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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeozoology may be defined as the scientific evaluation of faunal materials retrieved from archaeological sites. These include all the organic remains left in the soil after the death and decay of animals but also the representation of animals in rock art and on portable materials. Zooarchaeology is a comparable term but differs in that the primary reason for study of the animals is archaeological rather than zoological. However, the two terms are often used as synonyms. A summary is given of the development of archaeozoology as a multidisciplinary science, followed by examples of investigations on mammalian remains that exemplify how comparative osteology, isotope analysis, molecular biology, radiocarbon dating, and searches of literature can all be used to reveal the roles played by the multiplicity of animal species that have been associated with human societies over millennia since the end of the last Ice Age.

Keywords: animal studies, archaeozoology, faunal materials, zooarchaeology, osteology, isotope analysis, molecular biology, radiocarbon dating

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