– Conference Themes –
Dynamic Landscapes, Dynamic Cultures
Landscapes are the result of the long-term interaction between humans, animals, climate and the environment. The zooarchaeological record can play an important role in the interpretation of these landscapes. Papers investigating all aspects of these interactions are welcome under this theme including seasonality, taphonomy, migration, colonisation, settlement, domestication and extinction. We hope this session will highlight new research and encourage dialogue as to how these can be identified and how this informs on human behaviour.
People and Animals in the Social World
Animals and people cohabit the same landscapes and are often reliant upon each other in complex ways. Each contributes to the construction of the lifeworld of the other. Here we wish to explore the myriad ways in which humans and animals play a role in constituting each other’s worlds. Such roles can range from the non-prosaic use of faunal raw materials for artefact production, to the intertwined lives of people and domesticates, to the role of animals in social and cosmological life, and the deliberate modification of landscapes to affect responses in animals and other people. We welcome diverse case studies and theoretical approaches.
Science and Zooarchaeology
The application of scientific techniques to zooarchaeological analysis has long been a part of specialist research, but ever-increasing advances in technology are rapidly providing new tools to offer greater levels of insight and accuracy. In this session we will examine and explore new scientific techniques, advances in and creative applications of standing techniques, and discuss blue-skies possibilities for the role of science in zooarchaeological analysis.
Coastal and Maritime Connections
Coastal and marine environments, and the range of vertebrate and invertebrate resources they contain, are increasingly recognised as having played pivotal roles in human evolution, global dispersals and colonisation, and later behavioural/cultural developments worldwide. Coasts encompass and connect dynamic terrestrial and marine environments, providing a backdrop for complex and variable human social and economic behaviours through time and space. Here we explore the characteristics of coastal and maritime adaptations, and the transformative nature of the connection between coastal, marine and maritime environments on human sociocultural and economic structures.
– Session Themes –
Ancient Baselines: Exploring the Emergence of Biocultural Diversity
Modern biodiversity is the result of millennia of interaction between humans and animals in a continually evolving environment. The impact of these interactions is not constant but varies in both intentionality and intensity through time reflecting cultural, ecological, and climatic transformations at local, regional, and global scales. While the domestication of plants and animals can be seen as a major catalyst in the anthropogenic evolution of domestic species, wild species were, and continue to be, similarly affected, and influenced by encroaching anthropogenic environments and human subsistence strategies. Increasingly, the unification of data from modern populations with evidence from (zoo)archaeological contexts is revealing this long and widespread history of human transformation of animal biodiversity, challenging our perceptions of ‘native’ and ‘pristine’ landscapes, and the temporal origins of ‘ancient’ breeds. This session seeks papers which consider the deep time origins of global biocultural diversity, and we welcome the inclusion of work which addresses issues of (but not limited to) domestication and feralisation, environmental adaptation and ecomorphs, the origins and diversification of breeds, and anthropogenic introductions and extinction. These human-induced changes can be tracked through time and space, using a wide range of complementary analytical approaches, to establish ancient baselines of biocultural diversity. These deep time baselines can then be leveraged to improve the future sustainability of modern breeding practices, guard against loss of domestic diversity, assist with wildlife conservation, and support (or challenge) reintroduction campaigns.
Allowen Evin, The Institute of Evolutionary Science of Montpellier, France
Aquatic Transformations: Archaeozoology and Applied Historical Ecology in Wetland and Intertidal Ecosystems
Aquatic environments, including rivers, wetlands, intertidal zones, and estuaries, have attracted humans and our fossil ancestors for millions of years. With high biodiversity and biomass, these are key locales in migration, trade networks, and sites of landscape transformation. This deep history of use has resulted in strong social and spiritual connections with these land- and waterscapes, with people’s identities and the ecosystems in which they live being tightly woven together.
Applied Historical Ecology, an interdisciplinary framework drawing together complementary lines of evidence has emerged as an increasingly powerful standpoint to consider western scientific methods and Traditional Ecological Knowledge to illuminate the scale and importance of these long-term human-environment relationships and more nuanced understandings of past human behaviour.
Applied Historical Ecology requires researchers to consider the relevance of archaeological information in contemporary ecosystems extending ecological baselines, and working with Indigenous and First Nations peoples who have governance systems and interest in restoring aquatic ecosystems. AHE is pushing the boundaries of archaeology.
