Research Collections Comparative Vertebrate Collection

Zooarchaeology, a subfield of archaeology, is the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. The Stanley J. Olsen Laboratory of Zooarchaeology at Arizona State Museum houses two modern comparative vertebrate collections with a total of more than 4,000 fish, bird, reptile, amphibian, and mammal specimens.

The Stanley J. Olsen Laboratory of Zooarchaeology is used by students, visiting scholars, and volunteers, as well as for public outreach activities. The collections have been used in countless numbers of University of Arizona courses, as well as undergraduate and graduate student theses, dissertations, and research projects. The laboratory is also a significant source of employment and research opportunities for current graduate and undergraduate students. Visiting researchers include professional zooarchaeologists employed at local cultural resource management companies, as well as faculty and graduate students from other academic institutions.

Use of the collection is not limited to archaeologists; the curator and staff field numerous inquiries from biologists and wildlife managers each year regarding vertebrate species diversity, geographical range, and individual variation in the southwestern region. For more information about the lab, conducting research, or visiting please see our web page on Zooarchaeology.   

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