This project will explore the scale of, and drivers responsible for, shifts in British animal biodiversity, focusing on the 1000-year period (AD 0-1000) which saw dramatic climatic, cultural and economic shifts akin to those being experienced in the present. It will do this at a multi-scalar level using the following approaches: Synthesising existing zooarchaeological, palaeoclimatological and biomolecular data for British fauna (AD 0 – 1000) and selecting one or more species (e.g. wild cat, wild boar or wolves) as detailed case-studies; Analysing newly excavated and archived material held by Cotswold Archaeology (and other commercial units and museums) to select and contextualise the remains of the case-study species; Undertaking zooarchaeological and stable isotope analysis (carbon, nitrogen, sulphur) of the case-study species to differentiate wild and domestic animals (e.g. wild boar versus domestic pig) on the basis of skeletal morphology and dietary niche; Enamel-based isotope analysis (strontium and oxygen) to examine animal mobility and catchment; Model the multiscalar data to explore the bio-cultural factors most likely responsible for species presence/absence in the zooarchaeological record.
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