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University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Entomology Online Masters Program Final Project. Lincoln, Nebraska.
For my Master’s Degree Project, I have undertaken to compile an annotated bibliography of a selection of the current literature on archaeoentomology. While not exhaustive by any means, it is designed to cover the main topics of interest to entomologists and archaeologists working in this odd, dark corner at the intersection of these two disciplines. I have found many obscure works but some publications are not available without a trip to the Royal Society’s library in London or the expenditure of far more funds than I can justify. Still, the goal is to provide in one place, a list, as comprehensive as possible, of the scholarly literature available to a researcher in this area. The main categories are broad but cover the most important subareas of the discipline. Full books are far out-numbered by book chapters and journal articles, although Harry Kenward, well represented here, will be publishing a book in June of 2020 on archaeoentomology. The information discovered through archaeoentomology is most easily used as one part of a larger group of archaeological techniques, all working toward the description of a site, person, or landscape. This is not a large area of study and the same names come up in multiple works. Some topics are still quite new, such as Battlefield Archaeoentomology, and so have fewer entries than other topics.
What is Archaeoentomology and what is its place in Environmental Archaeology? Archaeoenomology is the study of insect remains on sites of archaeological interest. Although a relatively recent addition to the archaeological tool kit, it can be helpful in assessing past environments, the biogeography of various arthropod species, and the funeral and burial customs of different groups through time. Paleoentomology is related to archaeoentomology but differs in the time depth encountered. Most archaeoentomological works relate to the ancient, medieval or early modern world, extending in more recent years to the first and second world wars, while paleoentomology reaches farther back in time to pre-human periods.