Seeking New Approaches to Investigate Domestication Events

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 3:30am

SSRL Bldg. 137, Rm. 322

Krish Seetah, Stanford University, Department of Anthropology and Zooarcheology Laboratory

The domestication of wild animal species has underpinned some of the most fundamental developments in human history. The inclusion of a range of fauna into the human menagerie has altered the way we feed and transport ourselves, not to mention how we have waged war against each other.

Perhaps surprisingly, whether from a molecular or gross morphological basis, we have very few cues as to how the initial process of domestication took place. The notion of clever humans taming and selecting suitable animals is in effect fundamentally flawed: How do you domesticate an animal when you do not know what domestication is?

More recently, the biological role played by chemicals in the body has been recognized as critically important to how an animal transitions from being wild to truly domestic.

This presentation serves as a basic introduction to recent debates surrounding this subject and seeks new methodological directions for investigating the early steps in animal domestication.

Seeking New Approaches to Investigate Domestication Events
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