The Human-Chicken-Environment Nexus


This is an abstract from the "HumAnE Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The chicken is a relatively recent addition to global cuisine. Unlike cattle, sheep and pigs, which were domesticated 10,000-12,000 years ago, convincing evidence for the domestication of Red Junglefowl, native to Southeast Asia, does not emerge until at 5,000 years ago, at the earliest. Furthermore, multiple strands of evidence suggest that chickens were not domesticated primarily as a source of food but rather for sport and divination. So how did a bird with a restricted native range come to dominate food cultures worldwide, and with what consequences for human-chicken-environmental health?

Against a backdrop of archaeological data, this paper will consider the sustainability of modern day chicken production, providing examples generated through two AHRC-funded projects ‘Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions’ and ‘Going Places: Empowering women, enhancing heritage and increasing chicken production in Ethiopia’.

Cite this Record

The Human-Chicken-Environment Nexus. Greger Larson, Julia Best, Alison Foster, Ophelie Lebrasseur, Naomi Sykes. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451581)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23305