On Land and in the Sea: Traditional and Innovative Zooarchaeological Studies Across the Indo-Pacific

1School of Culture, History and Language, Australian National University

2Department of Anthropology, University of the Philippines

3Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

4Centre International de Recherce Archéologique sur la Polynésie, Université de la Polynésie Française

Zooarchaeological studies provide valuable information to address hominin behaviour in (continental and insular) Asia and the Pacific. In early Pleistocene contexts, systematic zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses of faunal assemblages provide a window to early hominin’s behaviour. The characterisation of human-animal interactions during the Pleistocene and early Holocene offers insights into human lifestyles, relationships, and even extinctions of endemic species. Analyses of faunal remains from sites occupied by farming communities provide important information on agricultural practices and animal husbandry, as well as insights into agriculturalist-hunter gatherer interactions. In more recent times, human arrival to Pacific Islands had a clear impact on faunal communities, providing clues to address human adaptation to new environments.

This session welcomes papers proposing new means to address old problems. We will accept presentations from any chronological period (Pleistocene and Holocene) dealing with the revision of previously excavated faunal assemblages through the use of new techniques and methodologies. We also welcome the presentation of new assemblages, and new studies looking at the different roles animals played in the lifeways of foragers and farmers. From the analysis of zooarchaeological materials as nutritional resources to the role of animals in ritual practices, this session encourages presentations demonstrating cross-disciplinary and innovative research to showcase the current status of Indo-Pacific zooarchaeology.