This session invites participants who are combining archaeozoological data and Applied Historical Ecological approaches to understand human transformations of aquatic environments in the past and consider the real-world implications for this research in the present and future.
Katherine Woo, James Cook University, Australia
Iain McKechnie, University of Victoria, Canada
Patrick Faulkner, The University of Sydney, Australia
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, Have You Any Wool? Sheep Throughout the Ages and Continents
The session falls perfectly within the scope of the 14th ICAZ. This interdisciplinary session, as it has been conceived by us, will address two sub-themes: “People and Animals in the Social World” and “Science and Zooarchaeology”. This session may be of interest to colleagues working in a wide variety of regions and time periods and we already have intentions of participating.
Emmanuelle Vila, CNRS-Université Lumière Lyon 2, France
Biomolecular Strategies for Zooarchaeology: New Advances in ZooMS and Shotgun Palaeoproteomics
The study of ancient proteins has become an invaluable tool in understanding the archaeological record. Palaeoproteomic methods have the potential to provide critical information about human-animal relationships, subsistence strategies, and faunal diversity in the past. Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) offers a way to taxonomically identify and study highly fragmented remains and worked artefacts, providing a new avenue of research that was not necessarily possible with macroscopic techniques. Furthermore, shotgun palaeoproteomics offers direct insights into human-animal relationships through, for example, the identification of dietary proteins in dental calculus or into the phylogenetic relationships between extinct fauna and their extant counterparts. The aim of this session is to further this discussion and bridge the gap between palaeoproteomics and zooarchaeology. We will examine the potential advantages and limitations palaeoproteomics offers zooarchaeological investigations and discuss new research in this field. This session will explore the use of ZooMS and shotgun palaeoproteomics to advance our understanding of the archaeological record.
Annette Oertle, University of Vienna, Austria
Carli Peters, Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology, Germany
Samantha Brown, University of Tuebingen, Germany
Bone and Shell Fishhooks: A Close Up into Fishing Technology to Explore Knowledge, Tradition, Exchange, Migration and Beyond
Fishing has been a central activity for coastal and marine societies around the world. Fishhooks made on bones and shells are present in archaeological sites dated from at least 30,000 years BP to Roman times and historic periods. A great variety of types, shapes and sizes evidences their use in different habitat, for different prey, and under different techniques. Their manufacture marks can reveal technological gestures, innovations, and transformations. In addition, the nature of animal raw material used for hook manufacturing can tell us about artisanal tradition, ecological local knowledge, as well as the movement of people and natural resources.
Under this context, this session seeks to assemble a group of researchers from around the world, to share their studies on fishhooks. The session will be an opportunity to share case studies, methodological and theoretical approaches towards the study of fishhook production and use within coastal and maritime societies. Questions about manufacture techniques, context of use, changes of hook characteristics in time, in space, the social and economic motives, and the implications of the complex interaction of these variables in the use of hooks are welcome.
Carola Flores, Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile
Challenges and Solutions in Creating FAIR and CAREing Zooarchaeological Data
Zooarchaeological data is pivotal to answering the key questions of both biology and anthropology, but it is among the most diverse – derived using research methods from across the sciences and humanities, cross-cutting all world areas, time-periods, and cultures, and used to understand the past and also to tackle the problems of the present and future. A flood of recent literature has confirmed that, in order reach our full potential, zooarchaeological data must be made openly available for integration across disciplines, methods, and communities. To do so, it must be FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reuseable), But it is also very clear that open-access zooarchaeological data must also meet ethical guidelines for inclusivity and appropriate use, such as those defined in the CARE principles (Collective Benefit, Authority to Control, Responsibility, Ethics). This is a tall order, but it is essential to the future of our science.
In this discussion-based session inviting voices from both official participants and audience members, we aim to explore challenges and solutions for creating zooarchaeological data that meets the requirements of both FAIR and CARE principles. We invite discussion of either/both challenges and solutions in the creation and mobilization of FAIR/CARE zooarchaeological data. Materials will be provided on-line and open-access prior to the conference and will form the basis for round-table discussions, the goals of which will be to:
- provide known solutions for some of the common challenges
- form collaborations to tackle challenges for which solutions are possible in the near future, and
- create a forum for learning about community-voiced challenges for which solutions will require sea-changes in our approach to zooarchaeological research.
