Session: #188

Theme & Session Format

1. Widening horizons through human-environment interconnections
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Beast and Human: Northern Europe, from the Bronze Age to Modern Times
Human relations to wild animals have gone through multiple transformations in Northern Europe (understood in wide geographic terms). From the Bronze Age onwards, wild animals played only a minor, if any, role for human subsistence. How did this influence the perception of wild animals? And if not for food, for what reasons were they hunted? Are there any patterns in the bones of wild animals found in settlements, burials or offering sites? Did farmers (peasants) hunt differently to the upper classes, and were there other populations to whom the hunt remained important in a mixed economy? Is there a meaning in the low representation or absence of significant species? What kinds of wild animals had a prominent place in human life and religion?
The session is open to different kinds of contributions: diachronic or related to certain periods, in a regional or wider sense, archaeological or interdisciplinary (including modern insights into practical hunting). Recent challenges may be worth considering, too, such as the return of wolves or the co-existence of, for example, bears and humans.
human-animal relationship, history of hunting, farming communities, Northern Europe
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
Oliver Grimm (Germany) 1
Ekaterina Kashina (Russia) 2
Tuija Kirkinen (Finland) 3
Giedrė Piličiauskienė (Lithuania) 4
Hannah O'Regan (United Kingdom) 5
1. Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA)
2. State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russia
3. University of Helsinki, Finland
4. University of Vilnius, Lithuania
5. University of Nottingham, Great Britain