Great Gallinaceous Jobs in Archaeology

Quick, what’s the most important animal ever domesticated by humans? Cows! No, wait, horses? Or llamas? Oh, of course, the dog.

Nope, those are all wrong. The most important domesticated animal is the chicken.

If you have the right skills, you can be a part of a major new effort to understand human-chicken interactions from prehistory to the present. A British-based research team is looking for help. Not just one or two positions, but three full-time jobs. Ph.D. required. Haven’t written a dissertation yet, but aspire to be a chicken researcher? There are several studentships available, too.

From one of the job announcements:

This collaborative project between eight researchers at the Universities of Bournemouth, Leicester, Nottingham, York, Roehampton and Durham, will explore the natural and cultural history of chickens, the most globally ubiquitous domestic animal.

To elucidate the circumstances and meaning of the westward spread of chickens from their origins in Southeast Asia to Europe and the Americas (from the late prehistoric period to the present), our multi-disciplinary team of archaeologists, anthropologists, geneticists, and zooarchaeologists will integrate the evidence from across their fields to address the following questions:

1) When, how and why did domestication and the early husbandry of chicken take place?

2) How rapidly did chickens spread into different parts of Europe and how was this diffusion linked to population movements, trade or cultural changes?

3) When did poultry and egg production emerge and how intensively were chickens exploited for these products in different regions and periods?

4) When and where did modern chicken breeds develop?

5) How have chickens changed society and culture in antiquity and in modern times?

6) Can evidence from the past be used to transform modern practices of chicken management?

Learn more about this endeavor at the Chicken Co-op.

For the job announcements, go here and search for “chicken”.


More on slate arrows from Norway


This arrowhead of slate had been attached to a shaft that was carbon dated as 5,200 years old. (Photo: Tord Bretten, the Norwegian Nature Inspectorate, Oppdal)

More photos and information on the Norwegian bows and arrows, which are over 5,000 years old, found eroding out of melting glaciers. Visit sciencenordic.

Melting Snow Reveals Ancient Bow and Arrows in Norway

Ancient Foods has a good photo of some intriguing prehistoric arrows.



A Neolithic bow and arrows were recently unearthed when a snow patch that had remained untouched for thousands of years melted.
Credit: Hojem/Callanan-NTNU

Topic: Ancient hunters of Norway

A melting patch of ancient snow in the mountains of Norway has revealed a bow and arrows likely used by hunters to kill reindeer as long ago as 5,400 years.

The discovery highlights the worrying effects of climate change, said study author Martin Callanan, an archaeologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

“It’s actually a little bit unnerving that they’re so old and that they’re coming out right now,” Callanan told LiveScience. “It tells us that there’s something changing.”

Locked in snow

Callanan and his colleagues spend every summer hiking up the Trollheim and Dovre mountains a few hours south of Trondheim, Norway, to study the snow patches in the area, track snow melt and look for archaeological artifacts…

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New York Rediscovered

A new site on New York history that’s off to a good start:

I set out in this blog to share with a wider audience some of the discoveries I have made along the way as I’ve researched New York’s stories. It will feature snippets of history that I find intriguing — vignettes from the Big Apple and the boroughs, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Capital District, North Country, Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, the Niagara Frontier – and anywhere in between. Although these stories may not be news to all of you, they will be surprising to some, and will jog the memories of others

New York Rediscovered

Cervalces in Iowa

There’s no extinct cervid we love more than Cervalces, so it’s always a pleasure to see an article about the stag-moose.

Matthew Hill has identified countless bones found by farmers, fishermen, rock hounds and heavy equipment operators. Most of the remains turn out to be deer, bison, horse or cow bones, or simply odd looking rocks. But some discoveries turn out to be highly unusual, as was the case with an antler from an extinct Ice Age animal known as a stag-moose or elk-moose.

From Science Daily