An old pig returns home

The wild pig is returning to Norway at full speed – to the consternation of many. But the animal is actually an old resident. Before the Viking Age the boar was a natural part of the Norwegian coastal fauna. It lived in the humid and lush deciduous forest in Vestland, and was an important component of the human diet.

But climate change and agricultural development have slowly driven the species away. Researchers at NTNU’s Museum of Natural History and Archaeology have determined this by conducting chemical analyses of pig bones from 5 000 years ago. Analyses of stable isotopes are able to show the difference between domesticated pigs and wild boar.