Renowned archaeologist, Dale Serjeantson, tells the story of human engagement with birds from the end of the last Ice Age to around AD 1650. In this book, she integrates the study of archaeological bird remains with ethnography and the history of birds and avian biology. It identifies changing patterns of wetland, water bird and game species through time, and in addition to their food value, examines our changing interactions with them. This includes considering evidence for use of bird body parts in religious rituals; taboos, totemism and superstitions surrounding eating certain species; their capture and role in falconry and as companion animals; and their importance in the economy from the Viking period onwards. Essential reading for archaeologists, zooarchaeologists, and historians, it is an eye-opening, accessible introduction to the archaeology of wild birds in Britain and Ireland for anyone interested in our natural history.
2. Ravens and crows
3. Raptors and owls
4. Fenland birds
5. Game birds
8. Ducks, geese, and swans
11. Gannets and cormorants
12. Auks and gulls
13. Hawks and hawking
14. Changing roles and perceptions
Appendix: list of assemblages referred to in the text with bibliographic reference
Dale Serjeantson is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton, where she was formerly head of the Faunal Remains Unit. Her research interests are the archaeology of animals, especially birds, on which she has published widely. She is a world-renowned expert on methods of analysis of bird remains and their significance in human prehistory and early history.