New Zooarchaeology: New Perspectives on Past Human-Animal Relationships

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As a species, our position within--and impacts on--the Anthropocene compels us to adopt a more nuanced understanding of human/nonhuman relationships. The importance of these relationships in the archaeological past is well-established, and is regularly highlighted in groundbreaking studies. What becomes clear is that merging theoretical insights beyond archaeology with innovative archaeological techniques is crucial for renewal in social zooarchaeology.
Exciting new avenues for this type of research includes the relationships between, for example, (1) animal cultures and livestock biodiversity, (2) animal aesthetics and shifts in zoogeographic regions, (3) domestication and ritual, (4) social organization and pastoralism, and (5) hunting and niche construction.
This new paradigm compels zooarchaeologists trained primarily in quantitative approaches to look well beyond the association between bones and diet toward Middle Range theories bridging vastly different sets of data. How can we integrate these constructive perspectives into the classroom, the lab, research designs and the field?
Event typeOther
LocationGroningen, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Zooarchaeology
  • Human-Animal interaction
  • Archaeology
  • Scientific methods
  • symposium