Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #classicalzooarchaeology

Most recents (5)

This #ClassicalZooarchaeology Twitter thread is about ancient food porn.

In an article I’m writing now, I argue that archaeology can reveal the meat-eating feasts of Homeric heroes as food porn. And Homeric food porn didn’t age well
These feasts feature a blood bowl. mmm mmm good

Animal slaughter just isn’t as appetizing these days. A popular theory is that ancient sacrificial rituals were conducted to atone for animal slaughter

I know, I know, you’d rather hear more about the archaeology of food porn!
But, Homer is difficult to reconcile with archaeology. Should we compare his poems w/ the archaeology from when he was writing (750ish BC) or w/ the supposed time of the Trojan War (around 1200ish BC)

Descriptions of spears match those used in both the Bronze and Iron Ages
Read 22 tweets
Pull up your comfy chair. Grab a drink & plop your favorite pet into your lap

This thread presents “The True Story about Ancient Greek Dogs” for the 3rd Public Archaeology Twitter Conference #PATC3. I’m a zooarchaeologist, so the question is what can we learn from their bones?
The first story of an ancient Greek dog is the most famous. Homer’s tear-jerking description of Argos, the neglected hunting hound, still moves us thousands of years later

It is so easy to see ourselves and our own furry companions in this scene
/1 #PATC3
“He looks quite handsome, though it is hard to tell if he can run, or if he is a pet, a table dog, kept just for looks.”

These categories of dogs are easy to find in both ancient texts and art. Hunting hounds were commonly depicted from the Bronze Age onwards
/2 #PATC3
Read 18 tweets
This #ClassicalZooarchaeology thread is about ancient Greek sacrificial feasting. I want to focus on what the animal bones can add to our understanding of this important topic. While there are several good overviews of sacrifice in texts & art, bones offer new perspectives
Sacrificial ritual was associated with Greek polytheism, which was extremely diverse & constantly changing. So, sacrificial ritual was pretty diverse across time and space

If you want an intro to Greek polytheism, you can also check out the thread below
Instead of going into exceptional sacrifices (next month, I’ll do a thread on dog sacrifice when @ASCSAPubs publishes the Agora Bone Well), this thread focuses on the canonical bones burned for the gods. The advantage w/ this focus is it’s easy to combine texts, art, and bones
Read 24 tweets
A #ClassicalZooarchaeology flamingo thread (in 20 tweets)

Over lunch I checked out depictions of dancing flamingos from 5000+ yrs ago. h/t @ArchaicAnimals for drawing my attention to the super-cool image below

The research-hole didn’t take me where I thought it would…
If you google around, these rows of dancing flamingos are depicted on vessels from Upper (southern) Egypt. They come from the cultural group labeled Naqada from predynastic Egypt, before the country was unified under a Pharaoh (we’re talking approx 4000-3000 BC)
The research was made easy because the @metmuseum has many beautiful Naqada artifacts available online

Of course, I’m gonna show you all the best ones, like this vessel with feet or this figurine made of hippo-tusk ivory
Read 25 tweets
Introducing #ClassicalZooarchaeology
This is my 1st thread highlighting how animal bones can answer important questions in the ancient Mediterranean
#Zooarchaeology is often thought of as a niche study, but it relates to traditional forms of evidence
#scicomm #humanities
When we think of #Classics, ancient texts are often prioritized. Animals were an important topic for ancient authors
For example, according to the TLG the lemma hippos (horse) is the 13th most common term in Homer’s Iliad (417 mentions). Horses were important to epic warfare
It’s no surprise that animals – especially plow oxen – are important to Hesiod’s agricultural poem Works and Days
But texts don’t tell the whole picture about #AncientAnimals
Pigs are only mentioned once in Hesiod: boars should be castrated on the 8th day of the month (WD 790)
Read 17 tweets

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