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.