2014 ICAZ Junior Researcher Open Zooarchaeology Prize Winners

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2014 ICAZ Junior Researcher Open Zooarchaeology Prize Winners


Results of 2014 Open Zooarchaeology Prize


The Junior Researcher Open Zooarchaeology Prize competition awards the best open access, reusable content based on presentations at an International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ) conference by a junior researcher (current student or degree in the past 10 years). The 2014 competition is the third time the contest has been held, the first being at the 2006 ICAZ meeting in Mexico City. We commend all of the 2014 contestants for their excellent entries.

A panel of five judges from the ICAZ International Committee evaluated the entries with the primary criterion being the presentation’s value for reuse in teaching or research. We are grateful for their careful consideration of the entries.


2014 Judges:
Virginia Butler Portland State University, USA
Arati Deshpande-Mukherjee Deccan College, Pune, India
Angelos Hadjikoumis Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
Jan Storå Stockholm University, Sweden
Kat Szabo University of Wollongong, Australia



Two entries tied for 1st place:

Morgan Disspain: "Do fish otoliths provide a reliable palaeoenvironmental record? An examination of the effects of cooking on morphology and chemistry" (Session: Ichthyoarchaeology in the Americas)

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Judging Comments:

"This is a well-structured and clearly articulated taphonomic investigation of broad relevance."

"It will certainly help ichthyoarchaeologists improve their work both in terms of methodology and interpretative framework. It is expected to inspire relevant work and in turn better-informed methodologies but also more reliable interpretations"

"[This work] provides outstanding images –and the close link with the text [makes it] easy to use/reuse."

About the Winner: Morgan Disspain is a PhD candidate in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Adelaide, South Australia. Her research explores how otoliths from archaeological sites can contribute to our understanding of human behaviour and palaeoenvironmental conditions, directly enhancing models of human-environment interaction. It involves examining the reliability of otolith analyses, and analysing large otolith assemblages from two archaeological sites, one which is located in South Australia and the other in Arica, Chile. Morgan travelled to San Rafael to present one aspect of her research that focused on the effects of cooking on the chemistry and morphology of fish otoliths.


William Taylor: "Demographic Profiles and Ancient Horse Use in Bronze Age Mongolia" (Session: Zooarchaeology of Pastoralism)

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Judging Comments:

"The applicability of the methodological innovations produced by this study to other regions and periods and the clarity of the overall presentation of the study render it an invaluable tool to be used both in research and teaching."

"[Taylor’s] synthesis of the research context and how to address the gaps in our current knowledge was outstanding."

"This is a great case study to demonstrate that detailed zooarchaeological analyses can address broader cultural questions."

About the Winner: William is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Mexico. In his dissertation, he aims to clarify the role of the horse (herding, riding, and chariotry) in the spread of mobile pastoralism into the Eastern Steppe. Using 3D scanning and osteological study of modern horses with known histories, his project has developed new methods for the archaeozoological identification of horse transport. In his entry for the Open Zooarchaeology competition, William produced demographic estimates for a sample of ancient horses from Mongolia’s Deer Stone-Khirigsuur (DSK) complex (1300-700 BCE). When combined with paleopathological analysis, these data shed light on herd management practices, and point to the selection of adult male horses for use in transport and ritual. His work has been supported by the American Center for Mongolian Studies, the Frison Institute Patrick Mullen Award in Archaeological Science, the Society for Archaeological Sciences R.E. Taylor Award, and the ICAZ Stine Rossel Prize.

About the Competition:

The Junior Researcher Open Zooarchaeology Prize is one of a series of open archaeology prize competitions organized since 2006 by the Alexandria Archive Institute, with sponsorship from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The competition is also sponsored in part by ISD, Distributor of Scholarly Books.

Read more about the Open Zooarchaeology prize here.

Contribution Form

Online Submission




"2014 ICAZ Junior Researcher Open Zooarchaeology Prize Winners," in BoneCommons, Item #1973, https://alexandriaarchive.org/bonecommons/items/show/1973 (accessed September 19, 2020).


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