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BIC Excellence Award

Applied Zooarchaeology
Five Case Studies

By Stephen J. Wolverton, Lisa Nagaoka and Torben C. Rick

Applied Zooarchaeology
Paperback, 130 pages £25.00
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9780989824965
Format: 225mm x 149mm
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Subjects: Archaeology, Eliot Werner Publications
Series: EWP Principles of Archaeology

During the last two decades, zooarchaeologists have increasingly focused aspects of their work on conservation biology.

Zooarchaeological data represents an empirical record of past human-animal interactions, which provides conservation with a deep temporal perspective. There are many challenges that face the archaeologist as conservation biologist, however, that have little to do with deep time, faunal remains, and zooarchaeological method and theory.

This book uses a series of case studies with which each of the authors has relevant personal experience to explore the types of interdisciplinary challenges that zooarchaeologists face when crossing into the world of environmental management and animal conservation. Never has there been a greater need for multi-vocal perspectives in conservation biology. This book shows zooarchaeologists how to use zooarchaeological perspectives to help meet those needs, while crossing traditional academic disciplinary boundaries.

Taphonomy and Conservation of Freshwater Mussels
Sea Otters: Historical Extirpations and Modern Reintroductions
California Condor Conservation, North America Rewilding, and Pleistocene Overkill
Takahe Translocation in New Zealand
Applied Zooarchaeology and the Deer Problem in Central Texas

This book stands as an important contribution to the growing interdisciplinary field of applied zooarchaeology.

Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch, University of Georgia 

- American Antiquity, Vol. 82, No. 1, January 2017

In summary, Applied Zooarchaeology is a readable book with an important message for students entering the field of archaeology and zooarchaeology: it is challenging to apply archaeofaunal research to conservation biology. It should also be read by conservation biologists and wildlife managers who want a better understanding of zooarchaeology.

Steven R. James 

- California Archaeology, Vol 10, May 2018

This book will be most effective in the classroom when paired with detailed ecological, biological and zooarchaeological data that will allow students to delve deeply into the methodological background and political implications of this work, and it will also serve as an important resource for interdisciplinary research teams.

Catherine F. West, Boston University

- The Holocene, Vol. 26(11), 2016

"Applied Zooarchaeology: Five Case Studies shows how locally impactful, interdisciplinary historical ecological research can be achieved in a highly digestible way. As such, it is well worth the read."
Jonathan Dombrowsky, University of New Mexico, Ethnobiology Letters 7(1)


‘This book provides an insightful examination of how interdisciplinary efforts ... can be effective in addressing conservation problems. It joins a growing list of resources in applied zooarchaeology and paleozoology, which form an essential database that all new disciplines must acquire.’
Steven D. Emslie, University of North Carolina, Wilmington


‘A highly readable primer for applied zooarchaeology. Through a series of case studies, the authors highlight fundamental issues of data quality, sampling, and taphonomy. This book will be of interest to archaeologists who want their research to engage real-world problems. Get a copy-and order extra copies for your students.’
Virginia L. Butler, Portland State University


‘A prescient and useful primer on a nascent subfield of great importance for archaeology. Students will learn important lessons from this concise, highly readable work and its honest appraisals of the practical difficulties and disciplinary barriers that must be overcome if the value of zooarchaeological data is to be realized.’
Evan Peacock, Mississippi State University


‘A valuable compilation of five case studies that illustrate why and how paleozoological datasets inform conservation programs and policies. Although written for the uninitiated applied zooarchaeologist, the integration of archaeological and ecological theory and application makes this book an essential addition to the libraries of scientists and practitioners in conservation biology.’
Charles R. Randklev, Texas A & M University



Steve Wolverton is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of North Texas. His research focuses on animal ecology, zooarchaeology, and ethnobiology.

Lisa Nagaoka is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on archaeology and human behavioural ecology in the Pacific and the American Southwest.

Torben Rick is Curator of Human Environmental Interactions and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the archaeology and historical ecology of coastal and island peoples, especially on the North American Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 130 pages
 225mm x 149mm

BIC Code:
  NAT011000, SCI026000, SOC003000
 Eliot Werner Publications


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