Zooarchaeology and Mobility in the Western Mediterranean:
Animal husbandry from the Late Bronze Age to Late Antiquity
Many people made it possible to achieve ZooMWest ambitious research objectives. Other than the core team hired with the project, ZooMWest received support from a number of colleagues and institutions. They appear as co-authors and in the acknowledgements sections of the publications. We are grateful to all of them, and we look forward to collaborating in other joined adventures in the future!
Silvia Valenzuela is a tenured scientist at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the Principal Investigator of the ERC-Starting Grant ZooMWest. She especialises in zooarchaeology and archaeology of Late Prehistory and Roman times of Western Europe, and the integration of other lines of evidence (mobility isotopes, spatial analysis, statistics, among others).
Sílvia Guimarães is the postdoctoral research associate in charge of the sampling and analysis for ancient DNA. She has experience in both DNA sequencing and bioinformatic analyses on genetic data obtained by high throughput sequencing.
Angela Trentacoste is the post-doctoral research associate in charge of the zooarchaeological and archaeological database, isotopic sampling and GIS analysis for North-Central Italy (ancient Etruria). She is based at the Department of Archaeology, University of Oxford.
Juan Gibaja Bao
Juan Gibaja is a tenured scientist at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC-IMF). He helps to disseminate the scientific results of the project to a broad range of audiences, inlcluding teenagers in risk of social exclusion, newcomers or the elderly.
Ariadna Nieto-Espinet is the post-doctoral research associate in charge of the zooarchaeological and archaeological database, isotopic sampling and GIS analysis for North-Eastern Spain (present-day Catalonia) and SW Iberia.
Millán Mozota Holgueras
Millán Mozota is a tenured technician at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC-IMF). He helps the research team in a diversity of aspects, including the storage of archaeological materials, pictures and image editing.
Human survival and success is substantially determined by the ability to move across the landscape and adapt. Consequently, mobility is a crucial topic in historical and archaeological research. To overcome the seasonal scarcity of food and the related over-grazing of pastures, it is essential for animal husbandry to move across territories. However, the decision to allow or deny rights of way to mobile people and livestock depends on political judgements. How might these shape animal husbandry production, and society?
European Research Council
Institució Milà i Fontanals - CSIC
Department of Archaeology
Objective: to characterise animal husbandry by site according to the relative frequencies of the main domesticates and animal size at each site, region and period.
Targets: 1) catchment areas of livestock, 2) seasonal movements, 3) isotopic maps.
Objective: to obtain mitochondrial DNA signatures of cattle from the specimens analysed for strontium and oxygen isotopes. This allows the comparison of the results obtained from two independent lines of evidence to assess to what extent a relationship between cattle size, mobility and genetic variability exists, and whether this relates with a particular political system.
Objective: To integrate our results with existing evidence about settlement distribution and type and level of social complexity, among other archaeological data. geographical and chronological variations in material culture, and environmental variation, in order to clarify the modes of, and motives for, mobility patterns and changes affecting animal husbandry, and to interpret these in their appropriate context.
Strontium isotopes: mapping & provenancing
Cattle ancient DNA
Zooarchaeology in context
R package - zoolog
Pozo, J.M, Valenzuela-Lamas, S., Trentacoste, A., Nieto-Espinet, A., Guimaraes, S. (2021). “zoolog: Zooarchaeological Analysis with Log-Ratios.” https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/zoolog/index.html
Sinner, A. G., Nieto-Espinet, A., & Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2021. Same Language, Different Diet: Dynamics and Rhythms of Change in Ancient Ilduro (Cabrera De Mar, Barcelona) Based on Epigraphic and Faunal Evidence. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 34(2), 193-224.
Nieto-Espinet, A., Huet, T., Trentacoste, A., Guimarães, S., Orengo, H., Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2021. Resilience and livestock adaptations to demographic growth and technological change: A diachronic perspective from the Late Bronze Age to Late Antiquity in NE Iberia, PLOS ONE, https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246201
Nieto-Espinet, A., Trentacoste, A., Guimarães, S., Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2021. Cattle from the East, cattle from the West: diversity of cattle morphotypes in the Iberian Peninsula during late prehistoric and Roman times, Themes in old world zooarchaeology. Papers in honour of Simon Davis, Oxbow Books, p. 131-145.
