Zooarchaeology in Practice: Case Studies in Methodology and Interpretation in Archaeofaunal Analysis

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Zooarchaeology in Practice unites depth of treatment with broad topical coverage to advance methodological discussion and development in archaeofaunal analysis. Through case studies, historical accounts, and technical reviews authored by leading figures in the field, the volume examines how zooarchaeological data and interpretation are shaped by its methods of practice and explores the impact of these effects at varying levels of investigation.

Contributing authors draw on geographically and taxonomically diverse datasets, providing instructive approaches to problems in traditional and emerging areas of methodological concern. Readers, from specialists to students, will gain an extensive, sophisticated look at important disciplinary issues that are sure to provoke critical reflection on the nature and importance of sound methodology. With implications for how archaeologists reconstruct human behavior and paleoecology, and broader relevance to fields such as paleontology and conservation biology, Zooarchaeology in Practice makes an enduring contribution to the methodological advancement of the discipline.

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About the author

Christina M. Giovas (Ph.D., University of Washington) is a Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Queensland. Her research focuses on prehistoric fisheries, animal translocations, and the human paleoecology of island and coastal settings, particularly the Caribbean and Oceania. She has conducted fieldwork in the Lesser Antilles, Polynesia, France, and the Great Lakes and the Pacific Northwest regions of North America. Dr. Giovas is Associate Editor for the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology and serves on the Board of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology. She joins the faculty of the Department of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University in 2018.

Michelle J. LeFebvre (Ph.D., University of Florida) is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biodiversity Informatics at the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH), Gainesville. With a focus in Caribbean and Southeastern U.S. archaeology, she uses zooarchaeological, biochemical, and archaeological datasets to investigate how animal exploitation, manipulation (e.g., translocation, management), and consumption articulate with patterns of human interaction, village aggregation, and social hierarchy. She is also focused on the mechanics and facilitation of open access zooarchaeological data, and its integration within open biodiversity networks.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Nov 24, 2017
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Pages
331
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ISBN
9783319647630
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Ancient / General
Social Science / Archaeology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Day-to-day activities are important in the development of social identities, the establishment of social standing, and the communal understanding of societal rules. This perspective is broadly referred to as practice theory and relates to the power of an overarching social structure and the individual actors that exist within it. Practice theory has made an important contribution to anthropological and archaeological research as these fields are particularly interested in daily life and the importance of these actions.

This volume argues that practice theory can also be used in a bioarchaeological context through the examination of human skeletal remains and the archaeological context in which they were excavated. Bioarchaeology offers a unique perspective on these day-to-day experiences—skeletal tissue is constantly undergoing a process of change and, as a living biological system, it can adapt to external forces. Furthermore, bioarchaeological studies are multi-scalar and can examine individuals, groups, or entire populations.

Using osteological indicators of activity patterns (entheseal changes, osteoarthritis) and dietary isotopes (carbon, nitrogen) as examples, this book addresses patterns of everyday life in the ancient past. Physical activities and food consumption are actions that are carried out on a daily basis. While bioarchaeology does not have the ability to recreate specific day-to-day activities, we can assess broad trends in everyday life. The volume illustrates these points using examples from the Ancient Nile Valley. Through the examination of over 800 Egyptian and Nubian individuals from five different archaeological sites, the research addresses patterns of everyday life as they relate to social inequality, agency, and practice.

Beyond osteological indicators of activity and dietary patterns, this book also discusses additional methods that can be pursed to draw attention to daily life. Lastly, this book also highlights the applicability of and potential contribution that practice theory can make to this area of research.

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?

In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.

A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age—and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.

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