Photograph of sheep

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Sheep grazing at Butser Farm, photographed by J Browning © Historic England

Professional Zooarchaeology Group (PZG)

The PZG brings together professional animal bone specialists working in commercial, public and academic organisations through twice yearly meetings with themed workshops and peer support.

Joining the group brings professionals together who otherwise may be working in isolation. Group members get to share important new discoveries, or practical, methodological and theoretical developments in our field.

Photograph of archaeological animal bones
A pile of medieval animal bones © English Heritage

Aims of the PZG

Our aim is to facilitate the exchange of ideas between specialists and to establish a mutually-beneficial support network. While specialists working within universities and public bodies are able to provide access to libraries and reference collections, those working within units or as freelancers can offer their knowledge of current British archaeology, project designs for forthcoming excavations, as well as insight into ‘grey literature’.

PZG meetings

We meet twice a year, at universities, museums and archaeological units throughout the UK. At each meeting, we focus on a particular aspect of zooarchaeology, combining thematic discussion and practical workshops.

Minutes from our past meetings are published on this website.

If you would like to host a meeting or would like to suggest topics for future meetings, please contact [email protected].

Forthcoming meeting

The next PZG meeting will be held on Friday 05 and Saturday 06 July 2019, hosted by Bournemouth University.

The theme for the PZG day meeting on Saturday 06 July is the zooarchaeology of animals in society.

Members are warmly invited to join an Evening Reception on Friday 05 July.

The Saturday programme includes morning talks and case studies exploring Social Zooarchaeology, and an afternoon workshop.

Our workshop will include several hands-on opportunities for participants. Examine a reconstructed Iron Age pit deposit from our university excavations at Winterbourne Kingston; share best practice for in situ recording of animal associated bone groups; and develop a biographical interpretation of the complete dog and other associated artefacts and animal remains from the pit. There will be the opportunity for a masterclass in recognising Romano-British butchery marks, and of course the usual chance for PZG members to ‘bring out your dead’ and use our reference collections and pick each other’s brains to identify any mystery bones you bring along.

PZG members are given priority when we have limited places.

If you have any queries about the event, please contact the PZG group at:

 [email protected]


Membership is open to practicing (professional) zooarchaeologists, employed or unemployed, and to students who engage in paid commercial work.

We give priority to full time, part time or unemployed specialists (non-students) for participation in the PZG meetings. In this way, we maintain our focus on providing support to professionals, in particular those working within the commercial sector.

To enquire about joining the PZG, please email [email protected]. Together with your contact details, please provide a brief statement about your current work and interests in zooarchaeology.

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