Kitty F. Emery, University of Florida, United States of America
Coastal-Climate Historicity of Human-Animal Relations in South Asia
Human relationships with riverine, coastal, maritime, and aquatic animals are complex and contentious. Yet there are subtleties in these relationships that reveal why they share the same landscape and are interdependent. The South Asian coastal space (land and water) has been a liminal zone ecologically, culturally, economically, and historically. Still, there is mythological and archaeological evidence of human-animal connections, such as legends of sea creatures and water deities, sea/ocean trade routes, food habits, and even vestiges of ancient cities under the sea. In the Anthropocene, this diad relationship is further challenged by climate change, primarily through sea level fluctuations, erosion, and global warming, leading to conflict, contestation and sometimes even co-habitation for space and resources between these two agencies in coastal areas. In this panel, we invite papers that focus on the socio-cultural and environmental history of coastal South Asia with multidisciplinary approaches, bringing together science, social science, and the humanities into one forum, exchanging ideas, tracing the coastal-climate Longue durée of human-animal relationships to contemporary times. By looking at the connections between the two through the lens of climate precarity, we can entwine structuralist or symbolic tactics with historical, sociocultural, political, and economic ones to enhance our understanding and apply it to our research.
Sharada Channarayapatna, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, India
Diverse Records of Human and Animal Interactions in the Americas
This symposium intends to bring together research into human-wildlife interactions in the Americas, being one of the World´s most biologically and culturally diverse regions. Faunal analysis is a powerful tool for analyzing and discussing biocultural adaptative phenomena in the region, from hunter-gatherer sites to complex societies, particularly when paired with a deep reflection on social, economic, symbolic and ritual processes. In this regard, the initial aim of this session is to bring together scholars examining different geographic and temporal contexts, so that comparative patterns for regional utilization of wildlife at either synchronic or diachronic levels might be identified. Furthermore, by obtaining elements for undertaking a regional evaluation, strengths, weaknesses, and multidisciplinary perspectives to direct research on human-wildlife relationships will be identified. This will establish the basis for building regional inventories and for the promotion of comparative studies focused on the uses of organisms, in terms of food, raw materials, and symbolism. The symposium offers a space to present data from past and present cultures of the Latin American region, to exchange information, and reflect on the aforementioned issues. In doing so, we also seek to highlight research involving environmental reconstructions, fauna and flora in subsistence economies, and the processes of extirpation, extinction and invasion of fauna caused by human activities. We encourage multiple theoretical and methodological approaches.
Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico
Eduardo Corona-Martinez, Centro INAH Morelos
Dogs and Their People: Past Insights into the Diversity of Human-Canid Relationships
This session explores two related issues: 1) identifying commensal relationships between dogs and humans from the archaeological record, and 2) identifying the processes and triggers of these relationships. Dogs were the earliest domesticated animal, but domestication is difficult to define, with researchers primarily relying on morphological comparisons between archaeological skeletal material and wild canids. However, depending on the nature of the human-dog relationship, and the degree to which the dogs bred with wild canids, these differences may be slight or not present at all. Shipman (Our Oldest Companions 2021:30) suggests that the first dogs would have had characteristics that include a ‘desire or a drive to be part of and communicate with a group that includes humans.’ How might these be recognised in the archaeological record? The process of domestication is often suggested to be associated with mutual benefits of hunting cooperation, but not all environments are suitable for hunting with dogs. Regardless dogs form commensal relationships with people in almost all environments. What were the circumstances in which people formed close relationships with dogs? How can these circumstances be recognised in the archaeological record? Do faunal records in archaeological sites demonstrate changes that might be attributed to hunting practices attributable to cooperative hunting? Are there dog burials that might suggest long term relationships with individual animals? Are there other indications in the archaeological record such as in rock art, technology, or personal ornaments that might indicate close relationships with dogs? We welcome papers providing examples of such indications from the archaeological record and papers discussing historical records that throw light on the diversity of people-dog activities.
