Session: #529

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Adding Flesh to the Bones: The Integration of Biochemical and Biomolecular Techniques in the Study of Human-Animal Relationships
Understanding past human-animal relationships has been advanced by the development of new methods and techniques in archaeology, the so-called third science revolution. In particular, the study of interactions between humans and animals in hunter-gatherer and early farming and pastoral communities has been revolutionized by the application of new biochemical and biomolecular analyses. The current challenge is to how bring together both theoretically and methodologically a widening array of complex data (e.g. aDNA, eDNA, isotopes, lipids on ceramics, material culture patterns) with models from cultural anthropology to refine our narratives and ask nuanced questions.

This session brings together case studies from various regions and periods to discuss the ways in which these broad ranges of sources and methods can be integrated to study human-animal relationships in hunter-gather and early and pastoral farming communities. The session welcomes papers on these narratives and the theoretical implications of new techniques, as well as papers on the methodological challenges of interdisciplinary research, such as questions of big data, data representation, and ethical sampling.
Human-animal, Biochemical, Interdisciplinary, Hunter-gatherer, Farmer-pastoral, Animal husbandry
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:


Main organiser:
Nathalie Brusgaard (Netherlands) 1
Kristiina Mannermaa (Finland) 2,3
Canan Çakırlar (Netherlands) 1
Daan Raemaekers (Netherlands) 1
1. University of Groningen
2. University of Helsinki
3. University of Tartu