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Ph.D. Student in Anthropology
John is a PhD candidate whose interests lie in the prehistory of southeastern Europe. He has worked on sites in present-day Bulgaria that range in time from the Early Neolithic (6200-5000 BC) to the late Roman period, although he focuses on earlier prehistory and the spread and establishment of farming communities in southeastern Europe.
As a zooarchaeologist, he studies the varied roles that animals play in prehistoric societies. This includes herding and hunting, animal mobility, animals as wealth, the symbolic value of animals and much more. His dissertation research combines zooarchaeology with analyses of stable isotopes and ancient animal dung in order to investigate the relationship between the location of animal communities in the physical landscape and their place in Neolithic social systems. Currently he works on the faunal material from the Neolithic site of Slatina in Bulgaria's capital Sofia, but he is also involved in both a research and supervisory capacity in the project "Consuming and producing the transition: incorporating animal resources at the turn from the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age in Southwestern Bulgaria." The project is run jointly by New Bulgarian University and the University of Heidelberg. Among the project’s many research goals is a better understanding of how systems of animal management shifted along with major social changes at the end of the 13th c. BC.
zooarchaeology, human-animal interaction, hunting and herding, Bulgaria and SE Europe, European prehistory
- Archaeology Program
* Indicates Peer review
As first author:
* Gorczyk, John, Bogdan Athanassov, and P.W. Stockhammer. “Hunting Together: Social Aspects of Hunting at a 13th-12th C. BC Fortified Site in Southwestern Bulgaria.” In Social Dimensions of Food in the Prehistoric Balkans, edited by Maria Ivanova, Bogdan Athanassov, Vanya Petrova, Desislava Takarova and P.W. Stockhammer and Maria Ivanova, Vol. Papers of the conference, Heidelberg, 2015. Oxford: Oxbow 2018.
Gorczyk, John, and Nadezhda Karastoyanova. “Faunal Report.” In Sarnevo. Pits from the Late Neolithic, the Early and Late Iron Age, and the Roman Period. Volume 1. The Late Neolithic Pit Field, edited by Krum Bacvarov, M Tonkova, and G Katsarov, 1:511–42. Archaeological Rescue Excavations for Infrastructure Projects. Sofia: NAIM-BAS, 2017.
* Bachvarov, Krum, and John Gorczyk. “Of Pits and Bones: A Ritual Pit at the Late Neolithic Site of Sarnevo in Bulgarian Thrace.” Social Dimensions of Food in the Prehistoric Balkans, edited by Maria Ivanova, Bogdan Athanassov, Vanya Petrova, Desislava Takarova and P.W. Stockhammer and Maria Ivanova, Vol. Papers of the conference, Heidelberg, 2015. Oxford: Oxbow 2018.
* Bachvarov, Krum, and John Gorczyk. “The Ritual Package at the Neolithic Pit Field of Sarnevo, South-Central Bulgaria.” In From Hunter-Gatherers to Farmers: Human Adaptations at the End of the Pleistocene and the First Part of the Holocene. Papers in Honour of Clive Bonsall, edited by Adina Boroneanţ and Margarit Mărgărit, 439–51. Targoviște: Editura Cetatea de Scaun, 2017.
* Athanassov, Bogdan, John Gorczyk, Iliya Kulov, and P.W. Stockhammer. “Eine Eberzahnlamelle Aus Der Spätbronzezeitlichen Siedlung von Bresto.” In Southeast Europe and Anatolia in Prehistory. Essays in Honor of Vassil Nikolov on His 65th Anniversary, edited by Krum Bacvarov and Ralf Gleser, 465–74. Bonn: Habelt, 2016.