Universiteit Leiden

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Archaeozoology is essential to modern environmental management

Tuesday 7 November 2023

Leiden is the city of archeology par excellence. The very first Professor in Archaeology, Caspar Reuvens, was from Leiden! And now, 200 years later, Leiden is home to both the internationally leading Faculty of Archeology and the renowned National Museum of Antiquities. Following the success of the 2022 Leidse Stellingen lecture series, the two heritage centers are joining forces again. Twice a month there is an online lecture by one of our renowned researchers. What drives them in their work? With provocative statements and engaging stories, they invite you into the world of the archaeologist.

Lecture November 7: Dr Laura Llorente Rodriguez

Stelling: Archaeozoology is essential to modern environmental management

Overfishing, invasive species, water temperature increase, or sea level raise, are among the most critical challenges of concern today. However, our ecological knowledge and understanding is mostly based on ecosystems already in decline, the rate at which the shifts are occurring calling for responses based on well supported hypothesis and reliable data that counteract the shallow time depth of existing historical data. A diachronic perspective of biological communities, factors affecting the structure of ecosystems, and human interactions and counteractions to past ecological challenges can provide clues to enhance ecological conservation and promote human sustainable practices.

In this respect, the archaeozoological record constitutes a unique source of cultural and environmental archive to generate invaluable baseline data for both ecosystems and human management. In this lecture, I would like to introduce some intriguing data from archaeozoology about the state of past ecosystems, link it to human activities and open a discussion on how this information can be used to assess present-day ecosystems and the potential sustainability of our practices and environmental management.

Please register via the website of the National Museum of Antiquities.

More information and registration

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