University of Oulu

Salmi, Anna-Kaisa; Niinimäki, Sirpa; Puolakka, Hanna-Leena (2020) Working with reindeer : methods for the identification of draft reindeer in the archaeological record. In: Spangen, Marte et al. (eds.) Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland, nro 9, Currents of Saami pasts : Recent advances in Saami archaeology, pp. 46-60.

Working with reindeer : methods for the identification of draft reindeer in the archaeological record

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Author: Salmi, Anna-Kaisa1; Niinimäki, Sirpa1; Puolakka, Hanna-Leena1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Archaeological Society of Finland, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-01-19


Draft and cargo reindeer were an efficient means of transportation for the Saami. The use of draft reindeer allowed the efficient movement of people and their belongings in the arctic landscape without roads. The use and training of draft reindeer led to a close working relationship between humans and animals. Working reindeer were companions to the Saami in their daily tasks and the training of an individual reindeer for several years created a companionship between the reindeer and the trainer. Recent developments in zooarchaeology offer the possibility to identify working reindeer in the archaeological record. New methods broaden the scope of interpretation of archaeological reindeer bone finds from Saami sites, especially the interpretations of the relationships between the Saami and the reindeer in the past. This paper presents some of the recent developments in zooarchaeological methodology, such as the development of muscle attachment site scoring for reindeer, as well as the identification of working-related pathological lesions on reindeer skeletons, and the use of bone cross-sections in the physical activity assessment of reindeer.

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Series: Monographs of the Archaeological Society of Finland
ISSN: 1799-862X
ISSN-E: 1799-8611
ISSN-L: 1799-862X
ISBN: 978-952-68453-7-1
Issue: 9
Pages: 46 - 60
Host publication: Currents of Saami pasts : recent advances in Saami archaeology
Host publication editor: Spangen, Marte
Salmi, Anna-Kaisa
Äikäs, Tiina
Fjellström, Markus
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Funding: The writing of this paper was financially supported by the Academy of Finland (Project 308322) and European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant 2017 756431).
EU Grant Number: (756431) DOMESTICATION - Domestication in Action - Tracing Archaeological Markers of Human-Animal Interaction
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 308322
Detailed Information: 308322 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors.