University of Birmingham
Pests of society
Encountering evidence of infestations and damage caused by pests, both invertebrate and vertebrate, to material from archaeological and other historic environment contexts is common, yet it is less-commonly studied in its own right. Insect pests in particular are an understudied aspect of environmental archaeology, even though they have a clear potential to severely damage timbers and food products, thereby potentially reducing the lifespans of buildings and the viability of stored products.
This AEA spring conference will present a one-day series of papers which will document both modern and archaeological examples of pests, from a range of situations, such as historic buildings, museum collections, and archaeological materials (including maritime), the damage they cause and the implications of their actions.
The day conference will be followed by a day school (led by the Charcoal and Wood Work Group) where methods and approaches to identifying pests and the types of damage they cause will be explored.
David Smith (University of Birmingham)
Zoë Hazell (Historic England)
Ruth Pelling (Historic England)