The introduction of the brown hare to Britain and its bio-cultural impact: zooarchaeological and morphometric approaches

Fowler, Thomas (2020) The introduction of the brown hare to Britain and its bio-cultural impact: zooarchaeological and morphometric approaches. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

The introduction of new fauna is almost without exception not solely about enriching human diet. Instead, non-native fauna can be linked with the arrival new cultural phenomena, especially in the realm of religion. The religious and secular festival of Easter provides a case study with which to explore this phenomenon in the British archaeological and historical record, as its three associated animals - the brown hare, European rabbit, and chicken - are all not native to Britain.

But, the circumstances and timing of the introduction of the brown hare (Lepus europaeus) to Britain have never been tackled with the aid of zooarchaeological evidence because zooarchaeologists have lacked the methods necessary to securely separate zooarchaeological brown hare remains from those of Britain’s native lagomorph, the Scottish mountain hare (Lepus timidus).

This thesis establishes a zooarchaeological baseline for the timing and cultural impact of the brown hare’s introduction to Britain. It develops an identification method using traditional, linear morphometrics to separate brown and mountain hares in British populations and applies this to method to archaeological hare remains.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: O'Regan, Hannah
Shaw, Philip A.
Keywords: Easter, osteometrics, place-names, zooarchaeology, non-native, introduction, brown hare
Subjects: C Auxiliary sciences of history > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 63763
Depositing User: Fowler, Thomas
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 09:45
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2021 09:45
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/63763

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