Peopling the Past, Video #8: Hannah Lau talks about Zooarchaeology and Domesticated Animals

Dr. Hannah Lau

In the eighth instalment of our video series, Dr. Hannah Lau discusses zooarchaeology and the study of animal domesticates in Bronze Age Azerbaijan, including subsistence strategies, animal husbandry, and animal burial in tombs.

Hannah Lau is an anthropological archaeologist who studies animal bones to examine the relationship between ancient peoples’ animal management practices, the environment, and sociopolitical organization in Southwest Asia and the South Caucasus. She received her PhD in Archaeology from UCLA (2016) where her work documented social and economic cooperation and coordination in agropastoral production among inhabitants at the Halaf period site of Domuztepe (ca. 6000–5450 BCE) in southeastern Turkey. She also works in Azerbaijan, as a co-director of the Lerik Azerbaijan-America Project, which focuses on late Iron Age communities in the south of Azerbaijan, and as a zooarchaeologist for the Naxçıvan Archaeological Project. She recently completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Environmental Archaeology at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolia Civilizations (ANAMED) and is currently a lecturer in University Studies at Colgate University.

Interested in learning more? Check out these articles:

Lau, Hannah, Lucas Proctor, Hilary Gopnik, and Veli Bakhshaliyev. 2020. “Agropastoralism in Middle Bronze through Early Iron Age Naxçıvan: Zooarchaeological and Paleoethnobotanical Data from Qızqala.” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Lau, Hannah, and Sarah Whitcher Kansa. 2018. “Zooarchaeology in the Era of Big Data: Contending with Interanalyst Variation and Best Practices for Contextualizing Data for Informed Reuse.” Journal of Archaeological Science 95: 33–39.

Ristvet, Lauren, Hilary Gopnik, Vəli Baxşəliyev, Hannah Lau, Safar Aşurov and Robert Bryant. 2012. “On the Edge of Empire: 2008 and 2009 Excavations at Oğlanqala, Azerbaijan.” American Journal of Archaeology 116: 321–62.


Further Reading

Reitz, E.J., and E.S. Wing. 2008. Zooarchaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Russell, N. 2012. Social Zooarchaeology: Humans and Animals in Prehistory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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