Trentacoste, A., Nieto-Espinet, A., Guimarães, S., Wilkens, B., Petrucci, G., & Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2021. New trajectories or accelerating change? Zooarchaeological evidence for Roman transformation of animal husbandry in Northern Italy. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 13(1), 1-22. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12520-020-01251-7
Nieto-Espinet, A., Trentacoste, A., Guimarães, S., Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2020. Continuïtats i canvis en la ramaderia a Catalunya del primer mil·leni a.n.e a l’Antiguitat tardana. Adaptació ecològica o canvis socio-polítics?, Tribuna d'Arqueologia, 2017.
Ibáñez, J., Jiménez-Manchón, S., Blaise, E., Nieto-Espinet, A., Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2020. Discriminating management strategies in modern and archaeological domestic caprines using low-magnification and confocal dental microwear analyses, Quaternary International, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1040618220300914
Nieto-Espinet, A., Valenzuela-Lamas, S., Bosch, D., Gardeisen, A. 2020. Livestock production, politics and trade: a glimpse from Iron Age and Roman Languedoc, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 30, 102077. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352409X19303761
Valenzuela-Lamas, S. 2020. Animal mobility in Iberia during Late Prehistory and Classical times: analytical methods, first data, and challenges for the near future, Pyrenae 51 (1), 1-21, DOI: 10.1344/Pyrenae2020.vol51num1.1.
Valenzuela-Lamas, S., Nieto-Espinet, A. 2020. Noves evidències de la pràctica d'un banquet en el món ibèric? Els conjunts faunístics de tres sitges del jaciment de Can Rodon de l'Hort (Cabrera de Mar, El Maresme), Laietania 21, 57-75.
Trentacoste A, Nieto-Espinet A, Valenzuela-Lamas S. 2018. Pre-Roman improvements to agricultural production: Evidence from livestock husbandry in late prehistoric Italy. PlosOne 13(12): e0208109. https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0208109.
Valenzuela-Lamas, S., Orengo, H., Bosch, D., Pellegrini, M., Halstead, P.,Nieto-Espinet, A., Trentacoste, A.,Jiménez-Manchón, S., López-Reyes, D., Jornet, R. 2018. Shipping amphorae and shipping sheep? Livestock mobility in the north-east Iberian peninsula during the Iron Age based on strontium isotopic analyses of sheep and goat tooth enamel, Plos One, 13(10), e0205283. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205283
Outreach and mass media
Presence in major printed newspapers in Spain:
El País - 25/02/2021 - https://elpais.com/ciencia/2021-02-24/lecciones-de-catastrofes-que-ensenan-los-huesos.html Full back cover. 359,809 printed newspapers and 210,000 online visits to the article in the first 30 days.
La Vanguardia - 10/03/2021 - https://www.lavanguardia.com/cultura/20210310/6266594/comemos-hamburguesa.html Two full pages in the Culture section. 180,939 printed newspapers and over 12,871 online visits to the article in the first 30 days.
El Periódico - 24/09/2018 - https://www.elperiodico.com/es/ciencia/20180923/cientificas-madres-7049933 Full page article in the Science section. 168,911 printed newspapers.
Interview in Radio Aragón - Agora program:
Outreach videos in collaboration with TerraTecaTraca:
Chapter 1: Research
Chapter 2: Perspective
Chapter 3: Powder keg
Participation in discussion tables - TerraTecaTraca festival (Barcelona, november 2021):
Discussion table: "Globalisation and animal herding: past, present and future"
Discussion table: "Eating meat: yes, with meaning"
European Researchers Night 2020 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paF0y_brIOg
Discussion table with:
* Elisenda Guillaumes - General Director of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock - Generalitat de Catalunya, Catalan Government
* Gerard Cardona - extensive farmer, xisqueta breed sheep
* Rocío Moreno - extensive farmer, sheep, goats and cattle
* Marta Guadalupe Rivera Ferre - Researcher, Universitat de Vic
* Federica Ravera - Researcher, Universitat de Girona
* Ariadna Nieto-Espinet, Researcher, IMF-CSIC, ZooMWest
* Silvia Valenzuela-Lamas, Researcher, IMF-CSIC, ZooMWest
Other outreach activities and media: