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The doctoral candidate will pursue a novel approach in the study of prehistoric marine mammal exploitation, exploring the ways in which the life-cycles, behaviour and physiology of marine mammals (incl. seals, porpoises, dolphins, whales), along with the characteristics of coastal and marine environments and the technologies used by human communities have influenced catching methods and seasonal cycles in marine mammal hunting. Archaeologically recovered remains will be interpreted through a biologically informed study of ethnographic accounts that deal with traditional marine mammal hunting, in order to further our understanding of the relationships linking particular mammal taxa, landscapes and seasonal conditions, and particular catching methods. The study will encompass the diversity of prehistoric marine mammal exploitation across Europe, and will span life sciences (including biology and bioarchaeology with archaeozoology), archaeology and ethnography, forging new conceptual links between the study of human-animal relationships in prehistory, traditional lifeways of the recent past and present day, and concerns for the future of marine and coastal habitats and species.

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