Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HARA (Human-Animal Relationships in Archaeology: World Views of Hunter-gatherers in NorthernEurope)
Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2018-08-31
The researcher studied Russian language ethnographic literature about East Siberian hunter-gathering groups that has previously not been easily accessible to English speaking audiences and the ethnographic material culture collections. Throughout the project the researcher carried out contextual analyses of the archaeological materials from the sites in Latvia, Denmark and France. The case studies allowed an assessment of changes in human-animal relationships during the introduction of domestic animals: a process which is widely considered to have been transformative of human society and human understandings of animals.
The researcher was hosted at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Ireland. She received training in experimental archaeology, zooarchaeology, the archaeology of hunter-gatherers, and in teaching archaeology as well as in a variety of transferable skills related to different stages of project implementation. Especially significant result was the design and delivery of a 5 ECTS credit interdisciplinary module ""Human-animal relationships: archaeologies, ethnographies, anthropologies"" the researcher had an opportunity to teach. The results of the HARA project have been presented at four conferences (one more conference participation is upcoming in November 2018). This included participation at the 12th Conference on hunting and gathering societies bringing together archaeological, ethnographical and anthropological research on hunting and gathering communities where the researcher organised a conference session ""Handle with care: humans and their interactions with animals"" exploring different aspects of care in hunter-gatherers’ interactions with animals. Various stages of the HARA project have also been introduced by presentations at three different Research Seminars organised by the UCD School of Archaeology and HARA Newsletters have been published. HARA was also introduced to a general audience at a seminar held at Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg, Russia. Outreach activities included setting up a project website and FB page and creating an animation movie."
In the process of collecting and analysing the archaeological and ethnographic material the research project builds from, the fellow cooperated with museum workers and researchers from different countries (e.g. Russia, Latvia, Denmark, France). Such transnational collaborations enable unique research opportunities, access to local knowledge and academic dialogs as they allow research institutions to further collaborative links across regions and positively influence the cohesion of European scholarship and beyond. The study of Russian ethnographic literature about most Eastern Siberian hunter-gatherer groups, previously not easily accessible to English speaking audiences, brought together different research traditions. This approach also redressed the neglect of Northern Eurasia in major theoretical trends in the history of anthropological and archaeological inquiries. Completion of this project allowed the researcher to develop into a position of professional maturity with a specific set of transferable and unique interdisciplinary skills enabling her to pursue an international academic research and teaching career in the field of human-animal studies. Given the fact that there is still a substantial imbalance in the proportion of women in the highest positions of research careers, even though female doctoral candidates frequently outnumber male, the fellowship also contributed to the promotion of women in advanced academic research