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date: 06 August 2020

Archaeozoology: Methods 

Source:
The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Historiography: Methods and Sources
Author(s):
Veerle LinseeleVeerle Linseele

Archaeozoology, or zooarchaeology, is the study of all kinds of physical remains or traces of animals from archaeological contexts. Here the focus is on bones and teeth of vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals). Together with mollusk and bird egg shells, which are also hard and sometimes well preserved, these are the most commonly found archaeological animal remains. More exceptionally, soft parts are also preserved, such as feathers, hair, horn, or even skin. Traces left by animals include gnawing marks, footprints, feces, and burrows. Archaeozoologists may be specialized in a certain animal group, region, period, or method. Although archaeozoological research may sometimes emphasize zoological aspects, this article primarily focuses on how archaeozoologists contribute to the reconstruction of the life of humans in the past, of their natural environment, and of the interaction between the two.... ...

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