A.E. van Giffen as archaeozoologist


  • A.T. Clason


(p. 2)

The founder of the Biologisch-ArchaeologischInstituut (B.A.I.) of the State University of Groningen, the late Prof. Dr. A. E. van Giffen, started his scientific career at the beginning of the 20th century as a student of biology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In 1913 he concluded his doctoral research with a thesis concerning the subfossil faunal remains collected from pre- and protohistoric settlements in the clay region of the Northern Netherlands. When I was reading Van Giffen's thesis anew I was struck by the fact that he approached archaeozoological problems in a way that is, at least partly, still relevant today.

From 1920 to 1954 Prof. van Giffen was director of the B.A.I. On the recommendation of his successor, Prof. Dr. H.T. Waterbolk, systematic archaeozoological research was started in Groningen in 1959. This was 25 years ago.

So far, little attention has been paid to the archaeozoological work of Van Giffen and to his interest in zoology in general (Clason, 1973).

The object of this paper is to call attention to this part of Van Giffen's scientific career.