International Council for Archaeozoology

Contributed by Jon Driver, Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby BC V5A 1S6 Canada


The 8th International Congress of the International Council for Archaeozoology was held for the first time in Canada at Victoria, British Columbia. Organized by Becky Wigen, the Congress brought together zooarchaeologists to discuss methods and results in a very congenial setting memorable for its fine weather and whale-watching excursions. Session topics included regional and temporal studies on the Middle East, the Mousterian, Mediterranean, Oceania, South Asia, Africa, prehistoric Europe, the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary, Arctic, and the Americas. Method and theory was covered by sessions on new directions in zooarchaeology, seasonality, age and sex, the study of ritual and ceremonial contexts, aquatic mammals, and a survey of world zooarchaeology. The most prominent theme of the conference was the study of domestic dogs, covered in a public symposium and a two day session on origins, regional variation and breed development organized by Susan Crockford, one of the conference co-organizers. A well-attended panel discussion on identification, quantification and interpretation produced some lively discussion. At a plenary session the history of ICAZ was reviewed by Anneke Clason, Arturo Morales and Elizabeth Wing, and future directions for the organization were discussed. With participants from more than 30 countries, this was indeed an international gathering and another very successful ICAZ meeting.