Exploring Hare Introductions and Management

Author(s): Tom Fowler; Carly Ameen; Naomi Sykes

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Frontiers in Animal Management: Unconventional Species, New Methods, and Understudied Regions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Archaeological studies of animal management have traditionally focused on domestic livestock, such as cattle, sheep/goat and horses. Within farming societies, less attention has been paid to wild animals - particularly smaller taxa, such as lagomorphs. Evidence suggests that the brown hare (Lepus europaeus Pallas, 1778) is a non-native species in Britain, so this is a major oversight, the introduction of new fauna being closely related to new animal and landscape management practices, as well as changing cultural phenomena.

This paper will explore the introduction of the brown hare to Britain. It will present the results of new osteometric data, which allow us to differentiate between bones of brown hares and Britain’s native lagomorph, the mountain hare (Lepus timidus Linnaeus, 1758). Combined with new (zoo)archaeological research, they illuminate the chronology of this introduction, and reveal how hares have been managed in the past. Case studies of hares found at key Iron Age settlements, and high-status Roman sites, will show how they transitioned from specially deposited "exotica" to managed wild fauna. Size change and age profiles from prehistory to the medieval period will show how human relationships with hares in Britain are reflected in their interactions with them.

Cite this Record

Exploring Hare Introductions and Management. Tom Fowler, Carly Ameen, Naomi Sykes. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452176)


Geographic Keywords
Europe: Western Europe

Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23447