Session: #416

Theme & Session Format

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

Title & Content

CANCELLED Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Understanding Human-Animal Relationships in the European Pleistocene [PaM]
Studying Pleistocene human-animal interactions is vital if we are to determine the lifeways of some of the earliest members of our species in Europe given their heavy reliance on animals for survival, food, symbolism, and sources of raw material. Research into Pleistocene human-animal relationships has primarily utilised traditional zooarchaeological analysis, focusing on taxonomic counts or relative abundance of certain prey-species to characterize the subsistence and social practices of different human groups across space and time. However, the last two decades have seen dramatic developments in archaeological science yield a variety of novel methods with which Pleistocene humans’ subsistence choices, hunting strategies, seasonal mobility, site distribution, and broader socioeconomic trends can be studied at new levels of detail.
This session aims to bring together scholars with backgrounds in a range of traditional zooarchaeological methodologies, as well as specialists in isotope analysis, ZooMS, genomic studies, dental wear analysis, and GMM, in order to explore the latest knowledge of past human-animal relationships in Pleistocene Europe. Questions we aim to answer though presentations and in-depth discussion include:
1. How can studying human-animal interactions contribute to our broader knowledge of lived landscapes in the Pleistocene?
2. How can we combine diverse approaches, to help us better understand Pleistocene human-animal interactions on multiple scales?
3. Currently there is an emphasis on studying herbivore prey ecology. How can different approaches allow us to better understand human relationships with other fauna, i.e., carnivores, small mammals, birds, etc?
4. How can the use of faunal palaeoecological data help us reconstruct local climate and environmental conditions and better inform us about past hunter-gatherer behaviour beyond hunting?
5. Can this new data provide additional insights into changing animal behaviour between the Pleistocene and the present, with ramifications for ecological modelling and conservation strategies?
Palaeolithic, Palaeoecology, Zooarchaeology, Archaeological Sciences
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Main organiser:
Sarah Barakat (United Kingdom) 1
Phoebe Heddell Stevens (Germany) 2
1. University of Aberdeen
2. Max Planck Institute for Geoanthropology