Accessibility statement


Jiri photographing sheep


York has a tradition of research in zooarchaeology that goes back to the early 1980s, pioneered by Terry O'Connor, Andrew 'Bone' Jones, and others at the Environmental Archaeology Unit. Today, zooarchaeology is an intengral part of BioArCh, allowing us to integrate traditional osteology with the full range of innovative biomolecular approaches available at York. We also work closely with the functional anatomists at CAHS, giving York zooarchaeologists access to facilities for geometric morphometrics and anatomical modelling. 

BioArCh boasts a dedicated zooarchaeological laboratory, housing the bulk of our reference collections and associated equipment. We also maintain an extensive teaching collection in the PalaeoHub facility, where we have access to larger teaching laboratories for our undergraduate programmes and the MSc in Zooarchaeology,

Rachelle zooarchaeology fish bones 720x250px


Our vertebrate reference collection features over 1700 specimens from more than 550 taxa, and includes index collections for fish, birds, and mammals. Please contact us if you would like to consult the collection for research purposes, specifying YZL specimen codes where applicable. Nb. the database below contains only the most common fields; we hold additional data about many specimens.

YZL reference collection database - external version

sheep skulls in the reference collectionpart of the bird index collection

Contact details

Dr David Orton
Lecturer in Zooarchaeology
Archaeology (BioArCh)
University of York
Wentworth Way
Y010 5DD

Tel: 01904 328619