International Council
for Archaeozoology

ICAZ Working Groups

ICAZ affiliated Working Groups are autonomous groups formed around special themes of common interest. They meet according to their own schedules, sometimes in conjunction with ICAZ International Conferences. Some Working Groups publish their own newsletters and host their own websites. The proceedings of Working Group meetings are also sometimes published.

Working Group members need not be members of ICAZ, but they are encouraged to join the organization. Working Groups are asked to report to the International Committee at their business meeting every two years. Reports and announcements from the working groups are posted on the ICAZ Website and published in the biannual ICAZ Newsletter.

More information about working group policies, including how to form a new working group, can be found in the Recommendations of the Task Force on Working Groups.

ICAZ's working group liaison is Zbigniew Bochenski.

Animal Paleopathology Working Group (APWG)

 The Animal Palaeopathology Working Group (APWG) was set up by Jessica Davies, Andy Hammon and Richard Thomas in 1999 to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of theoretical and methodological issues relating to the study of animal health, disease and injury in the past. At the outset, three specific areas of concern were identified with the state of the discipline. (more)

Archaeomalacology Working Group (AMWG)

 The AMWG's mission is the liberal exchange of data and information about molluscs in the archaeological record. This encompasses both methods and theories relating to the analysis of such remains as well as creating an environment where specifics could be discussed amongst a group of peers. The AMWG encourages the publication of information related to these forums. (more)

Archaeozoology, Genetics and Morphometrics Working Group (AGM)

 At the International Committee (IC) meeting in Durham, England, in August 2002, the IC voted to endorse a new ICAZ Working Group called Archaeozoology and Genetics (A&G). In October 2012, the IC approved a modification of the group's name to the Archaeozoology, Genetics and Morphometrics (AGM) working group.The AGM Working Group aims to contribute to organize the international scientific community in order to avoid these problems. Taking into account that archaeology, archaeozoology, and genetics also have their own scientific questions, potentialities, and limitations, the group also aims to promote true collaboration between these fields. (more)

Archaeozoology of the Baltic Region and Adjacent Areas (ABRA) Working Group

 The idea of this working group grew out of the session “Past animal and human relationships around the Baltic” held at 2016 conference of the European Association of Archeeologists in Vilnius (Lithuania), initiated by Tuija Kirkinen (Helsinki, Finland). The general purpose of ABRA is to provide a platform for the exchange of academic information, personnel and research materials. (more)

Archaeozoology of Southwest Asia Working Group (ASWA)

 The Archaeozoology of Southwest Asia and Adjacent Areas (ASWA[AA]) Working Group was formed during the 1990 ICAZ International Conference in Washington D.C. Its purpose is to promote communication between individuals working on faunal remains from sites in western Asia and adjacent areas (e.g., northeast Africa, eastern Europe, central Asia, and south Asia). (more)

Bird Working Group (BWG)

 The Bird Working Group (BWG) is an interdisciplinary consortium of researchers (archaeozoologists, archaeologists, zoologists, ornithologists) interested in the study of bird remains recovered from archaeological sites from around the world. The BWG was created by an initiative of Arturo Morales-Muniz in 1991. The primary focus of this ICAZ Working Group is to examine the relationships between people and birds in prehistoric, historic, and, at times, contemporary contexts. Group interests include, but are not limited to, identification of bird bones, the taphonomy of avian remains, methods of analysis and interpretation, the use of birds, and representations of birds in art. (more)

Fish Remains Working Group (FRWG)

 The Fish Remains Working Group (FRWG) was created during an informal meeting held at the Zoological Museum of the University of Copenhagen in 1980. Its members are an interdisciplinary consortium of researchers (archaeozoologists, archaeologists, zoologists, ichthyologists, historians, and fishery biologists) interested not only in the study of fish remains retrieved in archaeological sites from around the world, but also on any matter dealing with fishing, the fish trade, and fish consumption in prehistoric and historic times. (more)

Grupo Zooarqueología de Camélidos (GZC)

 The Camelid Working Group, known as the Zooarqueología de Camélidos (GZC), was created in 1993 and officially recognized by ICAZ in 1995. The theme of the GZC centers on the study of human/camelid interaction through time (from predation to pastoralism and herding) in the Andes and extra-Andean regions. The aims of the working group are to promote common lines of research, foster the exchange of information, and establish regional databases. The GZC is open to all researchers who wish to actively contribute. (more)

