Zooarchaeology | uses

Uses

A reference collection of shinbones (Tibia) of different animal species helps determining old bones. Dutch Heritage Agency.

Zooarchaeology is primarily used to answer several questions.[3] These include:

  1. What was the diet like, and in what ways were the animals used for food?[3]
  2. Which were the animals that were eaten, in what amounts, and with what other foods?[3]
  3. Who were the ones to obtain the food, and did the availability of that food depend on age or gender?[3]
  4. How was culture, such as technologies and behavior, influenced by and associated with diet?[3]
  5. What purposes, other than food, were animals used for?[3]

Zooarchaeology can also tell us what the environment might have been like in order for the different animals to have survived.[3]

In addition to helping us understand the past, zooarchaeology can also help us to improve the present and the future.[4] Studying how people dealt with animals, and its effects can help us avoid many potential ecological problems.[4] This specifically includes problems involving wildlife management.[4] For example, one of the questions that wildlife preservationists ask is whether they should keep animals facing extinction in several smaller areas, or in one larger area.[4] Based on zooarchaeological evidence, they found that animals that are split up into several smaller areas are more likely to go extinct.[4]