Ecology, ceremony, and animal bones from southern Mesopotamia

Author(s): Katheryn Twiss

Year: 2015


Diane Gifford-Gonzalez has written numerous zooarchaeological papers that wonderfully balance attention to both the ecosystemic and the cultural influences that shape how humans interact with animals. In a 2008 essay exploring zooarchaeology’s potential contributions to the study of daily life, she wrote that pastoralists’ herd management strategies are constructed in the contexts not only of regional ecosystems and animal biologies, but also of human economies, ideologies and politics. At the same time, Gifford-Gonzalez has never discounted the importance of ecology and ethology in shaping human-animal interactions: her widely-read papers address topics from cattle diseases to fur seal ecology.

This paper honors Diane Gifford-Gonzalez’s demonstrations of the impacts that both nature and culture have on zooarchaeological assemblages. It discusses ecosystemic and ideological factors that shaped the patterning of animal remains from the 2nd millennium B.C. site of Tell Sakhariya in southern Iraq.

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Cite this Record

Ecology, ceremony, and animal bones from southern Mesopotamia. Katheryn Twiss. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395779)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;