Session: #541

Theme & Session Format

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

Title & Content

Pastoralism of the Past: Insights into Social, Cultural and Environmental (In)stability
Pastoralism and livestock management has been the basis for the economies, social capital and ideologies of societies throughout the past. Our contemporary world faces the reality of environmental transformations associated with large-scale agricultural practices and anthropogenically influenced ecological degradation. This session challenges participants to consider how pastoral practices have afforded and constrained past communities. How did the daily and annual rhythms of domestic species influence the short and long-term strategies of people? In what way did the activities associated with animal management change in the midst of environmental fluctuation? How did sociopolitical and palaeoecological change impact consumption and ritual use of herded animals? These questions may guide participants in widening their research horizons, and how they consider the ways pastoral strategies have adapted to change or resisted against it. We invite contributions focusing on pastoralism through the archaeological lens to illustrate the ways that mobile animal management mitigated, exacerbated or sustained various lifeways. We hope to expand the discussion on how mobile animal management can serve in mitigating the economic, environmental and social complexities of the contemporary world. Perspectives from Asia, the Americas, Africa and as well as Europe are encouraged so as to reflect the diversity in pastoral patterns around the world and the varied insights those contributions represent.
Pastoralism, Sustainability, Environment, Zooarchaeology, Ethnoarchaeology, Isotopes
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
Aleksa Alaica (Canada) 1
Morgan Windle (Germany) 2
1. University of Toronto
2. University of Kiel