Marine Mammal Working Group (MVWG)

 The Marine Mammal Working Group focuses on the relationship between humans and marine mammals from a diachronic perspective. Marine mammals have been exploited by humans over time and exploitation patterns have varied greatly between regions, time periods and cultures. (more)

Microvertebrate Working Group (MVWG)

 The Microvertebrate Working Group (MVWG) was developed by Angel Blanco-Lapaz and Sara E. Rhodes in 2016 as a forum for the exchange of data and information related to the study of insectivore, rodent, bat, reptile and amphibian assemblages from archaeological deposits. Microvertebrate research is interdisciplinary in nature incorporating information from various professional fields (particularly vertebrate taxonomy and anatomy) and studies of these material remains are published in various mediums including international journals, regional bulletins, museum archival reports, monographs and technical papers, which often cross time periods and geographic regions. (more)

Neotropical Zooarchaeology Working Group (NZWG)

 A number of particularities that characterize the Neotropics—the biogeographic region ranging from southern North America to southern South America and adjacent islands—are relevant to understanding the diversity and evolution of human-animal interactions through time, as well as the resulting archaeofaunal record. The mission of the ICAZ Neotropical Zooarchaeology Working Group (NZWG) is to offer a forum where people from any country can discuss these research problems. (more)

North Atlantic Bioarchaeological Organization Zooarchaeology Working Group (NABO ZWG)

 North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) is an international, interdisciplinary research and education cooperative formed in 1992. It participates as a working group in ICAZ as a regional association promoting Zooarchaeology and the integration of faunal research into multi-disciplinary projects in the field and laboratory in our region which on the circumpolar rim connects the Barents Sea and Labrador, with many extensions southwards. (more)

Stable Isotopes in Zooarchaeology Working Group (SIZWG)

 The Stable Isotopes in Zooarchaeology working group was proposed by Suzanne Pilaar Birch and formally approved at the ICAZ International Committee meeting in Istanbul in October 2012. The working group aims to bridge the gap between "traditional" osteoarchaeology and stable isotope analysis in archaeology, which can and should be used to investigate similar questions about the past, as well as improve their integration within research planning and design, methodology, and application. (more)

Taphonomy Working Group (TWG)

 In Fall 2009, the International Committee (IC) approved the establishment of the Taphonomy Working Group. The number of professionals working on taphonomy is steadily increasing and their contribution to prestigious scientific journals is becoming a regular trend. However, no formal international forum specific to taphonomy exists in which scholars can disseminate new research and exchange knowledge and experience. The Taphonomy Working Group (TWG) aims to fill this void and encourage wider dissemination and greater collaboration and inter-disciplinarity in taphonomic research. (more)

Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG)

 The purpose of the Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG) is to improve communication between individuals studying worked animal hard tissues (especially bone, antler, and ivory) with special emphasis on archaeological finds. A broad diachronic, and multi-disciplinary approach is emphasized in order to promote the exchange of ideas concerning attitudes to and procurement of raw materials, technology, and cognitive aspects of working osseous materials of all kinds. (more)

Zooarchaeology of the Roman Period Working Group (RPWG)

 The onset of Roman civilization and the subsequent creation and expansion of the Roman Empire represent major events in the history of the Old World. They signified the introduction of new economic and social systems that rapidly spread - in a diversified way - to a vast area, encompassing most of Europe and large parts of western Asia and North Africa. Zooarchaeology can contribute to many historical questions associated with our understanding of this remarkable phenomenon. (more)

Former Working Groups

 Several Working Groups were officially recognized by ICAZ between 1976 and 1994, but are no longer functioning as formal groups. Some of these groups formally disbanded after fulfilling their basic mission. Others have been in hibernation and could be reformed if there is sufficient interest from the archaeozoological community. Former working groups were: Archaeozoology and Archaeology, Bibliography, Bone Modification (resurrected as the Worked Bone Research Group), Nomenclature, Organization of Databanks, Publication Requirements, Publication of Scientific Works, South America, Standardization of Measurements, Standardization of Methods Taphonomy