The Zooarchaeology Lab contains over 500 complete or partial modern invertebrate and vertebrate specimens that enable identification of ancient animal remains from the Division’s existing archaeological collections and from current excavation projects. The faunal collection consists of mollusk shells and skeletons of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Mounted, articulated skeletons of a fish, frog, snake, turtle, cat and bison, as well as comparative articulated fore- and hindlimbs of various taxa provide useful teaching and research aids. Examples of taphonomic surface modifications (e.g. rodent and carnivore gnawing, root-etching, water-rounding, sedimentary abrasion, etc.) and replica shell and bone artifacts supplement the comparative skeletal collections. The Zooarchaeology Lab has layout tables for classes and visiting researchers and two desks for graduate students. It serves an essential function in the Zooarchaeology course (Anthropology 521), taught by Olsen, as well as aiding research by the curator, faculty, students and visiting scholars.
Student working in lab