Support Zooarchaeology

Support Zooarchaeology

William R. Adams Zooarchaeology Laboratory

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The William R. Adams Zooarchaeology Laboratory provides comparative faunal collections to assist with anthropological research of hundreds of thousands of faunal specimens recovered from sites throughout the world.

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The zooarchaeology laboratory was established as a small scale operation in 1945 by Glenn A. Black and William R. Adams for the purpose of accumulating skeletal remains of indigenous animal species in response to ongoing excavations at the extensive prehistoric Angel Mounds Site in southwest Indiana. Until 1983 the focus of collection was on North American (primarily Midwestern) vertebrates; however, through the interest and activities of faculty and staff, the collection has grown to encompass worldwide specimens of vertebrates and invertebrates whenever possible. 

Currently, the collection contains approximately over 10,000 catalogue numbers, including 2,993 mammals, 3,634 birds, 1,884 fish, 1,390 reptiles, 229 amphibians, and an uncounted number of invertebrates. 

Teaching functions of the William R. Adams Zooarchaeology Laboratory include courses which cover the fundamentals of the identification of bone and bone fragments and the interpretation of their significance. Although designed primarily for students of Anthropology, the courses have attracted students of many other disciplines, including medicine, biology, dentistry, museum studies, forensics, geology, paleontology, physical education, business, fine arts, literature, and music. Students are given the opportunity to collect, skin, flesh, macerate, clean, and catalog animal specimens as a learning experience to expose them to and familiarize them with the procedures involved in carcass processing. It also instills in them an awareness and appreciation for the tremendous amount of work and expense that is involved in preparing the comparative collections that are at their disposal. 

Your tax-deductible gift to the William R. Adams Zooarchaeology Laboratory Enrichment Fund will enable the lab to continue its anthropological research of faunal specimens.

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The Indiana University Foundation solicits tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of Indiana University and is registered to solicit charitable contributions in all states requiring registration. For our full disclosure statement, see

Gifts will be administered by the Indiana University Foundation, which represents Indiana University, including the IU School of Medicine. This is not a gift to Indiana University Health, and the Indiana University Health Foundation will not play a role in administering these accounts.