Zooarchaeology is the branch of archaeology dealing with the study of animal remains from archaeological sites.  Archaeoentomology is a relatively recent addition to that, particularly in North America.  


Insects have penetrated virtually every environment on the planet.  As such, they can be a valuable resource, allowing archaeologists to make inferences about past environments (both natural and anthropogenic), subsistence practices, food storage, personal hygiene, introduced species, and much more!  In fact, in many cases, insect remains can reveal things about a site that can be missed by traditional artifacts.

 Why Study Insect Remains?

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© 2017 Paleoinsect Research

Eleodes (Blapylis) sp.

The dorsal (left) and ventral (right) views of the carapace of the desert stink beetle (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), found at Paisley Caves (35LK3400). Some desert-dwelling native peoples have been known to crack open live tenebrionid beetles and consume the stink gland as a treatment for a sore throat.