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

Pterostichus lama

The articulated elytra (left) of a woodland ground beetle recovered from owl pellets in Lane County, Oregon. These beetles, measuring up to 30 mm in length, were recovered during an ecological study of owls, and represent 13 percent of the diet of barred owls during their breeding season. Photo at right by Andrew McKorney.