Foraging Theory, Zooarchaeology, and Archaeobotany

Session Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 13:30 to 17:00
Harvill Hall, Rm. 1
Session Organizer(s): 
Elic Weitzel - Department of Anthropology, University of Utah
Steve Wolverton - Department of Geography, University of North Texas

For over three decades, zooarchaeologists and archaeobotanists have employed foraging theory from evolutionary ecology to guide research concerning various aspects of plant and animal exploitation by humans. Using various predictive models from this theoretical approach, researchers have developed multiple lines of evidence centering on resource choice, patch choice, transport decisions, and settlement location in order to understand the hunting and gathering of wild foods and the adoption and utilization of domesticates. As a result, foraging theory provides precise test implications for evaluating how foraging efficiency varied over time and space and has been used to understand human subsistence economies around the world. Contemporary researchers continue to use this powerful approach to explore a variety of archaeological questions, which is the subject of this organized session.