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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research


Welcome to the website of the Zooarchaeology research group of the Groningen Institute of Archaeology (GIA), part of the University of Groningen. Here, you can search our 4500+ specimen reference collection including some unique specimens such as the Britsum aurochs. It is also possible to visit the lab and reference collection for research purposes, if you wish to visit the collections, you can make an appointment here.

In the archaeology curriculum of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Bioarchaeology is seen as an important part of the education of future archaeologists. We teach BA, MA and Research Master’s courses and tutor individualized research projects in zooarchaeology, we also provide supervision for PhD-projects. International postgraduates visit our lab regularly for extended stays to conduct their research and enjoy the vibrant university town of Groningen.


Team 01-2019

Fleur Dijkstra, Jildou Kooistra, Nynke de Boer, Francesca Slim, Dimitris Filioglou, Francis Koolstra, Yannic Rabou, Esther Scheele, Canan Çakırlar, Youri van den Hurk

Safoora Kamjan
Francesca Slim

Francesca Slim - PhD-student working on: Pigs, people and politics in the Late Bronze Age-Early Iron Age Aegean: Archaeological pig data as proxy for socioeconomic and political relations in ancient societies

My project focuses on pigs and humans in the Eastern Aegean and Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. This period is characterized by phases of power consolidation, collapse, migrations and throughout, extensive trade. Here interest goes out to the relationship between people and their pigs. I am particularly curious about the persistence of the formalized use and meaning of pigs in the Late Bronze Age after socio-political control falters, about the relationship between pigs and mobility/new settlers, and how environmental baselines influence pig husbandry systems. I also aim to go beyond studying pigs in the archaeological record as pork-on-legs, and highlight the importance of cultural, social and environmental determinants in studying human-pig relationships in the archaeological record.  

Dimitris Filioglou

Dimitris Filioglou - PhD-student working on: Pastoralism in context: A zooarchaeological study from Classical to Early Roman period in Almiros region, Thessaly in Greece

My name is Dimitris Filioglou and I am a PhD candidate in the Greek Archaeology/ Zooarchaeology. The aim of my project is to examine the pastoral practices (such as transhumance) that took place in Almiros and Sourpi plains in Thessaly, Greece during the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Also, I will examine potential differences and similarities between domestic households. Furthermore, I will compare urban centres in terms of animal management and economy in general. Finally, I will compare animal husbandry practices between the Classical/Hellenistic and the early Roman periods. The Classical town of Halos and the Hellenistic town of New Halos, as well as a series of roman sites’ faunal assemblages are the case studies of my research. Several lines of evidence, such as faunal assemblage recording, stable isotopes analysis (oxygen, carbon and sulfur), ethnoarchaeological research, palaeobotanical evidence as well as literary sources will be investigated in my research.  The fact that no relevant study combining such a plethora of evidence has been conducted before in the Greek peninsula in antiquity, makes this project unique.  

Projects (selected)

Hidden Hybrids

Hidden Hybrids:

Camels and Cultural Blending in the Ancient Near East. This is about the origins of hybrid camels, funded by the Wenner-Gren foundation.



Bonify is a pilot project to ascertain if 3D scanning can provide digital reference collection that can be used in the field, instead or next to a physical collection, either in a webviewer or via a VR headset.

Van Giffen Dogs

Van Giffen Dogs:

This project funded by a Kleine Data Projecten grant from DANS made a large and valuable dataset of canine cranial measurements digitally and open access available.

NSF-funded projects




Recent publications (selected)

Çakirlar , C. (2017). Archaeology, archaeozoology and the study of pastoralism in the Near East (Review Article). Antiquity 91(359), pp. 1375-1378. DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2017.148

Çilingiroğlu, Ç., Dinçer, B., Uhri, A., Gürbıyık, C., Baykara, I., & Çakirlar , C. (2016). New Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites in the eastern Aegean: the Karaburun Archaeological Survey Project. Antiquity 90(353), pp. 1-6. DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2016.168

Scheele , E.E. & Çakırlar, C., (2018). Van Giffen’s Dogs: Cranial Osteometry of Iron Age to Medieval Period Dogs from the Northern Netherlands. Journal of Open Archaeology Data 6(1), p.1. DOI:

Scheu, A., Powell, A., Bollongino, R., Vigne, J-D., Tresset, A., Çakirlar, C., Benecke, N. & Burger, J. (2015). The genetic prehistory of domesticated cattle from their origin to the spread across Europe. In: Bmc genetics 16(54). DOI: 10.1186/s12863-015-0203-2

Last modified:04 November 2020 11.43 a.m.