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Arctic Domus Report Summary

Project ID: 295458
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - ARCTIC DOMUS (Arctic Domestication: Emplacing Human-Animal Relationships in the Circumpolar North)

Arctic Domus was a six-year international research project, supported by the ERC, which re-examined traditional definitions of domestication by documenting and analysing commensal models of human/animal relations common in the circumpolar Arctic. Our researchers believe that by decentering domineering models, associated with the Near East, that we articulated a more subtle and complex account of how humans and animals co-operate in Northern landscapes. Our research questions dichotomies of wild/tame, unilineal accounts of evolution, and illustrates alternate forms of domestication. The project has five interdisciplinary components based in circumpolar ethnography, the history of science, environmental archaeology, and animal genetics and osteology, and linquistics. We have achieved the following outcomes:
• We documented and analysed complex human/animal relationships across nine regions of the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Sweden and the Russian Federation;
• We described previously unknown 'local' or aboriginal breeds of domestic animals;
• We introduced new methods in the study of domestic dog and reindeer osteology which reflects the history of use;
• We developed a database of over 2000 genetic samples for wild and domestic Rangifer across Eurasia;
• We identified new mtDNA haplotypes for Western and Central Eurasian Rangifer populations;
• We digitised and analysed archival collections on the history of dog and reindeer domestication;
• We identified new microelements and geoarchaeological models of the presence of domestic animals in Arctic regions making it possible to write a fuller history of these regions.

Reported by

United Kingdom
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