ICAZ

International Council
for Archaeozoology

Marine Mammal Working Group

 The formation of the Marine Mammal Working Group (MMWG) was initiated and supported by a group of scientists during a workshop on “Human Seal Interrelations: exploratory workshops on faunal history and exploitation of seals in Northern Europe” which was held in Iceland in September 2016 and financed by the NOS-HS (The joint committee for Nordic research councils in the humanities and social sciences).

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.

The MMWG emerged from the necessity to develop a more holistic approach and gain a more precise view to the reconstruction and interpretation of human and marine mammal interactions in past societies. Methodological approaches such as osteological and osteometrical analysis, ancient DNA, multi-stable isotopic analysis, histological analysis on teeth/bones are valuable tools which enable us to gain new insights in ancient marine mammal ecology and population structure. Emerging techniques, technologies and synergies are also providing new areas for fruitful research. Some methods are still developing or need to be linked to other methods in order to gain more accurate results or to be able to translate the results.

We aim to establish a communication platform for scientific exchange and interaction by bringing together professionals, researchers and students from different disciplines across all regions of the northern, as well as the southern hemisphere. Thus, this platform will provide the opportunity to present and discuss new research, to bridge gaps between different disciplines and different scientific approaches and to help understand the interconnections between different fields. Furthermore, the Marine Mammal Working Group promotes the establishment of a multidisciplinary scientific network as experts from different disciplines will meet and have the opportunity to develop joint research strategies that cross boundaries between different disciplines.

The coordinator and liaison of the MMWP is Aikaterini Glykou and the group already has 32 members. New members are welcome. Please, send an email to aikaterini.glykou@arklab.su.se for signing up for the mailing list.

Meetings

The first meeting of the MMWG will be in the form of one day session with the title "Marine Mammal exploitation from a diachronic perspective" during the annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists EAA in Maastricht 30 August-3 September 2017. Please submit your abstracts until the 15th March 2017 by using the following link: https://www.klinkhamergroup.com/eaa2017/sessions/contribution

This information has been contributed by Aikaterini Glykou, MMWG Liaison to ICAZ, on February 21, 2017.