View Chapters

Book: The Sheep People

Chapter: Understanding Animals: Perception, Sentience and Anthropomorphism

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.26512


Chapter 2 presents a case for the sentience of animals, based upon recent research from various disciplines outside of archaeology, such as biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology and neuroscience. An in-depth discussion of anthropomorphism problematises the normative scientific view of the essentialist difference between humans and other animals. Anthropomorphism is situated in examples from past societies throughout history in order to make a case for different perceptions of animals in pre-humanist societies. Further, neuroscience and biology are drawn upon to make a case for inter-species physiology - notably mirror neurons and the hormone oxytocin.

Chapter Contributors

  • Kristin Armstrong Oma ( - kaoma) 'University of Stavanger'