7-8 June 2018 – New Zooarchaeology

New Zooarchaeology

University of Groningen

1 EC

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?

On Thursday, June 7, a symposium will provide the opportunity for researchers and postgraduate students to learn about exciting new approaches in the field. Talks will address the human/non-human animal past through diverse methodologies–including isotope analysis, GMM, aDNA, rock art, textual analysis, historical archaeology and ethnography. As a group, we will examine the ‘state of the art’ of social zooarchaeology, as well as recent developments in related subjects, such as biology, ecology, history, anthropology and sociology. Our keynote speaker is Prof. Naomi Sykes (University of Exeter), author of Beastly Questions: Animal Answers to Archaeological Issues.

On Friday June 8, a hands-on Geometric Morphometrics (GMM) workshop will be led by Dr. Carly Ameen (University of Exeter) and Dr. Julie Daujat (Nottingham University). For ARCHON students attending the workshop for ECTS points*, readings will be circulated beforehand, as will a list of open-access programs to download. Space in the workshop is limited to 15 people and attendees must bring their own laptops!

Both events will be held at the University of Groningen. The deadline for registration is June 1 (please register by sending an email to Safoora Kamjan: s.kamjan@rug.nl). The programme can be found here.

The attendance fee for non-speakers: €10 euro for 1 day, 15 euro for 2, and can be paid at the registration. (For ARCHON members, this fee will be reimbursed.)

* ARCHON students can obtain

1 ECTS by participating in the symposium, and writing a report and,
2 ECTS by participating in the symposium and the workshop and writing a report.

See the programme here.