Accepted paper:

Making do or cultural taboo?

Authors:

Martyn Allen (University of Nottingham, Zooarchaeology Research Group)
Richard Easton (University of Nottingham, Zooarchaeology Research Group)
Kristopher Poole (University of Nottingham, Zooarchaeology Research Group)
Rebecca Reynolds (University of Nottingham, Zooarchaeology Research Group)
Naomi Sykes (University of Nottingham, Zooarchaeology Research Group)

Paper short abstract:

This collaborative paper will explore the zooarchaeological evidence for compromise: do the Roman to early medieval fluctuations in wild animal exploitation reflect adaptations linked to resource scarcity or a more fundamental shifts in worldviews and attitudes to nature?

Paper long abstract:

Whilst there is considerable potential for examining animal remains as artefacts, this paper takes a broader perspective seeing zooarchaeological material not simply as 'objects' but as reflections of a wide range of meaningful human-animal-landscape engagements. From this stance we consider to what extent the zooarchaeological record is a useful medium for the detection of compromise. As a case study this paper presents the results from recent collaborative work on the zooarchaeology of the Roman to early medieval period, which has highlighted temporal variations in exploitation of game mammals, wild fowl and fish. We will explore the possible reasons for these fluctuations in human-animal relationship - do they represent 'compromise' (e.g. due to resource scarcity resulting from famine or over-hunting) or a more fundamental shifts in worldviews and attitudes to nature?

panel S12
Make-do and mend: the archaeologies of compromise?