Hunters and Herders: Global Perspectives

Sheep flock separation, northern Jordan Valley

Hunting Practices, animal domestication, livestock herding and the development of pastoral societies

Increasingly, the complex and various roles of animals in past hunter-gatherer and early herding societies can only be approached through interdiscipinary studies. The sub-discipline of zooarchaeology has developed a suite of continuously refined methods for understanding the direct evidence of animal remains from hunting and herding societies. However, contextualization of human-animal relations through ecological and ethnographic modelling, and the integration of animal remains with other forms of archaeological data, is now imperative for building convincing interpretations. Equally, the use of applied-science techniques (biomolecular approaches, isotopes, dental microwear, direct dating, biometry) serves to ‘test’ theories of animal mobility and use.

A number of Institute of Archaeology and affiliated researchers are investigating hunting practices, animal domestications, livestock herding and the development of pastoral societies, in disparate parts of the Old World (Middle East, Anatolia, Europe, China, Africa) with varying research agendas and methodologies. This Research Network aims to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, the promotion of research, and the generation of new research avenues in the following areas:

  • Approaches to modelling seasonality and mobility of wild herd ungulates, and the storage of animal resources in hunter-gatherer society.
  • Late Pleistocene faunal variability/diversity: alternative explanations.
  • Refining the understanding of the timing and nature of the appearance of domesticates outside core domestication areas, in comparative areas.
  • Comparative approaches to modelling livestock exchange; social and ecological impacts of adopting livestock.

Projects linking in with this network include:

Related outputs

  • Publications will appear for separate projects (above), but the Hunters and Herders Network plans to host a Workshop/Research Seminar Series for discussion and dissemination of joint research initiatives.

Network Co-ordinator:

Network Members:



PhD students



Further information:

Bookmark and Share