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Academic & Professional Books  Natural History  Archaeology

The Oxford Handbook of Zooarchaeology

By: Umberto Albarella(Editor), Mauro Rizzetto(Editor), Hannah Russ(Editor), Kim Vickers(Editor), Sarah Viner-Daniels(Editor), Peter Bogucki(Foreword By)
839 pages, 129 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
The Oxford Handbook of Zooarchaeology
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Zooarchaeology ISBN: 9780198854432 Paperback Jul 2020 Usually dispatched within 1 week
  • The Oxford Handbook of Zooarchaeology ISBN: 9780199686476 Hardback Mar 2017 Usually dispatched within 1 week
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About this book

Animals have played a fundamental role in shaping human history, and the study of their remains from archaeological sites – zooarchaeology – has gradually been emerging as a powerful discipline and crucible for forging an understanding of our past. The Oxford Handbook of Zooarchaeology offers a cutting-edge compendium of zooarchaeology the world over that transcends environmental, economic, and social approaches, seeking instead to provide a holistic view of the roles played by animals in past human cultures.

Incisive chapters written by leading scholars in the field incorporate case studies from across five continents, from Iceland to New Zealand and from Japan to Egypt and Ecuador, providing a sense of the dynamism of the discipline, the many approaches and methods adopted by different schools and traditions, and an idea of the huge range of interactions that have occurred between people and animals throughout the world and its history. Adaptations of human-animal relationships in environments as varied as the Arctic, temperate forests, deserts, the tropics, and the sea are discussed, while studies of hunter-gatherers, farmers, herders, fishermen, and even traders and urban dwellers highlight the importance that animals have had in all forms of human societies. With an introduction that clearly contextualizes the current practice of zooarchaeology in relation to both its history and the challenges and opportunities that can be expected for the future, and a methodological glossary illuminating the way in which zooarchaeologists approach the study of their material, this Handbook will be invaluable not only for specialists in the field, but for anybody who has an interest in our past and the role that animals have played in forging it.


List of Figures
List of Tables
Online Supplementary Material

1: Zooarchaeology in the 21st century: where we come from, where we are now, and where we are going, Umberto Albarella

2: Humans and mammals in the Upper Palaeolithic of Russia, Mietje Germonpré and Mikhail V. Sablin
3: The zooarchaeology of complexity and specialization during the Upper Palaeolithic in Western Europe: changing diversity and evenness, Katherine Boyle
4: Mesolithic hunting and fishing in the coastal and terrestrial environments of the eastern Baltic, Lembi Lõugas
5: Archaeozoological techniques and protocols for elaborating scenarios of early colonization and Neolithization of Cyprus, Jean-Denis Vigne
6: Zooarchaeological results from Neolithic and Bronze Age wetland and dryland sites in the Central Alpine Foreland: economic, ecologic, and taphonomic relevance, Jörg Schibler
7: Zooarchaeology in the Carpathian Basin and adjacent areas, László Bartosiewicz
8: Sheep, sacrifices, and symbols: animals in Later Bronze Age Greece, Paul Halstead and Valasia Isaakidou
9: Changes in lifestyle in ancient Rome (Italy) across the Iron Age/Roman transition: the evidence from animal remains, Jacopo De Grossi Mazzorin and Claudia Minniti
10: Zooarchaeology of the Scandinavian settlements in Iceland and Greenland: diverging pathways, Konrad Smiarowski, Ramona Harrison, Seth Brewington, Megan Hicks, Frank J. Feeley, Céline Dupont-Hébert, Brenda Prehal, George Hambrecht, James Woollett, and Thomas H. McGovern
11: Fishing, wildfowling, and marine mammal exploitation in northern Scotland from prehistory to Early Modern times, Dale Serjeantson
12: Zooarchaeological evidence for Moslem improvement of sheep (Ovis aries) in Portugal, Simon J. M. Davis
13: The zooarchaeology of Medieval Ireland, Finbar McCormick and Emily Murray
14: Animals in urban life in Medieval to Early Modern England, Terry O'Connor
15: From bovid to beaver: mammal exploitation in Medieval north-west Russia, Mark Maltby

16: The emergence of livestock husbandry in Early Neolithic Anatolia, Joris Peters, Nadja Pöllath, and Benjamin S. Arbuckle
17: Patterns of animal exploitation in western Turkey: from Palaeolithic molluscs to Byzantine elephants, Canan Çakirlar and Levent Atici
18: South Asian contributions to animal domestication and pastoralism: bones, genes, and archaeology, Ajita K. Patel and Richard H. Meadow
19: The zooarchaeology of Neolithic China, Li Liu and Xiaolin Ma
20: Subsistence economy, animal domestication, and herd management in prehistoric central Asia (Neolithic - Iron Age), Norbert Benecke
21: Introduction of domestic animals to the Japanese archipelago, Hitomi Hongo
22: Farming, social change, and state formation in south-east Asia, Charles F. W. Higham
23: The zooarchaeology of early historic periods in the southern Levant, Justin E. Lev-Tov and Sarah Whitcher Kansa

24: Middle and Later Stone Age hunters and their prey in southern Africa, Ina Plug
25: Pastoralism in sub-Saharan Africa: emergence and ramifications, Diane Gifford-Gonzalez
26: Cattle, a major component of the Kerma culture (Sudan), Louis Chaix
27: The zooarchaeology of Iron Age farmers from southern Africa, Shaw Badenhorst
28: The exploitation of aquatic resources in Holocene West Africa, Veerle Linseele
29: Animals in ancient Egyptian religion: belief, identity, power, and economy, Salima Ikram
30: Animals, acculturation, and colonization in ancient and Islamic North Africa, Michael MacKinnon
31: Historical zooarchaeology of colonialism, mercantilism, and indigenous dispossession: the Dutch East India Company's meat industry at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, Adam R. Heinrich

