Zooarchaeological Data as a Building Block for Knowledge Building in the Past

Author(s): Thomas Ryan Jr.

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Zooarchaeological data is often looked at for what it can tell archaeologists about those utilizing the specimens in the past. However, these specimens (data) provided information to those utilizing the fauna themselves. In the maritime environment, the information transmitted by the fauna extracted was often one of the only sources of information available to the people who exploited this resource. While environmental policy makers have recently discovered the usefulness of archaeological data in enhancing the effectiveness of their plans, the same data can be used to get a look into the policies and plans (or lack thereof) that may have been enacted in the past. Management literature often refers to a hierarchy of data, information, knowledge, and occasionally wisdom. While archaeology is often focused on the knowledge and wisdom possessed by those in the past, the function of data and information in the construction of this knowledge and wisdom is glossed over. By focusing on these elements frequently considered the bottom of the hierarchy (data and information), we may be able to learn more about the development of those elements at the top of this conceptual hierarchy (knowledge and wisdom).

Cite this Record

Zooarchaeological Data as a Building Block for Knowledge Building in the Past. Thomas Ryan Jr.. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450119)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -97.031; min lat: 0 ; max long: 10.723; max lat: 64.924 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24614