Features Podcast

What Medieval Animal Bones Teach Us

Digging up animal bones can teach us a lot about the Middle Ages – in fact, zooarcheologists are able to make them speak! Today’s guest is Erin Crowley-Champoux, a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities. She talks with Lucie Laumonier about zooarchaeology and how animal remains of the past can speak to social changes.

Erin Crowley-Champoux is an archaeologist specializing in zooarchaeology and food. Her dissertation examines the development of a dairying economy from the Late Iron Age to the Early Medieval Period in Ireland. You can learn more about her work on her university page and page, or follow Erin on Twitter @erin_aisling


Erin recommends a couple of books: The Archaeology of Food: Identity, Politics, and Ideology in the Prehistoric and Historic Past, by Catherine Twiss, and The Social Archaeology of Food: Thinking about Eating from Prehistory to the Present, by Christine A. Hastorf.

See also: Monstrous Fishes and the Mead-Dark Sea: Whaling in the Medieval North Atlantic

See also: Research reveals diverse diet in medieval Ethiopian communities

See also: Norse arrival on Iceland led to extinction of its walrus population, study finds


The Medieval Grad Podcast is a new podcast here at Look for two episodes to be released each month – if you are part of our Patreon you can listen to these episodes early!

You can listen to the podcast via Libsyn or through your favourite podcast player.

Lucie Laumonier is an affiliate assistant professor at Concordia University. Click here to view her page or follow her on Instagram at The French Medievalist. She is also a columnist on, writing about agriculture and rural life in the Middle Ages.

If you are interested in being a guest of the podcast, you can email Lucie at [email protected].

The music in this podcast is La douce jouvencelle

Top Image: Remains of animal bones discovered in a forest in North Yorkshire, England. Photo by Storye Book / Wikimedia Commons