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The Archaeology of Wild Birds in Britain and Ireland (Hardback)

P&S History > Archaeology > British Archaeology P&S History > Archaeology > Environmental Archaeology & Geoarchaeology

By Dale Serjeantson
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Pages: 256
Illustrations: B/w
ISBN: 9781789259568
Published: 15th May 2023
Casemate UK Academic



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Renowned archaeologist, Dale Serjeantson, tells the story of human engagement with birds from the end of the last Ice Age to around AD 1650. In this book, she integrates the study of archaeological bird remains with ethnography and the history of birds and avian biology. It identifies changing patterns of wetland, water bird and game species through time, and in addition to their food value, examines our changing interactions with them. This includes considering evidence for use of bird body parts in religious rituals; taboos, totemism and superstitions surrounding eating certain species; their capture and role in falconry and as companion animals; and their importance in the economy from the Viking period onwards. Essential reading for archaeologists, zooarchaeologists, and historians, it is an eye-opening, accessible introduction to the archaeology of wild birds in Britain and Ireland for anyone interested in our natural history.

For anyone researching birds in Britain and Ireland (whether archaeologists, historians, ornithologists or ecologists), there will be much to take away from this book which must be regarded as a landmark text

Association for Environmental Archaeology

"Whether you enjoy your birds alive and fluttering, or are interested in their osteoarchaeology and ecology, there is something in this for everyone. Using the lens of these remarkable birds, it will take you from deep time to the recent past, showing the many ways that people have engaged with them, and how we continue to do so."

Current Archaeology - July 2024

About Dale Serjeantson

Dale Serjeantson is a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton, where she was formerly head of the Faunal Remains Unit. Her research interests are the archaeology of animals, especially birds, on which she has published widely. She is a world-renowned expert on methods of analysis of bird remains and their significance in human prehistory and early history.  

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