Over 120 prehistoric pottery sherds from mainland Finland and the Åland Islands in the north Baltic region were studied for their organic residue content. Preserved fat residues found in these vessels indicated that the food procurement pattern was broad during the Neolithic and Early Metal periods. Based on previous research and these results, it appears that animal husbandry came to Finland with the Corded Ware culture. Groups using the succeeding Late Neolithic Kiukainen Ware did not, however, practice animal husbandry to any great extent, as there is an indication of dairy fats in only a single sherd. In general, even after dairy farming arrived in the area, prehistoric groups in southern and south-western Finland continued or returned to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. During the Early Metal period, animal husbandry increased in importance among the groups living in the area, and the level of dairying then intensified.
- animal husbandry
- archaeological pottery
- compound-specific stable carbon isotope analyses