Paleobotany Of Four Medieval Strongholds

Palaeobotanist Jennie Andersson has analysed four soil samples for me, all from floor layers inside buildings at Medieval strongholds that me and my team have excavated in recent years. There's one each from Stensö, Landsjö, Skällvik and Birgittas udde. Results were sadly not very informative.

Comments Jennie:

"Overall the fossil and carbonised botanical material in the samples, as well as the recent unburnt material, is meagre … No carbonised cereals were found. Three of the four samples did however contain rather large amounts of unburnt bones and scales from fish plus jurpa, a blanket term för amorphous burnt organic material which may represent bread, burnt food, cooking waste or animal fat. Both the fish bones and the cooking waste probably originate in household cooking and waste management … The presence of burnt weeds such as goosefoot, bedstraw, smartweed and clover (Chenopodium album, Galium spp., Persicaria lapathifolia, Trifolium spp.), all of which thrive on nutrient-rich, sometimes slightly damp and open ground and around farms, tally well with what we may imagine would have been common in a castle bailey or around a farm yard where livestock and people tread about every day and share space."

Report in Swedish here.

More like this

A buddy of mine sent me a reminder today of why I am happy to not be a contract archaeologist. It's twelve below zero centigrade around here, and still a number of unfortunate Linköping colleagues are out digging. And they're not digging Tut-ankh-amen's tomb today either: apparently they've been…
Poppies along our fence My wife receives her second university degree today. In addition to her 15 years in journalism, she is now also a trained psychologist. Go YuSie!!! I assume 45's lawyers cleared the covfefe tweet? Small but very satisfying discovery. In 1902 a Medieval coin is found at…
Sven Gunnar Broström, known as Stone Gunnar. In June of last year I reported on my visit to a small research excavation directed by my Fornvännen boss Lars Larsson at Botkyrka golf club south of Stockholm. The Stensborg site is highly unusual by the standards of this part of the country: a place…
Dear Reader, do you come across a lot of ancient blubber concrete in the course of a normal day? I got some exciting news from Mattias Pettersson Tuesday morning regarding his and Roger Wikell's Mesolithic sites in the Tyresta nature reserve. As Aard's regulars know, Tyresta is a former archipelago…

Jurpa!
It doesn't seem to be an acronym - is it a portmanteau? Despite being a native Swede I can't begin to decipher it.

Is there a paleobotanyetymologist in the house?

I've never heard this word before I received the report. Sounds like guck, jox or kladd to me.