Jane Balme, The University of Western Australia, Australia
Sue O’Connor, The Australian National University, Australia
Loukas Koungoulos, The Australian National University and Sydney University, Australia
Dynamic Waterscapes: Places of Abundance, Innovation, and Ritual Performance
More than 70% of the Earth is covered by water. Aquatic habitats and their associated aquatic–terrestrial ecotones represent dynamic and highly biodiverse environments, supporting an abundance of bird, reptile, mammal, fish, and invertebrate fauna. Globally, diverse archaeological signatures evidence the social, cultural, spiritual, and economic importance of aquatic places across millennia. Indeed, waterscapes present both challenges and opportunities, they are places of connection and movement, and have underpinned social, economic, and technological innovation. Aquatic places may also be embedded with cosmological meaning as spiritscapes engaged through ritual performance and construction. Increasingly, we are seeing the integration of natural and social sciences to explore the role of people in shaping waterscapes over generations, and to enhance the sustainability and cultural resilience of these places into the future. This session welcomes papers that address the interaction of people and animals across all waterscapes: from floodplains and lentic wetlands to brackish estuaries and across marine islands and coasts. From the analysis of zooarchaeological remains as economic resources to the role of animals and environments in ritual practice, this session encourages presentations showcasing the current interest and future research direction of waterscape zooarchaeology.
Ashleigh Rogers, Monash University, Australia
Ariana Lambrides, James Cook University, Australia
Economic Migrants, Uninvited Guests: Zooarchaeological Perspectives of the Mechanisms and Impact of Animal Introductions via Global Sea Networks
Animals, big and small, have been translocated directly and indirectly by humans for millennia. Oceanic networks have played an important role in this movement from the beginning of farming to more recent times with Transatlantic and Pacific trade networks, e.g., the Manila Galleon trade. Domesticated animals, from livestock and fowl to companion animals, via these sea networks now have a global distribution. While these have been in the most part deliberately brought to new regions, many species have been transported indirectly as stowaways. Another consequence of sea networks is the rapid spread of zoonoses and other pathogens via the movement of animals and humans. Once these species arrive in a new region, they have gone on to have a considerable impact on local flora and fauna. Invasive species are often viewed as having a negative impact on local environments, for example, rabbits, dogs and cats to Australia. On the other hand, the introduction of domesticates in the old world has led to the creation of a landscape that is culturally significant, e.g., sheep and goat to the Mediterranean basin. Alongside the impact on indigenous flora and fauna, species arriving into new environments may be required to adapt physiologically as well as their feeding habits. Zooarchaeologists have unique perspectives that span from hundreds of years to millennia on these introductions and the impact that these have had on local fauna and flora, as well as the adaptive processes that new species may have undergone. Traditional approaches together with methodologies such as stable isotope analysis and aDNA, can provide unprecedented insight into these processes. We welcome contributions that describe the mechanisms and speed that new species arrived into novel regions, and the impact that these introductions may have had on local fauna and flora as well as on the species themselves, from prehistoric times to the Modern Era.
Rosalind E. Gillis, Referat Naturwissenshaften – Deutsche Archäologische Institut, Germany
Geochemical Analyses of Zooarchaeological Remains for Climate, Seasonality, Dietary, and Mobility Reconstructions
Geochemical analyses of zooarchaeological remains have forged new pathways for interpreting the past. From assessing aspects of ancient human and animal diets, to migration, to reconstructing patterns of climate and seasonal resource use. Archaeological sites preserve an abundance of animal remains including human and animal teeth and bones, shells, and fish otoliths; which can be analysed using biogeochemical techniques such as stable isotope and trace element analyses. Many of these remains have incremental growth structures which, when sampled at high resolution, can yield insights into climate, seasonality, diet, and mobility from the deep to the recent past. Such records can be extracted from archaeological materials at coastal and inland localities, as well as from molecular to regional scales. Additionally, recent methodological and technological advances have led to important and innovative new ways to understand the archaeological record. This session invites presentations on any application of geochemistry to zooarchaeological remains, including presentations on the methodological advances and modern calibration studies that underpin zooarchaeological interpretations. We particularly encourage presentations focusing on high resolution reconstructions from incremental growth structures.
