Archaeology of Domesticated Animals (3) Biological, ecological and cultural history of animal domestication.
ANTH 222 Archaeology of Domesticated Animals (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
Animals were domesticated in a variety of places throughout the world beginning about 12,000 years ago, fundamentally shifting human-animal relationships. Most students have had some exposure to domesticated animals, particularly family pets such as dogs or cats, and some farm animals commonly found in the US. Yet few students know much about the biological, ecological, and cultural history of these animals, the contexts and timing of their domestication, the changing economic and cultural significance of individual species through time, nor economically and culturally important animals in other parts of the world.
ANTH 222 will trace the history of domestication of key species: sheep, goat, cow, water buffalo, yak, pig, llama, alpaca, guinea pig, chicken, dog, cat, elephant, camel, horse, donkey, and mule. Emphasis is placed on the biology (genetics, morphology, wild progenitors, ecological niche, breeds) in concert with the cultural contexts in which domestication occurred. Furthermore, students will explore a range of human-animal relationships in regard to these domesticates with examples from archaeology, ethnography, modern US society, and history. This class discusses animals as food, raw materials, wealth, labor, and companions, as well as their economic, social, religious, and environmental impacts in different cultural and ecological settings.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.