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 Zooarchaeology Interest Group Minimize

Statement of Purpose

The Zooarchaeology Interest Group (ZIG) is one of ten interest groups offered to SAA members. ZIG focuses primarily on disseminating information and fostering a community in which members interested in zooarchaeology and related disciplines can participate. Regardless of academic or professional standing (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate, Professor, RPA, etc.), all members are invited to partake and network.


  1. To promote the study, understanding, and importance of zooarchaeology and its numerous sub-disciplines.
  2. To intellectually discuss active research projects, publications, and scholarly issues.
  3. To support young-professional members by providing mentors and guidance throughout their career.
  4. To provide an open space and access for members to synergize new zooarchaeological methods, technologies, databases, and ideas.
  5. To serve as a voice and point of contact for SAA members in order to increase communication and awareness of current news and announcements.
  6. To integrate numerous disciplines beyond zooarchaeology with the intention of advocating transdisciplinary research.
  7. To sponsor sessions, forums, symposia, workshops, and social and networking events during the annual SAA meeting.
  8. To collaborate with other zooarchaeology group such as the International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ), the Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG), Taphonomy Working Group (TWG), Stable Isotopes in Zooarchaeology Working Group (SIZWG), and other active working groups.
  9. To disseminate announcements regarding grants, awards, job notices, and conferences via E-mail, Facebook, the Zooarch Listserv, and related media.
  10. To include professional archaeologists, museum curators, and public interest as well as academics in ZIG related activities and discussions


The next SAA conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from April 11-15, 2018.

This year ZIG is sponsoring a symposium entitled In the Service of a Greater Good: Broader Applications of Zooarchaeology in the Era of Interdisciplinary Research. This session looks at applying zooarchaeology to address archaeological and anthropological questions beyond those focused on animal behavior and human-animal interactions in the past.

In the pursuit of studying animal behavior and human-animal interactions in the past, zooarchaeologists have developed and refined a range of analytical and methodological techniques intended to extract meaning from animal remains found in archaeological sites. Zooarchaeology, however, is only one in a range of possible avenues of research into the past. Ironically, in the era of inter-disciplinary research, methodological and epistemological advances made by various archaeological sub-disciplines, including zooarchaeology, are rarely combined and discussed collectively, as specialists overwhelmingly interact with peers in their own sub-disciplines. In this session, we place zooarchaeology at the center of our anthropological and archaeological milieu to examine how zooarchaeological techniques and approaches can be made relevant beyond more immediate reconstructions of human-animal interactions. In this session, we will discuss zooarchaeology not as an end unto itself, but as the means to reach a greater end. Several issues to consider include, but are not limited to:

1.    Combining and reconciling zooarchaeological approaches with other archaeological sub-disciplines and their methodologies to produce more holistic and compelling narratives of the past.
2.    Deploying zooarchaeological analyses as independent tests of inferences made based on other lines of evidence like ceramics, lithics, metals, architecture, botanical remains, stable isotopes, etc.
3.    Using our understanding of human-animal interactions and behavioral and physiological characteristics of various animal species as the basis of investigations into settlement patterns, site occupation intensities, and patterns of mobility and migration.
4.    Using taphonomic studies of animal remains to assess greater site formation processes.

For more information, please contact the symposium organizers:

Dianna Grimstead; grimstead.1@osu.edu
Siavash Samei; siavash.samei@uconn.edu


SAA Requirements

The Zooarchaeology Interest Group is sponsored by the Society for American Archaeology (SAA); to officially join our group you, must be a SAA member. Becoming a ZIG member does not require annual dues or additional fees. Co-chairs are elected at each annual meeting involving all ZIG members present at the business meeting.



The Zooarchaeology Interest Group has an active and engaging Facebook group page that is open to the public. This page is intended as a forum for archaeologists interested in all aspects of zooarchaeology and bone technology. News items and stories shared to the page should be specific to zooarchaeology in content and be of interest to members of this group. We also encourage the sharing of zooarchaeology-specific jobs, upcoming conferences, publications, and other news.

The Society for American Archaeology (“SAA”) encourages all of its members to participate in public discussions through social networking. At the same time, SAA expects that its members will make statements that are in the best interests of SAA and will not engage in any inappropriate statements or statements which would be detrimental to SAA as a whole. SAA retains the right, under its bylaws and policies, to take disciplinary actions against any member it determines is acting contrary to SAA’s interests.

While many of the individuals participating in this group are members of the Society for American Archaeology, the statements, views and opinions of individuals in this group are their own and are not those of SAA. As such, participants in this group acknowledge and agree that SAA shall not be responsible for any statements, content or other communication posted or disseminated through this group.

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/395584533965846/


The Zooarchaeology Interest Group does not offer fellowships, grants, or awards. We, however, encourage eligible members to apply for the SAA sponsored Dienje Kenyon Memorial Fellowship.



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