Zooarchaeology Lab

The Zooarchaeology Lab is directed by Thomas Wake, Research Staff, and was established in 1989 in order to facilitate the identification and analysis of animal remains from archaeological sites. The lab is located in Room A–357, in the A-level of the Fowler. With over 650 square feet of space, the lab provides ample workspace for students and researchers, as well as a number of computers for data entry and analysis. An intensive laboratory based zooarchaeology course is taught every other year by Wake. He is available to consult with students, set up volunteer or independent study projects, and develop research designs, sampling protocols, and evaluate results of interested investigators.

 One of the most important aspects of any Zooarchaeological Lab is the modern comparative collection available for use in identification of archaeological faunal remains. The Zooarchaeology Lab maintains an expanding collection of over 5,100 vertebrate specimens including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Native Californian species predominate, but domestic, Central American, and Peruvian taxa are well represented. A collection of over 10,000 mollusk specimens is currently being cataloged and available for use as well. The UCLA Department of Biology maintains a large collection of fish skeletons and a large bird and mammal skeletal collection is included in the Dickey Natural History Collection. The Zooarchaeology Lab also holds a palaeoethnobotanical comparative collection of 2,400 specimens.  A collection bird and mammal skeletal specimens is also included in the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology’s Donald R. Dickey Natural History Collection, located across campus.

To date the lab has conducted over 300 separate projects from six continents. Archaeological animal remains have been collected, identified, and analyzed from the following countries: Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Denmark, Jordan, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, Syria, Turkey, and the U.S. Within the U.S. most of the collections examined are from California, but include Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Washington. A list of recent publications is available.

 The lab is currently conducting analysis on materials from a number of sites in North America (primarily California), Central America (Mexico), South America (Peru), and from Wake’s project at Sitio Drago in Panama. Read about some of the work here.

 Contact information:

E-mail: zooarch@ucla.edu [mailto:zooarch@ucla.edu]

Phone: (310) 206-1782

Room: A-357 Fowler Building