Abstract: The Beast in Us All: Animals and Identity in Greek and Roman Antiquity
Lecturer: Michael MacKinnon
Drawing upon the vast pool of zooarchaeological evidence, this lecture surveys how the study of animals in Greek and Roman antiquity reveals key information about the character and behavior of people of these times, much of which, in turn, is not available through the investigation of any other line of archaeological, literary or artistic evidence. Topics assessed include the role of identity and personal expression involved in the production, preparation, consumption, and disposal of foodstuffs in ancient households; the personal attachment of individuals with pets; the manipulation of livestock to suit ever-changing cultural demands; and the use of meat as a status marker in classical antiquity. Illustrated examples from current archaeological and zooarchaeological fieldwork across the ancient Mediterranean context provide vivid and intriguing case studies of these aspects in practice.