First archaeozoological identification of Atlantic sturgeon ( Acipenser oxyrinchus Mitchill 1815) in France


en - Pages 717-724

Published on 31 December 2009

To this day, the only sturgeon to be listed on the French vertebrate inventory is the European sturgeon (Acipenser sturio Linnaeus, 1758). The recent study of sturgeon remains on various French archaeological sites shows the presence of another species: the Atlantic sturgeon (A. oxyrinchus Mitchill 1815). This species already existed in the French Atlantic region at the end of the Neolithic Age 5000 years ago and was still to be found 3000 years later. Thus the A. oxyrinchus determined in several Baltic medieval sites are neither the only nor the first sturgeons to have inhabited European waters. Sturgeon restoration projects in European rivers necessitate a precise determination of the native species. In the case of relict or extinct species, the bone remains found on archaeological sites represent the most reliable source of information. This discovery will also be the starting point of palaeogenetical research (mitochondrial and cellular aDNA) and will give information about the genetic diversity of these threatened or recently extinct populations.


Sturgeons, Acipenser oxyrinchus (Atlantic Sturgeon), A. sturio (European Sturgeon), First identification of A. oxyrinchus in France, Archaeozoology, Restoration

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