The University of Exeter’s Archaeology department recently played host to a team meeting of the NeoMilk project, in which Professor Alan Outram and his PhD student Emily Johnson are heavily involved. The NeoMilk project investigates where and when (and indeed why) dairying arose in temperate Neolithic Europe, through lipid residue analysis of pottery and faunal analysis of carcass processing and husbandry practices. Another vital element of the project is the chronicling, mapping and correlating patterns of environmental and cultural change related to animal management and milk use.
The meeting, initially proposed as a ‘Team Bone’ meeting by zooarchaeologist Roz Gillis and organised jointly by Professor Outram and Emily, quickly snowballed and became one of the most complete whole-team meetings of the project, with a total of 15 team members in attendance. The delegates came from all over Europe; from the Universities of Exeter, Bristol, UCL and Poznan, and from the CNRS-Muséum Nationale d’histoire Naturelle in Paris. The meeting was a great chance to see how various parts of this multi-facetted, international project were progressing, with 10 of the 15 delegates presenting data. In all, the day was a great success, ending with a delightful project meal and a drink with the skeleton in the Wells House Tavern.