Multispecies Archaeology explores the issue of ecological and cultural novelty in the archaeological record from a multispecies perspective. Human exceptionalism and our place in nature have long been topics of academic consideration and archaeology has been synonymous with an axclusively human past, to the detriment of gaining a more nuanced understanding of one that is shared.
Encompassing more than just our relationships with animals, the book considers what we can learn about the human past without humans as the focus of the question. The volume digs deep into our understanding of interaction with plants, fungi, microbes, and even the fundamental building blocks of life, DNA. Multispecies Archaeology examineswhat it means to be human—and non-human—from a variety of perspectives, providing a new lens through which to view the past.
Challenging not only the subject or object of archaeology but also broader disciplinary identities, the volume is a landmark in this new and evolving area of scholarly interest.
List of Contributors
Part I: Living in the Anthropocene
1. Calabrian Hounds and Roasted Ivory (or, Swerving from Anthropocentrism)
2. The End of the ‘Neolithic’? At the emergence of the Anthropocene
3. Rehearsing the Anthropocene in microcosm: the palaeoenvironmental impacts of the Pacific rat (Rattus exulans) and other non-human species during island Neolithization
Thomas P. Leppard
4. Trans-Holocene Human Impacts on California Mussels (Mytilus californianus): Historical Ecological Management Implications from the Northern Channel Islands
Breana Campbell, Todd J. Braje, and Stephen G. Whitaker
Part II: Multispecies Ecology of the Built Environment
6. Symbiotic Architectures
7. The Eco-Ecumene and Multispecies History: The Case of Abandoned Protestant Cemeteries in Poland
8. Ecologies of Rock and Art in Northern New Mexico
Benjamin Alberti and Severin Fowles
9. Oysters and Mound-Islands of Crystal River along the Central Gulf Coast of Florida
Victor D. Thompson and Thomas J. Pluckhahn
10. Multi-species Dynamics and the Ecology of Urban Spaces in Roman Antiquity
11. Mammalian Community Assembly in Ancient Villages and Towns in the Jordan Valley of Israel
Nimrod Marom and Lior Weissbrod
Part III: Agrarian Commitments: Towards an archaeology of symbiosis
12. Animals and the Neolithic: cui bono?
13. Making space from the position of duty of care: Early Bronze Age human - sheep entanglements in Norway.
Kristin Armstrong Oma
14. The History of the Human Microbiome: Insights from Archaeology and Ancient DNA
Laura S. Weyrich
15. An archaeological telling of multispecies co-inhabitation: comments on the origins of agriculture and domestication narrative in southwest Asia
Part IV: The Ecology of Movement
16. Legs, feet and hooves: the seasonal roundup in Iceland
17. The Rhythm of Life: Exploring the role of daily and seasonal rhythms in the development of human-nonhuman relationships in the British Early Mesolithic
Nick J. Overton
18. Seasonal mobility and multispecies interactions in the Mesolithic northeastern Adriatic
Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch
19. The role of ostrich in shaping the landscape use patterns of humans and hyenas on the southern coast of South Africa during the late Pleistocene
Jamie Hodgkins, Petrus le Roux, Curtis W. Marean, Kirsty Penkman, Molly Crisp, Erich Fisher, and Julia Lee-Thorp
20. Prey species movements and migrations in ecocultural landscapes: reconstructing late Pleistocene herbivore seasonal spatial behaviors
An interdisciplinary series that engages our on-going, yet ever-changing, fascination with the archaeological, Archaeological Orientations investigates the myriad ways material pasts are entangled with communities, animals, ecologies and technologies, past, present or future. From urgent contemporary concerns, including politics, violence, sustainability, ecology, and technology, to long-standing topics of interest, including time, space, materiality, memory and agency, Archaeological Orientations promotes bold thinking and the taking of risks in pressing trans-disciplinary matters of concern.