Objective: to synthesize and analyze (diachronically and spatially) data of wild animal remains from the Central Balkans Holocene archaeological sites in order to explore how established social and environmental dynamics – such as the spread of agriculture deforestation, climatic changes, altitude, urbanization, and demography – could have influenced the wildlife distribution and their interaction with humans.
Objective: to synthesize and analyze (diachronically and spatially) data of wild plant remains from the Central Balkans Holocene archaeological sites in order to understand the distribution and to trace the translocation of wild species, as well as unveil their economic, social and symbolic values through different periods to better understand the evolution of the human-wild plant relationship.
ANCIENT DNA & STABLE ISOTOPES
Objective: to get insight into the diet and phylogeography of wild mammals through analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen as well as mitochondrial DNA of Holocene wild mammal populations through time. The application of this research is relevant for the understanding the anthropogenic impact to the nature and paleoecology of the wildlife. The analysis will be mostly focused on brown bear and red deer remains, the species that were commonly discovered within the Holocene archaeological sites (from Mesolithic onwards) and that still occupy habitats in the region, although in fragmented populations, while remains of other wild mammals (fallow deer, leopard, aurochs, etc.) will also be subjected to the analysis.
Objective: to precisely estimate the last known occurrences of species that became extinct during the Holocene, determine the precise timing of trade or import of wildlife, and narrow the dates for faunal remains from very broadly defined chronological intervals. Besides their primary goal in understanding the temporal dimension of wildlife dynamics, calibrated radiocarbon dates will make an important contribution to the chronology of Holocene sites in the Central Balkans.
TEXTUAL AND ICONOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE
Objective: to synthesize and analyze ancient texts, that relate to wildlife and iconographic representations of wildlife from the Holocene sites in the Central Balkans, in order to reconstruct economic, social and symbolic aspects of human-wildlife interactions, as well as to reveal the spatial and temporal distribution of these artifacts and to determine the correlations between iconography and bioarchaeological evidence of wildlife species.
INTEGRATION AND DISSEMINATION
Objective: to integrate project results in order to deliver scientific results, as well as to raise awareness of wildlife significance in general and research of Human-Wildlife interactions in the Holocene past through the project web page, scientific lectures and papers, social networks, workshops, public lectures, and an exhibition.