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Dr Angela Trentacoste

Dr Angela Trentacoste

Hardie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities

I am the Hardie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Lincoln and a Research Associate in the School of Archaeology, where I am working on an ERC Starting Grant called ZooMWest – Zooarchaeology and Mobility in the Western Mediterranean: Husbandry production from the Late Bronze Age to Late Antiquity. ZooMWest is investigating how the Roman Empire was able to dramatically improve animal husbandry productivity in Western Europe. After the Roman conquest, livestock throughout the region increased significantly in size – a trend that broke from millennia of progressive size diminution after domestication. ZooMWest hypothesises that political connectivity and increased mobility allowed the Romans to improve their herds. Through a combined approach of zooarchaeological studies and isotopic and aDNA analyses, we aim to determine whether better intra-regional connectivity (e.g. improved transhumance routes and access to pasture), or the introduction of foreign stock (with a distinct DNA profile), or both, supported the dramatic improvement of Roman livestock. By establishing the relationship between political entity, mobility, genetic variability, and animal size, ZooMWest will assess the extent to which human decisions regarding mobility shaped agricultural strategies, and how protective policies impacted food production.

I completed a BA at the University of Virginia (Archaeology) and an MSc (Environmental Archaeology) and PhD at the University of Sheffield. I joined Lincoln in 2017 after two years with the Oxford Roman Economy Project (OxREP) in Classics. Previously I have held research positions with the British School at Rome and the Etruscan Foundation. As a zooarchaeologist (a person who studies animal remains from archaeological sites), my research is concerned with human–animal interaction, particularly with issues surrounding agricultural economy, husbandry production, and sacrifice/the ritual use of animals. More broadly, I am interested in mobility, specialisation, and the economic role of religious places. 

I am involved in on-going excavations throughout Italy, including field schools in Orvieto, Cerveteri, and Gravina in Puglia. At Oxford, I teach topics in Roman archaeology and bioarchaeology.

Selected publications

Trentacoste, A. (2016). ‘Etruscan appetites and demographic demands: Late Iron Age livestock husbandry in northern Italy’. European Journal of Archaeology 19(2): 279-315.

Trentacoste, A. (2016). ‘Animal Remains’. In F. Colivicchi, G.L. Gregori, M. Lanza, M., A. Lepone, M. Scalici, A. Trentacoste and C. Zaccagnino, ‘New excavations in the urban area of Caere (2012-2014)’. Mouseion 13: 359-450.

Trentacoste, A. 2013. ‘Faunal remains from the Etruscan sanctuary at Poggio Colla (Vicchio di Mugelllo)’. Etruscan Studies 16(1): 75-105.

Albarella, U. and Trentacoste, A. (eds) 2011. Ethnozooarchaeology. The Past and Present of Human–Animal Relationships. Oxford.

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