Dr B. Tyr Fothergill

AHRC Postdoctoral Fellow

image of Tyr teaching

BA, MA, PhD (Leicester), FHEA

Email: bf63@le.ac.uk

Telephone: 0116 252 5783

During my doctoral studies, I used archaeological and textual evidence to chart the disease and social history of the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) over a period of a thousand years. This shed new light on the translocation of the species to Europe and how it was husbanded, perceived and portrayed historically. I then pursued independent research on urban animal husbandry, the links between gender and poultry-keeping, large-scale trends in Maghrebian animal husbandry, and human-poultry relationships in post-medieval Plymouth and Belfast. In 2014, I returned to the University of Leicester for a three-year PDRA position on the AHRC-funded Science in Culture project: Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Interactions.

I have surveyed or excavated in Utah, Arizona, Jordan, Libya and Britain; this work has included Ancestral Pueblo, Roman, Garamantian and Iron Age sites in desert, semi-arid and temperate environments.


My current research involves the application of zooarchaeological approaches (including palaeopathology and osteometrics) to archaeological materials in order to create a fresh and nuanced understanding of chicken breeding and husbandry from domestication to the present day. I am also continuing to research animal palaeopathology more generally as well as North African animal husbandry.

My Doctoral Inaugural Lecture: "A Tale of Two Turkeys"

The online component for my exhibit for the Research In Translation series: Untold Innovators: contributions of women to the poultry industry. The exhibit was on display at the School for Museum Studies, University of Leicester, from June 2015 - February 2016.

I did an interview with Dr Joseph Schuldenrein on past turkey-human relationships for Voice America's Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality, and 21st-Century Archaeology (Link automatically activates audio)

Dr Catherine Flick and I were interviewed by Eleanor Flegg for RTÉ's Culture File on how archaeology and ethics inform on digital human-chicken relationships as part of The Interactive Past Conference at Leiden University, where we presented our paper Clucks and Clicks (Link automatically activates audio).

Selected Recent Publications

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