32: Zooarchaeology of the pre-Contact Northwest coast of North America, Gregory G. Monks
33: Fauna and the emergence of intensive agricultural economies in the United States south-west, Rebecca M. Dean
34: 13,000 years of communal bison hunting in western North America, John D. Speth
35: Advances in hunter-gatherer research in Mexico: archaeozoological contributions, Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales and Eduardo Corona-M.
36: The exploitation of aquatic environments by the Olmec and Epi-Olmec, Tanya M. Peres
37: Tracking the trade in animal pelts in early historic eastern North America, Heather A. Lapham
38: Animal use at early colonies on the south-eastern coast of the United States, Elizabeth J. Reitz
39: Zooarchaeology of the Maya, Kitty F. Emery

40: Zooarchaeological approaches to Pre-Columbian archaeology in the neotropics of north-western South America, Peter W. Stahl
41: Zooarchaeology of Brazilian shell mounds, Daniela Klokler
42: Camelid hunting and herding in Inca times: a view from the South of the empire, Guillermo L. Mengoni Goñalons
43: Forests, steppes, and coastlines: zooarchaeology and the prehistoric exploitation of Patagonian habitats, Luis A. Borrero

44: Pleistocene adaptations in tropical rainforest environments in Island Melanesia, Matthew Leavesley
45: Behavioural inferences from Late Pleistocene aboriginal Australia: seasonality, butchery, and nutrition in south-west Tasmania, Richard Cosgrove and Jillian Garvey
46: Regional and chronological variations in energy harvests from prehistoric fauna in New Zealand, Ian Smith
47: Spatial variability and human eco-dynamics in central-east Polynesian fisheries, Melinda S. Allen

A Glossary of Zooarchaeological Methods, Mauro Rizzetto and Umberto Albarella
Notes on Contributors

Customer Reviews


Umberto Albarella is a Reader in Zooarchaeology at the University of Sheffield. He obtained his PhD from the University of Durham, having first become interested in anthropology and then archaeology as an undergraduate student, and worked at the Universities of Lecce, Birmingham, and Durham before moving to the University of Sheffield in 2004. Specializing in the study of animal bones from archaeological sites, his main areas of research are wide-ranging and include animal domestication and husbandry intensification, ethnoarchaeology, the ritual use of animals, husbandry evidence of Romanization, animals and medieval life, integration in archaeology, and archaeology and politics. He is widely published in these fields and has previously served as Secretary of the International Council of Archaeozoology (ICAZ) from 2006 until 2012.

Mauro Rizzetto is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield whose research concerns the development of animal husbandry during the late Roman to early medieval transition in Britain and the lower Rhine region, with particular regard to biometrical changes. He has also been working at a number of archaeological sites in Italy, Britain, France, Greece, and Spain, dating from the Neolithic to the post-medieval period. He previously obtained an undergraduate degree in Archaeological Science in 2013 and a Master's degree in Osteoarchaeology in 2015, both at the University of Sheffield.

Hannah Russ is a Post-Excavation Manager at Northern Archaeological Associates and an Honorary Research fellow at the Universities of Sheffield and Wales, Trinity Saint David. She is a zooarchaeologist specializing in the study of aquatic animals, including fish, molluscs, and crustaceans, and has worked on remains from five UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as other sites in Western Europe and the Middle East dating from the Upper Palaeolithic through to the post-medieval period. Hannah completed her PhD in Archaeological Sciences in 2011 at the University of Bradford and subsequently held positions at the University of Sheffield and Oxford Brookes University before taking up her current role at Northern Archaeological Associates.

Kim Vickers is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield and specializes in zooarchaeology and the reconstruction of ancient environments. After completing her PhD on the palaeoentomology of the North Atlantic islands in 2007, her research has focused on the environmental impact of medieval human settlement and activity in Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe islands, and on the nature of resource use and contact between Norse and Inuit cultures in Greenland, while her other research interests include the Iron Age to Roman transition in Britain and the effects of the Roman invasion of Britain on farming practices and animal husbandry in the early first millennium AD.

Sarah Viner-Daniels is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield. After completing her PhD at Sheffield she was subsequently appointed as a Research Associate to the Feeding Stonehenge project. Her main areas of interest include animal exploitation in Mesolithic and Neolithic Britain and the application of isotopic analysis (using strontium and oxygen) to the understanding of prehistoric livestock mobility.

By: Umberto Albarella(Editor), Mauro Rizzetto(Editor), Hannah Russ(Editor), Kim Vickers(Editor), Sarah Viner-Daniels(Editor), Peter Bogucki(Foreword By)
839 pages, 129 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"The book is an assertion of the importance of zooarchaeology [...] It should be on the shelves of not just 'bone buffs', but of archaeologists across the discipline."
– Peter Rowley-Conwy, Durham University, Antiquity

"Together, the volume's eight African chapters give a varied and well-referenced overview of archaeozoology as practised in diverse regions of the continent [...] "
– Peter Mitchell, Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa

"The book's historical and geographical range is remarkable from interrelationships between humans and mammals in Siberia to prehistoric fauna in New Zealand [...] And you don't need a degree in anatomy or archaeology: the book is accessible and focuses on concepts and themes (rather than anatomical minutiae), supported by extensive references that allow you to take matters further."
– Mark Greener, Fortean Times

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