Humpback diving (photo: Terry Howard CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0); walrus surfacing (photo: Kit Kovacs and Christian Lydersen, Norwegian Polar Institute)

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 workshop will be held at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge over two days, 20th-21st September 2019.

Day 1 will focus on the exploitation of marine mammals/marine resources under the impact of environmental change. Marine mammals – seals, whales and dolphins – have been exploited through time by coastal societies around the globe. This session aims to explore how environmental events and climatic change may have affected marine mammal population dynamics and how humans responded to (and/or contributed to) such events. Specifically, we would like to discuss how environmental events and/or climatic change affected the habitat, ecology and breeding/foraging behaviour of different marine mammal species and how it is possible to explore and methodologically approach such questions in archaeological faunal assemblages. How did humans adjust their subsistence patterns and their hunting strategies in changing environments? Did they influence their aquatic environments?

Day 2 is an open call for presentations on new marine mammal research across the spectrum of archaeological and interdisciplinary approaches. Relevant contributions may include (but are not limited to) work involving zooarchaeology, DNA (ancient and modern), ZooMS, stable isotopes and history. Papers bridging the humanities and sciences are especially welcome.

Abstracts can be send to no later than the 1 May 2019.

For more information, please, visit the workshop´s web page: