This project considers the varied relationships between people and deer in the past.  It moves beyond traditional faunal analysis, undertaking  zooarchaeology in a very real sense (in that it is concerned with the diversity of relationships between people and animals).  The project's output will act as an important study in the varied ways in which one particular-human animal relationship may be expressed, but will also provide an example of new ways of looking at human-animal relationships in more general terms.  The idea is to bring animals, with all their associated significances into the human landscape.

Key themes are:
  • Hunting: deer as resource and quarry.
  • Pastoralism: deer as resource and companion.
  • Craft: antler as resource
  • Ritual and Religion: deer as idol.
  • Art and Iconography: deer as icon.

Within this structure, studies of interest include:
  • The importance of deer in Mesolithic England and Iron Age Scotland
  • Sub-arctic reindeer herding and related ritual in diachronic perpsective
  • The economic and symbolic importance of antler as a raw material in the Early Middle Ages
  • Deer in early medieval art and literature
  • Deer parks, hunting, and poaching  in medieval and Early Modern England
As part of this project, I'll be involved in the Deer and People conference at the University of Nottingham in 2011.