Commercial zooarchaeology of the ‘modern’ era: a survey of attitudes and practices


en Anthropozoologica 49 (1) - Pages 19-32

Published on 25 June 2014

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animals, and their bones, in the 'modern' world (AD 1750-1900)

The study of animal bones dating to the ‘modern’ period (AD 1750-1950) has been perceived as neglected and undervalued by some zooarchaeologists working in Britain and Ireland, while North America is frequently held up as a beacon of good practice. Here, survey data are presented which compare practices and opinions between these two regions and the rest of the world. It is suggested that the principal difference may be one of perception and it is shown that research into the ‘modern’ era is undertaken by commercial zooarchaeologists in every region; however, outside of the white settler states (USA, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Uruguay) it is very rarely published. A conclusion is reached that the gap may be bridged by raising awareness of how zooarchaeology can contribute to our understanding of the period.


Commercial archaeology, commercial zooarchaeology,‘modern’ era, survey, zooarchaeological practice, attitudes to zooarchaeology

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