Session: #390

Theme & Session Format

1. Artefacts, Buildings & Ecofacts
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Methods and Models for the Study of Human-Birds Relationships
Birds are intertwined with human lives in three critical ways: avifauna is incorporated into subsistence strategies as an important food resource (meat and eggs); birds have a variety of symbolic meanings due to their connection with the sky and seasonal cycles; their migratory patterns are extremely sensitive to environmental change, thus influencing human-bird coexistence. In human-bird interaction studies, the accurate identification of archaeological remains is fundamental: behaviours, morphologies and ecologies displayed by avifauna are hugely diverse, which makes the category of “birds” almost meaningless for archaeological interpretations.
Recent developments in archaeological science have opened up new avenues for analysis of avian remains, which complement zooarchaeological methods. These include: biomolecular techniques and geometric morphometrics for the taxonomic identification of eggshell and bone; novel methods for obtaining age and environmental information (e.g. through the analysis of stable and/or radioactive isotopes); experimental and taphonomic approaches. However, the data generated by these methods have seldom been fully integrated into comprehensive archaeological and ecological models. We welcome contributions which showcase and critically discuss the contribution of new methods towards revealing nuances in human-avifauna interaction.
Human-bird relationships, Zooarchaeology, Environmental archaeology, Archaeological Science
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Main organiser:
Beatrice Demarchi (Italy) 1
Lisa Yeomans (Denmark) 2
Maria Codlin (Italy) 1
Julia Best (United Kingdom) 3
1. University of Turin
2. University of Copenhagen
3. Cardiff University