This coming thursday- October 24th- at the University of Pittsburgh, Michael MacKinnon, Professor of Anthropology and Classics at the University of Winnipeg will be presenting a lecture. The topic will be pets in Ancient Rome. The lecture is sponsered by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Institute of Archaeology and the University of Pittsburgh's Classics department.
So if you have an interest in pets, Ancient History, or Archeology it is worth your time. Professor Michael MacKinnon has been published in the American Journal of Archeology and the Journal of Roman Archeology, and has worked on over 50 archaeological digs in the Mediterranean.
That is this Thursday, October 24, 2013 4:30 p.m., WWPH 3415: Wesley W. Posvar Hall, near Hillman Library just off the Schenley Plaza on Forbes Avenue.
This lecture integrates archaeological, ancient textual, and artistic evidence to provide a holistic assessment of the distribution, perception, breeding, and treatment of pet animals during the Roman antiquity. The concept of what constituted a "pet" animal is explored. The varieties and types of pet animals, as well as the specialized role each may have fullfilled, are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the diversity of pet dogs, especially small toy breeds of dogs. One may be struck by the parellels to how many treat pet dogs today, in turn inspiring larger reflections about the emotional connection to and the need to care for, venerate, cherish, pamper and dote upon pets.
Michael MacKinnon (PhD University of Alberta) reconstructs the role of animals in antiquity through integrative analyses involving ancient textual, artistic, and archaeological data. He has worked at more than 50 different sites in the ancient Mediterranean, from the west to the east, including excavations in Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, and Egypt. He specializes in zooarchaeology, examining animal bones from archaeological sites. Publications include "Production and Consumption of Animals in Roman Italy: Integrating the Zooarchaeological and Textual Evidence" (2004; Journal of Roman Archaeology, Supplement Series 54), and "State of the Discipline: Osteological Research in Classical Archaeology." American Journal of Archaeology 111: 473-504. Dr. MacKinnon works extensively in both the ancient Greek and Roman context. He has held posts as Rome Scholar (British School at Rome) and Malcolm H. Wiener Professor (American School of Classical Studies at Athens).