Amy Prendergast, University of Melbourne, Australia
Petra Vaiglova, Australian National University, Australia
Meghan Burchell, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
Suzanne Pilaar Birch, University of Georgia, United States of America
Gerrupa-tjarra Weeagoon (Animal Connections): Decolonising and Incorporating Traditional Knowledge into Zooarchaeology
Zooarchaeology originated from the colonial or euro-centric discipline of archaeology, with a particular focus on the utilitarian role of animals. For First Nations people, animals and people are interconnected and represent the same entity. An example of this important interdependent relationship is highlighted that within the First Nations Wadawurrung language of south-eastern Australia there is no specific word for ‘animal’. Hence the session theme of ‘Animal Connections’ was translated by Wadawurrung woman Stephanie Skinner as Geerupa-tjarra Weeagoon, meaning to ‘connect life’ or ‘join life’. To Wadawurrung people, human, plants, and animals hold the same value to Country.
This session aims to discuss how we might rethink zooarchaeology and identify ways to incorporate Indigenous ontologies into what has been a predominately colonial approach to studying fauna. Research projects from across the globe that assist with decolonising and indigenising zooarchaeology are welcome, particularly those that are co-designed and co-led by First Nations collaborators. This might include incorporating traditional knowledges about animals through a variety of mechanisms such as stories, songlines, personal adornment, art, music, dance, language, and astronomy, as well as exploring the continuing tangible and intangible cultural connection of people, animals, and Country.
Kelly Ann Blake, Wadawurrung Woman and La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Jillian Garvey, La Trobe University, Australia
Human Ecodynamics in Tropical East Polynesia
Humans and their animal associates rapidly spread across the geographical and cultural-historical region of East Polynesia in the second millennia AD—humanity’s final diaspora into previously unoccupied lands. They encountered both familiar and endemic island fauna in the process, on the land and in the sea. This symposium brings varied analytical approaches to bear on understanding of the character and dynamics of past socio-natural interactions between humans, animals, and their environments, including morphological studies, aDNA analyses, and stable isotope analyses. We explore regional variation in the ways that pre-contact Polynesian communities navigated the complexities of small island living, including the use and management of wild resources, animal husbandry practices, and ritual practices involving fauna. Moreover, given that many historically valued animals remain important to contemporary island communities, we consider how long-term ecodynamic trajectories connect with contemporary resource management practices and conservation of vulnerable species.
Melinda Allen, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Centre International de Recherche Archéologique sur la Polynésie
Jennifer Kahn, College of William & Mary, United States of America and Centre International de Recherche Archéologique sur la Polynésie
Interpreting Human Paleoecology Using Multi-Proxy Evidence to Reconstruct Past Environments: Integrating Faunal Data with Other Paleoenvironmental Proxies
Archaeological materials have long been used to reconstruct not just human behavior, but also the ecological and environmental contexts in which past human societies operated. Faunal remains, in particular, have played a key role in this work, as understanding modern animal population dynamics as related to environmental conditions can inform our understanding of past human-environment interactions. Methods for using faunal remains to reconstruct past environments are various and include use of indicator taxa, various types of stable isotope analyses, dental wear patterning, and more. However, because of the nature of the archaeological record and inherent cultural biases, additional proxy datasets are required for more accurate reconstructions and holistic perspectives of paleoecological and paleoenvironmental conditions. Zooarchaeologists must often, therefore, integrate their results with additional, alternative datasets such as botanical remains, pollen records, geomorphic datasets, and lake and ocean cores (to name a few). This session will present papers that demonstrate how zooarchaeologists can utilize a multi-proxy approach, including best practices, methodology, and the kinds of challenges encountered during the integration of multiple kinds of datasets. Papers in this session will also explore the implications of using these datasets together to deepen our understanding of past human behavior.
Gillian Wong, University of Tuebingen, Germany
Isabelle Holland-Lulewicz, The Pennsylvania State University, United States of America
Making Material Culture, Making Meaning
Humanity has utilised hard animal materials to create material culture for many hundreds of thousands of years, with the species Homo imbuing such items with layers of meaning. Indeed, when looking at archaeological objects, the multiple layers of meaning they held and still hold for the peoples who produced them are often deeply intertwined with the animals from which the raw materials were sourced. This session invites papers to explore the richness and diversity of how humans engage with shell, bone, antler, ivory, tooth, and quill through time and space. How does the use of hard animal materials enable humans to make meaning of the world surrounding them? How has this approach changed through time? And how do we meaningfully compare behaviours across vast temporal periods and spaces?
