International Council
for Archaeozoology

The Open Zooarchaeology Prize

The Junior Researcher Open Zooarchaeology Prize competition awards the best open access, reusable content based on presentations at an International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ) conference by a junior researcher (current student or degree in the past 10 years). The 2018 competition is the fourth time the contest has been held, the first being at the 2006 ICAZ meeting in Mexico City.

The 2018 Winners

A panel of four judges from the ICAZ International Committee evaluated the entries with the primary criterion being the presentation’s value for reuse in teaching or research. We are grateful for their careful consideration of the entries.

2018 Judges:

  • Levent Atici (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
  • Suzanne Pilaar Birch (University of Georgia, USA)
  • Albérico Nogueira de Queiroz (Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), Brazil)
  • David Orton (University of York, UK)

First Place:

Annelise Binois: "Sheep castration in the medieval and modern periods in Europe: modalities, demographics and archaeological evidence” (in the session Social Networks and Animal Ageing and Sexing)

Highlights from the Judges:

"[Binois] presents her research agenda clearly and explicitly and provides with ample and comprehensive data with great reuse potential. Bringing the issue of castration into a sharper methodological focus is a significant contribution to the field given the ubiquity of sheep bones from numerous archaeofaunal assemblages in time and space. As such, the implications of this projects can reach well beyond Medieval Europe. The strongest aspect of this project is the availability of demographic data presented in separate worksheets."

"The fact that she has the excel spreadsheet with multiple data types available along with the presentation is what makes this the most useful and 'open' entry."

"This is a beautifully clear presentation of an extremely useful piece of research. It's an old topic, but one that has been very much in need of a new assessment. In terms of openness, I note the author's clearly stated motivation to enable re-use of their research, and the inclusion of the data is extremely valuable to this end..."

About the Winner: Annelise Binois is a French zooarchaeologist currently employed as an assistant lecturer in Environmental Archaeology at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. After graduating as a veterinarian from the École Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort (France) in 2004 and working as a mixed-practice vet for six years, she turned to archaeology, obtaining an MSc (2011) and a PhD (2017) in Environmental Archaeology at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. At the crossroads between her degrees, her doctoral dissertation focused on the identification and diagnosis of mass mortality events in archaeological livestock in Europe, especially in the Roman and Medieval periods. Her research interests encompass all topics pertaining to animal health and disease in past societies, including, but not limited to, animal paleopathology. Her entry for the ICAZ Open Zooarchaeology competition explores the question of sheep castration in the medieval period and of its identification in the archaeological record.

Second Place:

Natalya Prilepskaya (with N.D. Burova, A.A. Sinitsyn): "Determination of the death season by dental cementum analysis of horses Equus ferus (Boddaert, 1785) from the Upper Paleolithic site Kostenki 14 (Markina gora) (Voronezh region, Russia)" (in the session High-resolution analyses of dental remains: broadening horizons)

Highlights from the Judges:

"The authors revisit a classic zooarchaeological scenario - single-kill vs. accumulation - using an established but under-used technique. 3D scanning prior to destructive analysis is to be commended, and the inclusion of an example model (in multiple formats) here is a bonus."

"The methodological approach merits recognition as they 3D scanned and thus replicated the sampled horse teeth before proceeding with the destructive thin sectioning to analyze incremental structures, i.e., cementum. They provide ample and easily extractable materials for reuse."

"Prilepskaya's documents are comprehensive, the PowerPoint has a lot of info and good photos, and the fact that she included her notes as well as a 3D rendering is very impressive…great for reuse."

About the Winner: Natalya is an external PhD student at the Department of Paleontology of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. From 2014 to 2016 she studied in the Master's degree program of the Geological Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University at the Department of Paleontology, and took her Master's degree with honors in Geology. Natalya regularly participates in paleontological expeditions, archaeological excavations, educational internships and field schools. Her professional interests include determination of mammals’ individual age and season of death with the help of dental cementum and dentin analyses, biomechanics of vertebral column of ungulates, 3D scanning in paleontology, an stable isotope analysis. She is also an avid climber and has done about 70 mountaineering ascents, among which more than 30 were of the highest category of difficulty, including ascents in the Crimea, the Caucasus, the Western Sayan Mountains, the Pamirs, the Pamir-Alay, Jordan and the USA.

About the Competition:

The Junior Researcher Open Zooarchaeology Prize is one of a series of open archaeology prize competitions organized since 2006 by the Alexandria Archive Institute, with sponsorship from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The competition is also sponsored in part by ISD, Distributor of Scholarly Books. Read more about the Open Zooarchaeology prize here.

Previous Winners:

View the results of past Open Archaeology Prize competitions.