Simpson I & Barrett JH (1996) Interpretation of midden formation processes at Robert's Haven, Caithness, Scotland using thin section micromorphology. Journal of Archaeological Science, 23 (4), pp. 543-556. https://doi.org/10.1006/jasc.1996.0051
Midden deposits containing significant amounts of fish bone at Robert's Haven, Caithness, provide an opportunity to evaluate the importance and position of fish in the mediaeval palaeoeconomy of northern Scotland. In this study the technique of thin section micromorphology is used to describe and identify the properties of two midden deposits from the Robert's Haven site. This analysis gives a preliminary assessment of whether these middens formed as a result of domestic activity, in which marine resources played an important but partial dietary role, or whether they were exclusively the result of fish processing for trade purposes. Properties observed in thin section suggest that the fish bone middens represent one activity area in an economically diverse permanent settlement.
northern Scotland; mediaeval palaeoeconomy; midden formation; micromorphology
Journal of Archaeological Science: Volume 23, Issue 4