How to Be Archaeozoologist - Job Description, Skills, and Interview Questions
Archaeozoology is the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. It is a key component of zooarchaeology, which is the study of animal remains from a variety of contexts. It is used to gain insight into past human-animal relations, and also to reconstruct ancient diets and environments.
The archaeozoologist uses data from animal bones to make inferences about the way humans interacted with their environment in the past. By examining the age, size, shape, and state of preservation of bones, archaeologists can make deductions about the type of animals that were hunted, as well as how they were processed and consumed. Other important related entities include taphonomy, stable isotope analysis, and biomolecular analysis.
All of these methods are used to provide a detailed understanding of the past through the study of animal remains.
Steps How to Become
- Obtain a bachelor's degree in a field related to archaeology and zoology such as anthropology, biology, or zoology. Courses in archaeology and zoology are recommended.
- Consider completing a master's degree in a related field such as anthropology, paleontology, or geology. This will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the topics related to archaeozoology and provide you with additional research experience.
- Participate in field work, volunteer work, or internships related to archaeozoology. This will provide you with hands-on experience and help you develop relationships with professionals in the field.
- Consider joining professional organizations related to archaeozoology such as The Archaeozoological Society or The Society for American Archaeology. This will provide you with additional resources and networking opportunities.
- Build a portfolio of research and field experience related to archaeozoology. This will demonstrate your knowledge and experience and help you stand out when applying for positions.
- Apply for a position as an Archaeozoologist. Positions may be available at museums, universities, or research centers.
- Zooarchaeologist: A zooarchaeologist studies the animal remains found in archaeological sites to understand how ancient people utilized their environment and interacted with wildlife.
- Paleoethnobotanist: A paleoethnobotanist studies ancient plant remains to learn how past cultures used plants for food, medicine, and other purposes.
- Palynologist: A palynologist studies pollen grains from archaeological sites to gain insight about past environments and climates.
- Geoarchaeologist: A geoarchaeologist examines the geological context of archaeological sites to understand how environmental factors have shaped the site.
- Ceramic Technologist: A ceramic technologist studies pottery from archaeological sites to gain insight about past cultures and their technologies.
- Zooarcheologist: A zooarcheologist studies animal remains from archaeological sites to gain insight about past cultures and their uses of animals.
- Archaeozoologist: An archaeozoologist studies animal remains from archaeological sites to gain insight about past environments and how animals were used by humans.
Skills and Competencies to Have
- Knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology
- Knowledge of prehistoric animal behavior and ecology
- Understanding of scientific methods and principles of archaeological investigation
- Ability to identify and classify animal remains
- Familiarity with archaeological dating methods and chronologies
- Ability to identify and interpret animal bones in archaeological sites
- Ability to write detailed reports on archaeological findings
- Proficiency in the use of laboratory equipment, such as microscopes, for analyzing bones
- Familiarity with relevant software for data analysis and visualization
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Archaeozoology is the study of ancient animal remains in archaeological sites. It requires a combination of skills, including an understanding of both animal and archaeological sciences. An archaeozoologist must be able to identify animal bones, interpret their age and the environment in which they were found, and analyze their relationship to human activity.
They must also be familiar with the methods used to excavate and interpret archaeological sites, and be able to interpret their findings in a meaningful way. By using their knowledge of animal behaviour, ecology, and anatomy, an archaeozoologist can reconstruct the past environment and understand how humans and animals interacted. This understanding is essential to understanding the evolution of human societies over time.
Through this analysis, archaeologists can gain insight into how humans interacted with their environment, what technologies they used and how they adapted to or changed their environment.
Frequent Interview Questions
- What inspired you to pursue a career in Archaeozoology?
- What experience do you have with Archaeozoological research?
- How familiar are you with the methods of animal identification used in Archaeozoology?
- What methods do you use to distinguish between animal species?
- How do you use archaeological evidence to understand ancient animal behavior and ecology?
- What challenges have you faced while conducting Archaeozoological fieldwork?
- How have you used your understanding of animal behavior to interpret archaeological sites?
- How do you ensure accuracy when analyzing zooarchaeological data?
- What strategies have you used to interpret animal remains in an archaeological context?
- How do you prioritize tasks and organize data for Archaeozoological analysis?
Common Tools in Industry
- Zooarchaeological Analysis Software. This software enables archaeologists to analyze and categorize animal bones found at a dig site. (eg: TAPHONOMY)
- Field Recording Equipment. This equipment is used to make a record of archaeological features in the field, such as features like postholes, walls, and pits. (eg: Total Station)
- Geographic Information System (GIS). This software is used to map archaeological sites, allowing archaeologists to visualize and analyze spatial data. (eg: ArcGIS)
- Biological Identification Tools. These tools are used to identify animal bones from a dig site, such as species, age, and sex. (eg: ZooMS)
- Osteometric Data Collection Tools. These tools are used to measure and analyze the bones of animals from a dig site, providing useful information about their physical characteristics. (eg: osteometric board)
- Digital Image Processing Software. This software is used to scan and process images of artifacts from a dig site, such as pottery and stone tools. (eg: Photoshop)
- Data Management Software. This software is used to store and organize data collected from a dig site, such as stratigraphic records, artifact catalogs, and lists of finds. (eg: FileMaker Pro)
Professional Organizations to Know
- Society for American Archaeology
- World Archaeological Congress
- International Council for Archaeozoology
- Association for Environmental Archaeology
- Society for Historical Archaeology
- Institute of Field Archaeologists
- European Association of Archaeologists
- International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments
- Society of Professional Archaeologists
- Paleontological Society
Common Important Terms
- Archaeofauna. The animal remains found at an archaeological site that are studied to learn about past environments and cultures.
- Archaeozoology. The scientific study of animal remains from archaeological sites.
- Zooarchaeology. The study of animal remains from archaeological sites to learn about past environments, societies, and cultures.
- Taphonomy. The study of the processes that affect the preservation of organic remains in archaeological contexts.
- Ethnozoology. The study of animal-based knowledge, beliefs, and practices in different cultures.
- Paleozoology. The study of fossil animal remains to learn about past environments, societies, and cultures.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Archaeozoology?
Archaeozoology is the scientific study of animal remains from archaeological sites to gain insight into ancient cultures and environments.
What types of animal remains are studied in Archaeozoology?
Archaeozoologists study bones, teeth, and other remains of animals such as mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish.
How does Archaeozoology help to understand ancient cultures?
Archaeozoology can provide information about the diet, hunting techniques, and economic practices of past societies.
What are the main methods used in Archaeozoology?
The main methods used in Archaeozoology are zooarchaeological analysis, taphonomy, and isotope analysis.
How has Archaeozoology been used in recent years?
Archaeozoology has been used in recent years to help answer questions about the diet and subsistence strategies of ancient cultures, as well as to reconstruct the environment of the past.
What are jobs related with Archaeozoologist?
- Archaeology Surveyor
- Field Technician
- Archaeology Educator
- Photographic Interpretation Specialist
- GIS Specialist
- Field Supervisor
- Artifact Analyst
- Cultural Resource Manager
- Archaeology Center - Stanford University archaeology.stanford.edu
- William & Mary wm.edu
- Giving University of Michigan umich.edu