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Animal archaeology comes to Aberdeen

Aberdeen archaeologists will join forces this weekend to explore the relationship humans had with animals in days gone by.

Hundreds of free events are taking place across the country as part of Scottish Archaeology Month, an annual event held by the Council for Scottish Archaeology.

And on Saturday, September 20 archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen and the Aberdeen City Council Archaeological Unit will team up for a public event at the Natural History Centre.

The Archaeology of Animals drop-in event features hands-on activities and demonstrations and is suitable for adults and children of all ages.

Experts will examine the relationship between humans and animals in the past – from the insects we shared our houses with, to the pets we nurtured, to the animals we ate and used for their wool, skin, and horn.

There will also be an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at using the kind of spindles our ancestors used to make wool and thread, some of the earliest pieces of technology used by humans. Visitors will also be able to explore the University's Zoology Museum.

"It is sometimes easy to forget that archaeology is not just about people," said Dr Karen Milek, Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen. "Animals have a fascinating place in human history. We have been dependent on them for clothing, food and transportation, they work along side us as hunting or traction anaimals, and they keep us company as pets.

"Some insects have even evolved to become specialised human pests, and finding them on archaeological sites gives us fantastic information about human activities and living conditions in the past." 

The event runs from 12noon to 4pm at the University of Aberdeen's Natural History Centre in the Zoology Building on Tillydrone Avenue.



Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Wednesday 17th of September 2008

Ref: 254ARCHO

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