Michelle Langley, Griffith University, Australia
Multiproxy Studies to Assess Diets, Habitats, Seasonality and Mobility in the Archaeological Record (Dedicated to the Memory of Richard Cooke)
In recent years, the study of bone and dental remains from archeological sites has advanced thanks to significant improvements in high-resolution techniques and new analytical methods. These include a better understanding of individual demographic parameters (age and sex), individual dietary patterns, territorial mobility, hunting strategies or animal husbandry techniques. Combined, these techniques provide a better knowledge of human paleoecology, subsistence, and social behavior. The objective of this session is to bring together presentations and discussions that combine different proxies simultaneously for analyzing bone and dental remains in the archaeological record. Topics include, but are not limited to, dental morphology, biometry, geometric morphometrics, stable isotopes, trace-element analysis, tooth micro- and mesowear analyses, microstructure, dental calculus, cementum analysis, proteomics, and taphonomy. These proxies have different temporal resolutions and when applied simultaneously on the same specimens they allow for insight with different timeframes during the lifetime of on individual, from birth to death, and beyond. Multi-proxy studies are becoming increasingly common in zooarchaeology. The challenge of multiproxy analyses is to deal with these different temporal and spatial resolutions and how to integrate them. Different proxies reflect different biological factors at a range of temporal and spatial scales, and consequently show different strengths and weaknesses. By combining proxies, strengths can be exploited and weaknesses can be identified. This session welcomes presentation of case studies to discuss how to integrate the results from biological proxy data derived by different quantitative methods to reconstruct human paleoecology, subsistence, and social behavior.
María Fernanda Martínez-Polanco, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Iván Ramírez, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Spain
Cristian Micó, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Spain
Florent Rivals, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social, Spain
Opportunities and Challenges in Improving Stewardship of Physical and Digital Collections
Archaeozoological research relies heavily on various types of collections. These include excavated faunal remains we analyze in the lab, modern reference collections we use for identification, specimens we separate out for analysis by others, data sets we build based on our analyses, and photographs and 3D images we create or use for reference. For physical and digital collections alike, their creation, organization, and upkeep are largely customized to a research or lab and the processes for their management undocumented. Many collections are in “silos”, trapped on hard drives or hidden away in storage rooms. How can we more effectively share the many physical and digital archaeozoological collections that the ICAZ community creates and manages? This session opportunities in bringing collections to light and the challenges of doing so. Topics to be discussed may include, among others, linking archaeozoological data and other related data types across many projects, unifying collections that are stored across several institutions, improving access to physical reference collections, building virtual reference collections, improving linking of physical and digital collections, the ethical implications of accessing and sharing collections, and stewardship of digital and physical collections over time. A discussion period will explore the establishment of a Zooarchaeological Collections Working Group to provide guidance for creators and managers of collections and follow developments in digital opportunities for discovery and integration of collections data.
Sarah Kansa, The Alexandria Archive Institute / Open Context, United States of America
The Forefront of Zooarchaeology in Asian Coasts and Islands
Modern humans (Homo sapiens) began active utilization of maritime and coastal resources exploitation from the late Pleistocene. Currently, the number of zooarchaeological studies in the coastal and islands regions in Asia is dramatically increasing. These studies cover topics ranging from Pleistocene terrestrial and maritime resource exploitation, the variety of animal uses including domestications, hunting, and fishing after the Neolithic ages, as well as pre-modern or modern animal use as the main focus of ethno-archaeological studies.
This session provides the forum within which to to integrate these zooarchaeological studies as our current research forefront, to place together information from different coastal and island regions of Asia, and to discuss innovative methods to develop the variety of issues presented. This session will enable an exchange of ideas to increase understanding of Pleistocene and Holocene human activities related to both terrestrial and marine animal use. We also welcome any related papers concerned with new findings and zooarchaeological methodologies to investigate coastal/terrestrial and marine resources use and aquatic culture by Homo sapiens in Asian coastal and island regions.
