About the Project
Chickens (also known as 'domestic fowl') are native to South East Asia but, today, they have a worldwide distribution. Their diffusion is almost entirely due to human-assisted transportation and, as such, their natural history is a reflection of human history.
Considerable attention has been given to charting the chicken’s eastward spread from Asia, through the Pacific islands to the Americas; however, the species’ diffusion to the west, through India, the Near East, Mediterranean and northern Europe, has been almost completely neglected: no genetic work has been undertaken and the timing and circumstances of their spread remains poorly understood.
Given the social significance of this species (whether as a provider of foodstuffs, their widespread use in cock-fighting or within magic and medicine) and their growing popularity as domestic pets, a detailed analysis of their natural and cultural history in the West is long overdue.
Such a study has the potential to inform on poultry-borne diseases, food security and environmental ethics, issues of particular importance at a time when billions of people rely on mass-produced chickens as a source of sustenance.
This project brings together researchers from a wide range of countries and disciplines - archaeology, anthropology, (art) history, biology, cultural geography, ecology, human-animal studies, philosophy, theology - to examine the social, cultural and environmental impact of this important but under-researched species.
Keep up to date with the latest project news via our Twitter feed.
- RT @RGZM_Freunde: @Chicken_project Terrifying, isn't it? 😊 Henriette https://t.co/q96EWedsnl — 1 week 1 day ago
- Week 2 of the #chickentrail check out our "Dinnersaurus rex" blog and film https://t.co/mDgVxAZFWH @CoLA_Southwark @UoNArch @morethanadodo — 1 week 6 days ago
- RT @qikipedia: In the early 1900s, American chicken farmers gave their chickens rose-tinted glasses to make them less aggressive. https://t.co/f3SztxUGRB — 2 weeks 3 days ago
- RT @ArchaeologyLisa: My first bird skeletonisation is complete! 🐦Kinda sad, broken sternum and ribs where the little guy was run over. A… https://t.co/7og2GfDTI9 — 3 weeks 1 day ago