Session: #369

Theme & Session Format

7. Archaeology of Sustainability through World Crises, Climate Change and War
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Animals in Bronze Age Europe: New Perspectives
Other-than-human and multispecies perspectives have had an increasing influence on archaeology over the last decade, transforming our understanding of agency as distributed and relational. We have seen novel and sophisticated interpretations of the significance of animals in hunter-gatherer and early farming communities. Yet these new theoretical approaches have had relatively little impact on research in the Bronze Age. Bronze Age animals are usually figured as resources for human consumption: as food or sources of secondary products to support wealth production and human socio-political aspirations, or as symbolic resources – symbols of chiefly power and religious authority. In neither case are animals considered to be active co-participants in Bronze Age sociality – as sentient beings with whom humans negotiated meaningful relationships. In this session, we invite contributors to how consider how animals and people lived and worked together; how their lives and deaths were interwoven; how bodily, inter-species engagements shaped everyday experience; how animal attributes, characteristics and personalities were taken into account; and how relations of attachment, difference and inequality emerged between humans and animals in particular social settings. We welcome contributions that address these and related themes drawing on any type of archaeological data from Bronze Age Europe, including but not limited to animal iconography, isotopes, zooarchaeological analysis, architecture and landscape, animal materials, proteomics, depositional practices, etc.
Bronze Age, animals, multispecies archaeology, posthumanism
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Main organiser:
Joanna Bruck (Ireland) 1
Mark Haughton (Denmark) 2
Floor Huisman (Ireland) 1
Kate Kanne (Ireland) 1
1. University College Dublin
2. Aarhus University