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Wim Van Neer

Wim Van Neer
Charles Deberiotstraat 32 - box 2439
3000 Leuven
Belgium

tel: +32 16 37 36 37

My research focusses on the past relationship between man and animal in his environment, as reflected in faunal assemblages from archaeological sites in Europe, the Near East and Africa. Faunal remains (mainly bones and teeth) are identified with the help of comparative osteological collections. Interpretation focusses on the subsistence of past societies and involves the reconstruction of food procurement strategies (hunting, domestic stock keeping and fishing), the relationship between food and status or identity (you are what you eat), the establishment of former trade relationships and the role of animals in ritual and religion. Faunal remains also allow documenting climatic changes and human impact on the environment (deforestation,  overgrazing, overfishing, overhunting, local extinction and pollution). This type of archaeozoological analysis adds a historical dimension to biodiversity studies and look back further in time than zoological field studies or historical documents. 

Selected publications