Küchelmann, Hans Christian (2006): Matjes oder Fischsuppe? – Knochenfunde von der Schlachte 36-38 (Fundstelle Bremen – 214-Altstadt), Bericht an die Landesarchäologie Bremen, Bremen
[Fermented Herring or Fish Soup? – Fish Bones from the Schlachte 36-38]
report submitted to the Landesarchäologie Bremen
A rescue excavation in the medieval city centre of Bremen, in the former medieval harbour area, revealed remains of three stone buildings of a particular type regularly used by Hanseatic merchants as storage houses. Dendrochronological data showed that the buildings were constructed in 1183 AD. The analysed bone sample stems from the ash layer of a catastrophic fire event around 1200 AD. It consists of the typical medieval domesticates (cattle, pig, sheep / goat, domestic fowl) plus a substantial amount of different fish species. The fish bones mainly comprise limnic species, which could have been caught in the local vicinity. The only exception is the marine herring. The finds from a securely dated and short-termed context of a warehouse are strong evidence that Bremen merchants were already involved in the herring trade in the late twelfth century.