Past Event

Different Foods = Different Dudes: A Primer in Zooarchaeology

In this talk, Gil Stein, director of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute and a leading scholar of ancient Mesopotamia, explains how zooarchaeology–the study of animal remains in the archaeological record–is advancing our knowledge of early civilization.

For two decades, Stein has focused on the site of Hacinebi in southeast Turkey’s Euphrates river valley. There, he found evidence of a trading colony, an outpost of urban Mesopotamia established around 3700 to 3100 bce. Animals were the key in connecting this site to Mesopotamia: the colonists had distinct food preferences, butchery styles, and cooking methods from the indigenous population.

Stein explains how he untangled these differences, gives us a primer on zooarchaeology, and discusses where his research may lead him next.

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