Global Integrative Studies, School of


Date of this Version


Document Type



World Archaeology 28:1 Zooarchaeology: New Approaches and Theory (June 1996), pp. 126–157.


Copyright © 1996 Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Zooarchaeology is a potentially critical tool for the reconstruction of past regional landscapes. The subfield is increasingly being asked to contribute to long-term studies of human interaction with the environment associated with national and international investigations of past and future global change. Intersite comparison of animal bone collections (archaeofaunas) is central to such regional approaches. However, zooarchaeologists have identified many factors of deposition, attrition, recovery, and analysis that might appear to make such comparisons problematic. Using selected examples drawn from the North Atlantic and Eastern Arctic, this paper suggests that, while intersite comparison is not a trivial problem, it may be possible to compare animal bone collections effectively if we carefully match our research questions to our data resources.