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Video: Porpoise found in medieval graveyard

Here is the video of an interesting archaeological discovery on the island of Chapelle Dom Hue near Guernsey.

Animals came with medieval trade in Indian Ocean, researchers find

The earliest introduction of domestic chickens and black rats from Asia to the east coast of Africa came via maritime routes between the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

Horses for work and horses for war: the divergent horse market in late medieval England

Rivaled perhaps only by the medieval knight, horses evoke some of the most familiar images associated with England in the Middle Ages.

Medieval Dog Tricks

Can your dog dig up rings, dance to music, or tell if a lady is pregnant? Find out what strange tricks dogs could perform in the Middle Ages.

The dragon’s skull: how can zooarchaeologists contribute to our understanding of otherness in the Middle Ages?

This paper explores how the study of animal bones, and the material practices associated with responses to other species, can build on the foundations of existing scholarship on otherness, alterity and monstrosity. 

Birds of the Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known, had, among other things, a goodly number of falconers, poultry raisers, birdcatchers, cooks, and other experts on various aspects of birding.

Nasty, Brutish and Short: The Lives of Cattle and Sheep in Medieval Finland

For thousands of years, the ancestors of today’s Finncattle and Finnsheep survived on scarce nutrition, but actually starved in the Middle Ages in particular.

Bites and stings: A medieval perspective

Venomous creatures and their poisons loom large in the medieval medical European imagination.

The Noblest of Sports: Falconry in the Middle Ages

The Noblest of Sports: Falconry in the Middle Ages By William H. Forsyth The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, Vol. 2, No. 9 (1944) Introduction: “Ah, what great pleasure God our Lord conferred on man when He gave him the sport of dogs and birds … and when He willed that beasts and birds […]

Resident Aliens: The Literary Ecology of Medieval Mice

Not surprisingly, in the Middle Ages mice had very bad reputations as invaders of human space, as pilferers and contaminators of people’s food, and as instigators of fear quite disproportionate to their tiny size.

Cats and Dogs: The Development of the Household Pet through Symbolic Interpretations and Social Practices in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

The shifting attitudes and social practices between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Western Europe fostered the reexamination of the relationship between humans and animals.

Historical rise of waterpower initiated the collapse of salmon stocks

We demonstrate that populations declined by up to 90% during the transitional period between the Early Middle Ages (c. 450–900 AD) and Early Modern Times (c. 1600 AD).

The Poetics of Wolves: Mapping a Metaphor in World Literature

In my paper I want to trace the ways in which the metaphor of the wolf transforms over time and cultural space, how it epitomizes different and shifting cultural anxieties, trauma, but also hope.

A Most Convenient Relationship: The Rise of the Cat as a Valued Companion Animal

Of all the animals domesticated by humans the cat is one of the most unique.

Call for Papers: Special on Sessions Medieval Equestrianism at IMC 2017

Following the success of Medieval Equestrianism Sessions at the IMC Leeds 2016, we invite papers for special sessions on medieval equestrian history for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds in 2017.

The Associative Branches of the Irish Barnacle: Gerald of Wales and the Natural World

There are many birds here that are called barnacles, which nature, acting against her own laws, produces in a wonderful way.

Good Dog/Bad Dog: Dogs in Medieval Religious Polemics

From its positive attributes, the dog became a Christian symbol for conscientious prelates and preachers who guarded the community from the devil and applied the dog’s curative properties to heal the community of sin.

The Law is an Ass: Reading E.P. Evans’ The Medieval Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals

In this essay I address a little-known chapter in the lengthy history of crimes against (nonhuman) animals. My focus is not crimes committed by humans against animals, as such, but a practical outcome of the seemingly bizarre belief that animals are capable of committing crimes against humans

Dolphins in the Middle Ages

Like just about everyone else on planet Earth who’s been lucky enough to see them, medieval people shared a friendly admiration of dolphins. Their smiling faces seem to have garnered them human respect, and curiosity enough for medieval people to study them carefully and share dolphin stories.

Horse Power: Social Evolution in Medieval Europe

My research is on the development of the horse as a status symbol in Western Europe during the Middle Ages.

The Wolf-Warrior: Animal Symbolism on Weaponry of the 6th and 7th centuries

Decorative art in Scandinavia during the late Iron Age and Viking Period was largely dominated by animals in stylized forms.

Medical Lore in the Bestiaries

Some time in the first part of the Christian era, perhaps as early as the second century, there emerged a curious collection of zoological fables and religious moralizations called Physiologus.

Shrews, Rats, and a Polecat in the ‘Pardoner’s Tale’

The animals of particular interest to us are creatures that function in two distinct ways: as familiar dead metaphors and as familiar live animals.

Old Companions, Noble Steeds: Why dogs and horses were buried at an Early Medieval settlement along the Old Rhine

Excavations at the Early Medieval site of Oegstgeest, located in the Dutch Rhine estuary, have yielded the burials of three horses and three dogs

Pets in the Middle Ages: Evidence from Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

How, then, did people in the High and Late Middle Ages categorize the relationships between people and animals?

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