Hannah Chazin

Hannah Chazin

Research Interests

Research Concentrations

Human-Animal Relationships, Political Anthropology, Semiotics, Archaeological Theory and Methods, Zooarchaeology, Isotope Analysis


Eurasia, Caucasus; South Caucasus


Chazin’s current research focuses on how human-animal relationships shaped systems of value and political power and inequality in the past and how these relationships can be investigated materially through archaeology. She is also deeply interested in rigorously understanding how archaeologists use material sciences to generate understandings of the past, present, and future.

Chazin is currently writing a book manuscript that explores how pastoralists have been used as a figure to think about human nature and how that has distorted our ability to study and understand pastoralist human-animal relationships in the past. She is using her archaeological work on ancient pastoralists in the South Caucasus in the second millennium BC as a case study of how approaching pastoralism through the lens of human-animal relationships opens up new interpretive horizons. In the book, she is bringing together theoretical approaches from animal studies and material studies in order to trace the dynamic pre- and post-mortem social lives of animals in the past. These lively pastoralist lifeways (grounded in material practices) were foundational to systems of value and shaped the organization of political authority in ancient pastoralist societies in the South Caucasus, in ways not anticipated by commonsense understandings of human nature. 

She is currently the codirector of the Karashamb Animals Project, which is analyzing the animal remains including in burials in the Bronze and Iron Age necropolis at Karashamb, Armenia. Through zooarchaeological and isotopic analysis of faunals remains, the project asks what the incorporation of animals in mortuary practices can tell us about human-animal relationships in the Middle and Late Bronze Ages in the South Caucasus. Previously, she has done archaeological fieldwork in Armenia, Russia, Chile, Cambodia, and the western United States.


University of Chicago, PhD in Anthropology, 2016 
University of Chicago, MA in Anthropology, 2011

2019. Coauthor with Gwyneth Gordon and Kelly J. Knudson. “Isotopic Perspectives on Pastoralist Mobility in the Late Bronze Age South Caucasus.” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 54: 48-67.

2018. Coauthor with Soudeep Deb, Josh Falk, and Arun Srinavasan. “New Statistical Approaches to Intra-Individual Isotopic Analysis and Modeling Birth Seasonality in Studies of Herd Animals.” Archaeometry 61, no. 2: 478-493. 

2016. “The Life Assemblage: Rethinking the politics of pastoral practices.” In Incomplete Archaeologies: Assembling Knowledge in the Past and Present, edited by Miller-Bonney, E., K. Franklin, and J. A. Johnson, 28-47. Woodbridge, CT: Oxbow Press. 

2013. Coauthor with Stephen E. Nash. “Moments, Movements, and Metaphors: Paul Sidney Martin, Pedagogy, and Professionalization in Field Schools, 1926-1974.” American Antiquity 78, no. 2: 322-343.