoph Reichmann, Jürgen Udolph). As regards hunting companions, dogs and birds of prey are addressed on a larger scale. Both species are subjects of an entire series of considerations (Claus Dobiat, Bodil Holm Sørensen, Wietske Prummel, Ulrich Schmölcke, Peter Vang Pedersen, Sigmund Oehrl, Maria Vretemark). Evidently, a discussion of hunting without including scientific faculties other than archaeology and archaeozoology is simply impossible and also scientifically unsound. Preferably faunal remains might be subject to significant scientific studies such as ancient DNA and stable isotope analyses (Elena A. Nikulina/ John Meadows, Svein Indrelid). Apart from archaeological finds and faunal remains, there are other source materials that are important for the consideration of hunting. In the present book, a number of expert scholars have used the respective sources, i.e. written ones (Åsa Åhrland, Lydia Carstens, Martina Giese, Frode Iversen, Siegmund Oehrl, Christian Radtke), pictorial ones (Åsa Åhrland, Vera Henkelmann, Sigmund Oehrl) and onomastic ones (Inge Særheim, Jürgen Udolph, Frode Iversen) for further elaboration.
This volume is meant to give birth to an overall synthesis of research related to the history of hunting. It offers innovative views and/or helps to outline promising future research, particularly by using key terms: old traditions and regional developments (in the North of Europe), continental sources and continental influences (on the North of Europe). Owing to Hunting in Northern Europe until 1500 AD's structure, no conclusive history of hunting in the area of interest has been presented since neither the full chronological sequence of prehistory and history nor the entirety of hunting-related aspects are provided. The present book has no parallel in hunting-related northern European research.