About the Project
The Holocene History of
Human-Wildlife Conflict and Coexistence
The comprehension of the history of Human-Wildlife conflicts (HWC) has immeasurable relevance for managing the planet Earth's biodiversity problems. The scientific works on the history of interactions between wildlife and humans have mostly been related to the most distant past of humanity (Pleistocene), while the general knowledge of HWC during the Holocene, which intensifies with the advent of farming societies is fainted by the numerous studies on the significance of domesticates for human societies.
As various archaeological and historical data point to the significant impact of wildlife on humans and the immeasurable impact of humans on wildlife especially in the Holocene, there is an urge to comprehensively investigate the HWC in the past.
will provide an exclusive overview of the spatial and temporal distribution of wild animals and plants in the Holocene.
aims to study the HWC diachronically, from the Mesolithic throughout the Middle Ages within one of the most important European biodiversity hotspots – the Central Balkans. As no comprehensive research has been dedicated to the history of human-wildlife interactions in the region so far, ARCHAEOWILD will provide an exclusive overview of the spatial and temporal distribution of wild animals and plants in the Holocene.
We will also study the dynamics of regional extinctions of globally extinct mammals (aurochs and European wild ass), as well as the origin of exotic wildlife, of unknown status (fallow deer and leopards).
By the employment of a large scale of biomolecular data (aDNA and C/N isotopes), we aim to give a novel insight into the paleoecology (diet and phylogeography) of native species commonly hunted in the Holocene past (red deer and brown bear), and therefore to understand the diachronic implications of anthropogenic pressure to the environment.
The questions ARCHAEOWILD is addressing are highly relevant for understanding the human-wildlife interactions in the European past, as well as for contemporary environmental issues, conservation and management of wildlife.
ARCHAEOWILD project is implemented within the Laboratory for Bioarchaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. The project is collaborating with local museums, as well as scientific institutions in Serbia and in the region.
The project is funded by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, as a part of the Ideas program.