Rintaro Ono, National Museum of Ethnology, Japan
Takao Sato, Keio University, Japan
The Integration of Zooarchaeology and History
Zooarchaeology is one of the most quintessentially interdisciplinary of the archaeology research areas. It sits at the interface of science and humanities and typically breaks the traditional boundaries between the Nature and Culture domains. Among the many areas of research collaborations, most interesting is the relationship between the evidence deriving from animal remains from archaeological sites (the realm of the zooarchaeologists) and that originating from written or orally transmitted sources (the realm of the historians). Zooarchaeologists and historians often investigate similar research questions, but the very different nature of their data often means that their interpretations operate at levels that may look incompatible. Nevertheless, when zooarchaeologists and historians work together, the complementarity of their approaches becomes evident. Their joint effort has the potential to generate an understanding of past life that is much richer and more reliable than when the two fields operate in isolation. For this session, we would like to invite zooarchaeologists working in any areas of the World and in any period to present research projects for which the integration of zooarchaeological and historical evidence has played a major role in the interpretation. An emphasis on the integrative, rather than just comparative, element would be most welcome.
Lenny Salvagno, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Umberto Albarella, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
The Zooarchaeology of Ritual Communities and Landscapes
Across the globe, past societies have utilized animals and their products for symbolic purposes developed to serve a wide range of functions including political agendas, appeal for divine legitimization, protection from evil, conspicuous feasting, and social cohesion. Anthropologists and archaeologists have long studied how ritual practice with animals relates to utilitarian purposes (e.g., subsistence, clothing, labor). This session will focus on zooarchaeological investigations of community investment in animal ritual activities. This includes studies of biochemical, taphonomic, and/or classic zooarchaeological analysis of animal management and use that fall along the latter end of the mundane-ritual continuum. In this session, we aim to explore how different combinations of research methods can provide valuable information on past human–animal interactions and shed light on the degree to which traditions of ritual practice with animals may have impacted ancient environments and transformed ritual landscapes, as broadly defined. This session will also bring together papers that investigate and improve the archaeological identification of non-utilitarian roles of animals in past human communities across varying temporal and spatial contexts.
We invite applicants to submit proposals to discuss approaches for identifying site-specific and cross-regional patterns in archaeological evidence of ritualized animal use. Papers in this session may investigate a wide array of topics from the dietary histories of animals used for ritual practices, to the reconstruction of past landscapes in which ritual activities with animals were maintained.
Petra Vaiglova, Griffith University, Australia
Jacqueline Meier, University of North Florida, United States of America
Underwater Bone Taphonomy
As underwater recovery capacity improves and ports and other infrastructure are expanded, faunal remains are increasingly being recovered from prehistoric and historical underwater contexts, whether maritime or fluvial. One result of these investigations is the need to accurately understand these paleolandscapes that are now submerged. While remarkable advances in vertebrate bone taphonomy have been made in recent decades, most of these analyses have focused on terrestrial, rather than submerged contexts.
In submerged assemblages, bone modifications usually observed in terrestrial environments take place first, followed by further modifications typical of aquatic environments once submerged. These overprinted processes result in submerged assemblages being characterized as having very complex taphonomic trajectories. Bone surface modifications and their agents in aquatic salty and freshwater environments, are poorly understood, as is the complexity of the formation processes in these contexts. We therefore view research into underwater taphonomic processes as having enormous potential for not only understanding underwater bone taphonomy better, but also improving our inferences regarding the dynamics of coastal environment, the people that occupied these spaces.
Isabel Cartajena, Millennium Nucleus Ocean Heritage and Culture and University of Chile, Chile
Sebastián Yrarrázaval, Millennium Nucleus Ocean Heritage and Culture, Chile
Use of Histology in Studying Vertebrate Tissues in Archaeozoological Research
The bones and mummified tissues found in the prehistoric context constitute a rich archive of anatomical, ecological, dietary, and evolutionary data. The modern advances in the art and science of microscopy have made the archaeozoological record a more interactive piece of evidence that has enriched our existing knowledge of the dynamic relationship between man and animals, which have gone a long way in building a strong foundation of settled life of ancient people. Our ability to extract information from ancient and modern tissues (both calcified as well as soft tissues from mummies) has greatly improved with the understanding of physiology and bone biology provided over the last five decades.
This session will review the development and modern state of histological studies of biological tissues with reference to recent and archaeofauna, including domestic and wild species. The major milestones of histological studies include discrimination between different species of animals, between human and non-human bones, biomechanical adaptations and diet, and growth recorded in several taxa. The presentations in this session will highlight the latest trends in research methods, which have witnessed a long journey from techniques to philosophy in understanding the role of natural forces and human interference – with special reference to human attitudes towards animals – that have shaped the evolutionary history of domesticated animals.
