Original paper

Reconstruction of an Aquatic Food Web: Viking Haithabu vs.Medieval Schleswig

Von Steinsdorff, Katja;Grupe, Gisela


In the last two decades,the analysis of stable isotopes of carbonate and collagen from archaeological bone finds became a useful tool in the reconstruction of ancient food webs. Nevertheless there is still only little information available about aquatic food webs, in particular concerning brackish water ecosystems.The Schlei Fjord in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, is such an ecosystem and was investigated to determine stable isotopic values for nitrogen, carbon and oxygen from bone collagen and carbonate in archaeological bone finds. Wild birds, mammals and fish bones from the Viking settlement Haithabu and the medieval town of Schleswig have been analyzed in this study to determine stable isotope values for marine and limnic species and to investigate possible isotopic gradients for mixing fresh water and salt water ecosystems.


Stable isotopes (CN;O)aquatic food webbrackish waterSchlei Fjord