1st Edition

Multispecies Archaeology

ISBN 9781138898981
Published February 20, 2018 by Routledge
376 Pages

USD $245.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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 examines what 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.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors



Part I: Living in the Anthropocene

1. Calabrian Hounds and Roasted Ivory (or, Swerving from Anthropocentrism)

Noah Heringman

2. The End of the ‘Neolithic’? At the emergence of the Anthropocene

Christopher Witmore

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

5. Drift

Þóra Pétursdóttir

Part II: Multispecies Ecology of the Built Environment

6. Symbiotic Architectures

Gavin Lucas

7. The Eco-Ecumene and Multispecies History: The Case of Abandoned Protestant Cemeteries in Poland

Ewa Domanska

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

Michael MacKinnon

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?

Terry O’Connor

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

Brian Boyd

Part IV: The Ecology of Movement

16. Legs, feet and hooves: the seasonal roundup in Iceland

Oscar Aldred

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

Kate Britton


View More

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Suzanne E Pilaar Birch

Suzanne E Pilaar Birch

Professor, University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia, USA

Learn more about Suzanne E Pilaar Birch »