Zooarchaeology short courses

The Sheffield Zooarchaeology Laboratory Team is holding a series of online courses which will take place between September 2021 and July 2022. The one-day courses each focus on a specific topic related to zooarchaeology.

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For more information contact: zooarch-shortcourse@sheffield.ac.uk

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Day course 1: Aquatic Resources (15 September 2021)

Water and animals

This one-day online course will give an insight into faunal remains associated with human exploitation of freshwater and marine environments. Fish, molluscs, and marine mammal remains can provide information about the diet of ancient populations, represent important environmental indicators, and yield a socio-cultural understanding of the sites from which they have been recovered.

In this one-day course we will explore, through theoretical lectures, practical activities, presentation of relevant case studies and seminar format discussions, the exploitation of aquatic resources and the information that can be gathered from aquatic animal remains through zooarchaeological analysis.

This one-day course is designed for archaeologists, heritage professionals, students and enthusiasts and does not require any previous knowledge.

Related one-day course: Preserved animal products, Hunting strategies

Timetable:

9-9.30am Welcome and introduction
9.30-10am Session 1 Fish - theory session
10-10.30am Session 1 Fish - practical session
10.30-11am Coffee break
11-11.30am Session 2 Molluscs - theory session
11.30am-12pm Session 2 Molluscs - practical session
12-1pm Lunch break
1-1.45pm Session 3 Reptiles and Amphibians - theory and case study
1.45-2.15pm Session 4 Marine mammals - theory session
2.15-2.30pm Coffee break
2.30-3pm Session 4 Marine mammals - case studies and discussion/seminar
3-3.30pm Q&A and final remarks

Book online


Day course 2: Status (19 January 2022)

Bones

This one-day online course focuses on the investigation of status and identity through zooarchaeological analyses. It will discuss the role of animals in defining the socioeconomic status of groups of people, by looking at the procurement, control over, use and disposal of animal resources. 

In particular, we will explore the dynamics of food preparation and its distribution across ethnic groups, class and genders. The course will also examine how the possession and display of exotic or rare animals, as well as of modified breeds, were used to reinforce status and social group identity.

In this one-day course we will explore, through theoretical lectures, practical activities, presentation of relevant case studies and seminar format discussions, the potential of zooarchaeology in exploring the social background of past communities around the world

This one-day course is designed for archaeologists, heritage professionals, students and enthusiasts and does not require any previous knowledge.

Related one-day course: Religion, Hunting strategies

Timetable to be confirmed

Book online


Day course 3: Religion (6 April 2022)

Religious symbols

This one-day online course aims to highlight the important role of zooarchaeology in assessing the influence of dietary taboos and other religious activities in the formation of faunal assemblages, and in providing an interpretation of their socio-cultural and economic significance. 

Animal remains are often a reflection of food consumption practices, a potential religious-cultural identifier. For this reason, the zooarchaeological study of animal remains can detect the presence of dietary taboos or activities connected with religious beliefs, highlighting their wide implications within past communities. 

In this one-day course we will explore, through theoretical lectures, practical activities, presentation of relevant case studies and seminar format discussions, how different types of zooarchaeological evidence can inform on the religious practices and cultural identities of past societies. 

This one-day course is designed for archaeologists, heritage professionals, students and enthusiasts and does not require any previous knowledge.

Related one-day course: Status

Timetable to be confirmed

Book online


Day course 4: Preserved Animal Products (8 June 2022)

Meats and cheeses

From ham, to cheese, to dried fish, preserved animal products represent a large proportion of the modern human diet. In the western world today, the consumption of preserved animal products is a personal choice, and some of them are even considered delicacies (charcuterie, smoked salmon etc.). In the past, however, they were a key component of subsistence practices, and contributed to ensuring that food was available all year round. From humble origins, some preserved products made it to the markets, and even characterised the economy of past empires.

In this one-day course we will explore, through theoretical lectures, practical activities, presentation of relevant case studies and seminar format discussions, the direct and indirect evidence used by zooarchaeologists to detect the production and use of preserved products. 

This one-day course is designed for archaeologists, heritage professionals, students and enthusiasts and does not require any previous knowledge.

Related one-day course: Aquatic resources

Timetable to be confirmed

Book online


Day course 5: Hunting Strategies (13 July 2022)

Bone

When husbandry was unknown to humans, people relied on hunting or fishing to provide them with animal proteins. The study of animal bones from hunter-gatherer sites has the potential to inform us about the subsistence strategies adopted, as well as human behaviour and interaction with the surrounding environment. However, even after the introduction of domesticated species and associated husbandry, hunting continued. It was still a means to supplement diet, and later became a pastime for people of high status.

From a zooarchaeological point of view, what are the indicators that would allow us to identify the hunting strategies adopted by past communities? The construction of mortality profiles, along with the relative frequency of species and the study of butchery practices are among the tools that a zooarchaeologist can use to reconstruct such economies.

In this one-day course we will explore, through theoretical lectures, practical activities, presentation of relevant case studies and seminar format discussions, different hunting strategies and how to detect them in the zooarchaeological record.

Related one-day course: Status, Aquatic resources

Timetable to be confirmed

Book online


Cancellations and refunds

Refund requests should be made by email to zooarch-shortcourse@sheffield.ac.uk, no less than 7 days before the start of the course. We will endeavour to fill the course place, and in the event that a replacement is found a full refund will be made. If a replacement cannot be found a refund of 50% of the course fee will be made for cancellations made more than 7 days before the start of the course. No refund will be made for cancellations made less than 7 days before the course start date.

At the discretion of the course organisers, and in exceptional circumstances, participants that are unable to attend can defer their enrolment until the next Zooarchaeology short course.

If you are experiencing any difficulty please contact us as early as possible.


What People Say About Our Online Short Courses

…the layout of the course was brilliant. It was great that there was theory followed by practical as it made sure that the theory sessions were not too long and overwhelming

There were a lot of staff members involved… it worked extremely well… It enabled the different topics to be covered by people that have a clear demonstrable passion for their field

…the passion and commitment of the entire department was inspiring. I just want you to continue doing what you are doing. This was my first course and I will be booking others

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