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UNF professor receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

June 8, 2021

Dr. Meier in KitchenDr. Jacqueline Meier, assistant professor of anthropology, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Grant for her project “Animals of a Late Bronze Age Household at Mycenae, Greece.” The Endowment Grant is a prestigious award that will support Meier’s research and writing of two articles on the use and treatment of animals in Late Bronze Age Mycenae in Greece.

Dr. Meier’s archaeological project will utilize animal remains recovered from the famous site of Mycenae in Greece. Mycenae is well-known for its powerful elite, described in Homer’s Iliad, and for spectacular finds such as gold masks and the carved stone “Lion Gate”. Dr. Meier has been a part of the excavation and museum research at Mycenae since 2010 through a collaboration with UC Berkeley and the Archaeological Society of Athens.

The grant project focuses on Petsas House, a Late Bronze Age household that produced and stored ceramics at Mycenae, and is a fascinating part of the archaeological site that was destroyed by an earthquake that led to the preservation of many interesting finds such as ceramic pots, clay figurines and whole dog skeletons.

In her research, Dr. Meier will study how the artisans of Petsas House lived with and used animals to support their household and express their social status. While ancient texts provide a general idea of the kind of animals available to the Mycenaeans, the archaeological remains of animals tell more about how people actually used them as companions, food and symbols in past societies. Meier’s research shows that Petsas House had access to diverse kinds of animals, including livestock, abundant shellfish and some hunted game. With these abundant kinds of food options as well as access to animal products like wool, it appears that these ancient artisans made a good living and were well supported by the local palace and wider economic systems.

Dr. Meier’s articles will contribute important new evidence to explore the state of social inequality of an early complex society and investigate social and environmental change over time.