Different kinds of 'under-water-fences' in the Baltic from various periods

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Waterlogged wood from two different prehistoric sites on the Island of Lolland in Southern Denmark from ca. 3100 - 2300 BC and the early 1st century AD has been studied.
In both cases there has been a tradition of weaving fences with the help of twigs and branches and put them under water. Is there is any trace of woodland management connected to this activity?
Museum Lolland-Falster is currently conducting archaeological excavations at Rødbyhavn ahead of the construction of the permanent link to Germany. Given the size of the area that is to be explored, there will be opportunities to study an entire Stone Age landscape.
Studies of fishing fences from different localities have shown that mainly hazel (Corylus avellana) was used for the wickerwork, but also ash and about five other deciduous tree species were found. In one of the fishing fences the horizontal material was mostly made of lime (Tilia sp.).
Everything points to the fact that the fishing weirs have been located by the coast in shallow water leading the fishes towards the trap or basket. This form of fishery is known throughout the most of prehistory and right up until around the 1900s, where the fences and the traps however were made of tarred nets rather than wickerwork.
The facilities require, among other things, access to large quantities of wood, mostly twigs and branches, of the right quality, which could point to some kind of woodland management.
Hoby on Lolland is a chieftains’ residence from the early 1st century AD (Iron age). It comprises more than 40 buildings and unique evidence for ritual activity. The ‘ritual area’ is composed of two large artificial lakes, cooking pits and deposits of animal bones. A hitherto unknown phenomenon is that parts of one of the lakes were separated off by several wickerwork fences, while in the middle a wooden platform of unknown purpose had been erected.
Mostly ash (Fraxinus excelsior ) has been used for the wickerwork fences, as well as branches and twigs from ten other deciduous tree species.
Archaeological excavations have been conducted by Museum Lolland Falster and the National Museum of Denmark.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventHistorical Wood Utilisation – 2017: Wood Working - National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania
Duration: 2 Sept 20176 Sept 2017


WorkshopHistorical Wood Utilisation – 2017
LocationNational Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Internet address

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