David C Orton

Institute of Archaeology
University College London
+44 (0)7_817 427 921 (UK)
+381 (0)62 8_609111 (Serbia)
Curriculum Vitae

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David C Orton

I'm an archaeological researcher with a wide range of interests, from the Neolithic Balkans and Turkey to medieval northern Europe, and from human-animal relations theory to bioarchaeology and archaeological statistics. My main specialism is zooarchaeology - the analysis of animal remains from archaeological sites. While I see this primarily as a tool for understanding past societies, I'm also increasingly interested in using zooarchaeological data to inform contemporary ecology.

I currently work as a research associate on the ERC-funded EUROFARM project at UCL, which is looking at the development of the first farming societies in the western Balkans in terms of transmission of innovations. This is a return to the area in which I completed my PhD in 2008: my thesis addressed hunting and herding practices, settlement development, and social change in the Neolithic Balkans, especially Serbia.

In between times I spent three years working for James Barrett at Cambridge on zooarchaeological and biomolecular evidence for fishing and fish trade in the medieval period. Despite being a major departure from my Neolithic research, I have become very involved in this topic and intend to maintain an interest in medieval historical ecology in the future. I obtained my own funding to expand our Baltic case study, and was invited onto the steering committee of the History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) project on the strength of this work. I also recently conducted an additional project looking at the potential implications of archaeological data for contemporary environmental conservation and campaigning, with fisheries research as the main case study.

Meanwhile, I'm also involved in research in Turkey, with an ongoing commitment as the faunal analyst for the current West Mound project at Çatalhöyük.