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The Deep History of "the Animal Question"


for Members

The Deep History of "the Animal Question"

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Wenner-Gren Foundation

Presented By

Presented by the Anthropology Section


In a number of academic disciplines the concern with relationships between human and non-human animals is resulting in a radical revision of the ways in which we think people construct their social worlds. As an example, this lecture will look at the archaeology of the Epipalaeolithic and Pre-Pottery Neolithic in the Levant and Anatolia (13 000-8 000 BP). During this period, animals are generally regarded by anthropologists as indicators of sedentism, seasonality, "broad spectrum" diet, and environmental conditions. Primarily however, archaeologists and archaeozoologists are concerned with identifying the very earliest stages of animal domestication in the pre-Neolithic periods. These are research questions that have characterized the archaeology of the Levant since the 1920s.

By way of contrast, this lecture will discuss the Levantine and Anatolian evidence from these periods in the context of the fast-developing social archaeology of human-animal relations. This perspective draws upon the burgeoning field of human-animal studies, and the "question of the animal", and offers to this field of study the unique archaeological contribution of "deep time/history".


Brian Boyd

Columbia University

Genese Marie Sodikoff

Rutgers University


A reception will precede the meeting at 6:00 pm