Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 1-1 (May 2009)Leendert P. Louwe Kooijmans: The agency factor in the process of Neolithisation – a Dutch case study1
6 Subsistence

6.5 Conclusion

The ranges of food remains described above show that all the local communities in principle engaged in more or less the same activities: exploitation of natural resources combined with stock keeping, except at Rijswijk-Hoekpolder, where natural resources seem to have been insignificant. Stock keeping was more important than hunting at all the sites, fowling focused almost entirely on waterfowl, in particular ducks, and different forms of fishing were practised. The ecology of the species shows that the hunting and fishing territory of all the sites included both the freshwater and the brackish zone, and both stagnant water and river (estuarine) water. This extended broad-spectrum economy is to be seen as the economic habitat of this society. There are however conspicuous differences between the individual sites concerning certain aspects of this economy. The occupants of Ypenburg hunted furbearing animals, but no beavers. There, marine mammals and various large birds (swans, geese, cranes) were far more important than at the other sites, though still generally of subordinate importance. The fishing strategies of the occupants of Schipluiden focused on sturgeon – they caught very few grey mullets - and they killed more beavers. The differences – especially those between Ypenburg and the other sites - may be partly attributable to differences in ecological conditions, though we have no concrete evidence to support such an assumption, but even then they imply distinct intraregional differentiation and different local practices.