In this context, participants of the session will address the issues of identification, physiology, morphology, pathology, life history, palaeoecology as well as behavioural and environmental adaptations within the operational framework of histological studies.
Vijay Sathe, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, India
Prateek Chakraborty, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, India
Where Have We Been and Where are We Going? Papers Celebrating 50 Years of Archaeozoology
In 2021, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the International Council for Archaeozoology. To commemorate this milestone, this session brings together papers addressing the past, present, and future of archaeozoology. The resulting volume will serve as a resource for archaeozoology courses, providing a history of developments in many aspects of archaeozoological research, including many of the ICAZ working group sub-disciplinary themes (archaeomalacology, fish remains, paleopathology, etc.) and several cross-cutting themes (digital data, reference collections, ethics, collaboration, and outreach).
Sarah Whitcher Kansa, Alexandria Archive Institute / Open Context, United States of America
‘Where the Rewilding Things Should Go’: Restoring Ecosystem Function by Connecting Insights from the Past and the Present
The large-scale restoration of functioning ecosystems has the potential to return habitats that bring significant and long term environmental and economic benefits to regions across the world. Globally, many successful rewilding programs now exist and in many cases past faunal records are informing conservation policies that incorporate rewilding strategies. In this session we will explore international examples where records from the past have helped deliver successful rewilding programs, we will showcase examples of faunal reintroduction programs (including Australia) and identify the successes but also the challenges that they face, and we will discuss the role that records from the past can play highlighting emerging research that incorporates the zooarchaeological and fossil record to help inform the development of conservation programs. With a focus on the future but highlighting research from the past, the broad aim of the session is to generate a discussion that may lead us on a path of large-scale restoration of ecosystems where rewilding supports a range of important issues from restoring biodiversity, sequestering carbon, regional employment and reconnecting communities with nature.
Michael Westaway, The University of Queensland, Australia
Wisdom of Bones: Study of Bones as Storehouse of Information of Diet and Environment
Over the years, the science of archaeozoology has notably benefitted from interdisciplinary research, one of these being biochemical analysis. It addresses a wide range of issues from dating to ecology, taphonomy, palaeodiet and pathology, all of which are complimentary to the macro and microscopic analysis of ancient bones. Environmental constraints potentially affect settled lifeways, including livestock, exploitation strategies of wild fauna, resource richness and diversity across the landscape, and also dictate population movements.
This session provides an occasion to discuss how various existing methods in archaeological chemistry are coming forward to address problems of animal exploitation strategies, palaeodiet and archaeology of dairy products, health and nutrition of both humans and fauna, and finally the abandonment of settlements in the face of decline of resources or other calamities. Various methods like bioapatite mineralogy, crystallography, trace elements, stable isotopes and rare earth elements are employed globally, but there is a need to have a dialogue that compliments these observations from regional studies, as well as in wider applications, while analysing archaeofauna from different ecozones and physical settings.
We invite theoretical and methodological discussions between the fraternity of archaeozoologists and the scientists pursuing the study of animal exploitation and human behaviour in the early Holocene via the various biochemical methods noted above.
Vijay Sathe, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, India
Yogambar Singh Farswan, Hemavati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, India
Prateek Chakraborty, Deccan College Postgraduate & Research Institute, India
Zooarchaeology of the Modern Era
This session highlights recent work undertaken by zooarchaeologists working with assemblages originating from ‘recent’ periods of history (approximately the past 500 years). This period witnessed immense socio-economic transformations on a global scale, including: shifts in the distribution of wealth; the rise of consumerism and globalisation; mass population movements of people and animals; the industrialisation of food production; as well as the emergence of new and complex trade networks and changing relationships between people and animals. Working on assemblages from this period presents its own set of challenges, such as making links with historical documents, and often requires us to address difficult research questions, such as those relating to colonialism and slavery. However, historical zooarchaeology has great potential for helping us better understand the world we live in today. This session invites historical zooarchaeologists to present recent work with the aim of fostering discussions that will aid in better understanding this period of history.
Eric Tourigny, Newcastle University, United Kingdom