International Council
for Archaeozoology

Archaeozoology of the Baltic Region and Adjacent Areas (ABRA) Working Group

 The idea of this working group grew out of the session “Past animal and human relationships around the Baltic” held at 2016 conference of the European Association of Archaeologists in Vilnius (Lithuania), initiated by Tuija Kirkinen (Helsinki, Finland). The general purpose of ABRA is to provide a platform for the exchange of academic information, personnel and research materials.

The Baltic Region is a clearly definable geographical unit possessing diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitats. In addition to environmental adaptations, the convoluted coastline with its archipelagos has facilitated both human settlement and communication during the shared history of this area since Prehistory. Archaeozoological studies in the region, however, have still been divided by borders, each country having its own language and likewise diverse research tradition. The general purpose of ABRA will be to provide a platform for the exchange of academic information, personnel and research materials within the broader region. On 7 September 2018 the ABRA working group had its own session at the 13th International Conference of ICAZ (Ankara, Turkey) titled: "Animal introduction, adaptation and exploitation around the Baltic and beyond". The session was organized by Eve Rannamäe (University of York) and László Bartosiewicz (Stockholm University) and contained 12 presentations from 7 countries.

On 2 September 2022 the ABRA working group will have a dedicated session at the 28th European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting (Budapest, Hungary) titled: "Foreign vs Local in Medieval and Modern Age Foodways in the Baltic Sea Region". The session is organised by Eve Rannamäe (University of Tartu), László Bartosiewicz (Stockholm University) and Lembi Lõugas (Tallinn University).

Image credit: Skull of European elk (Alces alces) at the Osteological Research Laboratory, Stockholm. (Photo: László Bartosiewicz)

Thumbnail credit from ICAZ Working Groups page: The Baltic Sea drainage basin. Lighter shading indicates decreasing salinity (except for lakes in dark blue; Source:

This information has been contributed by Eve Rannamäe, University of Tartu, on July 11, 2022.