ICAZ is Born
The origin of ICAZ can be traced back to the International Symposium on "Domestikations-forschung und Geschichte der Haustiere" held in Budapest, Hungary, in 1971. This meeting is considered the "First ICAZ International Conference," the second having been held in Groningen, The Netherlands, in 1974, at which time the drafting of the first set of ICAZ statutes began. As of 2019 a total of thirteen ICAZ sponsored international conferences have been held. The proceedings of many of these past conferences have been published either in part or in full.
The first official meeting of the International Committee of ICAZ took place in September 1976 at the 9th Congress of the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (UISPP) in Nice, France. At that time a set of statutes was promulgated. The goal of ICAZ was to promote communication among archaeozoologists through sponsoring an international conference once every four years and through serving as a home organization for a number of focused working groups. The International Committee of ICAZ (at the time a self-elected body of archaeozoologists from throughout the world) met every two years, and served as a kind of steering committee for ICAZ conferences and working groups.
ICAZ Comes of Age
The past two decades have seen a remarkable increase in the number of archaeozoologists throughout the world. Through its efforts to promote better communication within the archaeozoological community, ICAZ has come to serve as an umbrella organization for the diverse approaches and interests of practicing archaeozoologists worldwide.
At the sixth ICAZ International Conference in Washington D.C. in 1990, a committee convened to explore the possibility of transforming ICAZ into a true membership-based professional organization. New statutes were drafted in Cambridge, England, in July of 1995 and, after modifications, were adopted by the International Committee of ICAZ in August 1997 and amended by a vote of the General Membership in 2002. As a result a dues paying general membership was created and the International Committee was transformed into an representative body elected by the ICAZ membership.
In August of 2014, ICAZ became a non-profit organization recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code.
ICAZ Looks to the Future
The next ten years are ripe with new challenges and opportunities for ICAZ, as well as for the discipline of archaeozoology as a whole. Recognition of archaeozoology as a major contributor to our understanding of human adaptation and interaction with the natural world has brought the discipline to the forefront of archaeology and paleo-environmental studies. Archaeozoologists can now be found in museums, universities, and other research institutions in almost all countries of the world. New technologies and methods are enabling archaeozoologists to ask and answer an ever expanding array of questions about human/animal interactions of the past, from the earliest origins of humans through present day.
ICAZ stands committed to its founding goal of promoting communication within the diverse archaeozoological community, as well as to creating an ongoing dialogue with archaeologists, biologists, and others interested in the rich history of human/animal interactions. Through our membership program, our web page, our newsletters, our working groups, conferences, and publications we believe we can meet this goal better than ever before.