40 ans d'archéozoologie au Muséum

We know about archaeology. Zoology too. But what about archaeozoology? The richness of this discipline deserved an exhibition. And this 40th anniversary is the perfect occasion!


What is archaeozoology? Born in the 19th century, this discipline really took off in the 20th century when it was realized that the animal bones found in prehistoric sites are a considerable source of information. These bone remains provide information on paleo-environments, hunting techniques, choice of game, culinary tastes and the use of carcasses to make clothes, tools and sometimes symbolic objects. For more recent periods, the processes of domestication constitute a major field of archaeozoology.

In Geneva, it is Louis Chaix who is at the heart of this revolution and allows the official creation of the archaeozoology department of the Museum in 1982. Since then, one cannot count the number of missions in which the Museum's specialists have participated in various countries. Thanks to their work, an indispensable part of human history has been illuminated. Without them, we would know nothing, for example, about the way of life of the Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon populations, the domestication of the wolf (dog), the pigeon, the cat or the dromedary.

In addition to these specialists, the Museum is distinguished by a real treasure: an osteotheque (bone library) of more than 4,500 skeletons from several hundred present-day species, allowing the identification of remains discovered on excavation sites.

The richness of this discipline deserved an exhibition. And this 40th anniversary of the laboratory is the perfect occasion!

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About the venue

Route de Malagnou 1, 1208 Genève