Established in 2011, the Zooarchaeology Laboratory is located in the Instistute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology and is directed by Cheryl Makarewicz. The Zoorchaeology Lab provides a space of interaction for researchers pursuing work on animal domestication processes, pastoralist production, hunter-gather subsistence strategies, and the role of animals and their products in facilitating social relationships within human communities. The Zooarchaeology Lab works closely with members of the Archaeological Stable Isotope Lab and aDNA Laboratory in order to develop creative, multi-disciplinary approaches to answering questions relating to animal use.
Several courses are offered in the zooarchaeology laboratory on a regular basis. An introductory faunal analysis course providing undergraduate and graduate students with the foundational skills to identify, document, and analyze bone assemblages is offered every spring semester. Advanced courses in animal bone morphology and faunal data analysis are also offered, as well as advanced seminars that explore a variety of theoretical frameworks used by zooarchaeologists to interpret faunal data.
The Zooarchaeology Lab holds a large modern comparative collection of European mammalian, avian, and aquatic species. This collection complement the massive modern faunal collection housed in the Institute of Zoology, which contains a variety of European animals, as well as zoo specimens from other geographic regions. (Please contact Renate Lücht for additional information on and access to these specimens.). Work is currently underway to expand the comparative collection in the Zooarchaeology Lab to include specimens from southwest Asia.
The lab is further equipped with osteology atlases, faunal manuals, and zooarchaeology books, as well as digital callipers, scanners, electronic, balances, and a Leica microscope. Additional equipment that may be required for experimental work (convection oven, muffle furnace, fume hood) is housed in the Archaeological Stable Isotope Lab. This equipment is available for use.
Skelton preparation facilities are available in the Institute of Zoology.
Several excavated faunal assemblages from Jordan are currently housed in the lab, include material from the Pre-Potterty Neolithic sites of el-Hemmeh, ‘Ain Jammam, and Beidha, as well as material from Early Bronze Age Tel Handaquq South.