CRC 1266 - Scales of Transformation

Biweekly Colloquium: “Domestication in Action – On the Archaeology of Human- Reindeer Interaction”

Jan 25, 2021 from 04:15 PM to 05:45 PM

Virtual meeting

Anna-Kaisa Salmi University of Oulu

Domestication in Action – On the Archaeology of Human-Reindeer Interaction

The domestication of animals has traditionally been understood in terms of human control over the animal’s lives and the subsequent morphological, genetic and population structure change. However, this approach is not sufficient for understanding the domestication of the reindeer, or in fact, the early domestication processes of many other animal species. The commonly used domestication markers, such as morphological, genetic and population structure changes are not likely to reflect domestication in the reindeer as clearly as in many other species because of the limited and varying human influence on the reindeer’s life cycle in past reindeer pastoralism.

This presentation explores alternative ways to identify and understand reindeer domestication. Specifically, I will explore possibilities for tracing human-reindeer interactions such as draught reindeer use and reindeer feeding in the archaeological record as markers of domestication. Understanding domestication in the context on human-animal interaction is in line with current definition of animal domestication as a wide range of mutualistic relationship between human and animals. Furthermore, it allows a range of new archaeological techniques to be used as domestication markers. This lecture will present some the first archaeological results on past reindeer feeding and draught reindeer use, and their implications for human-reindeer relationships.

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