Dr Catherine Longford

ERC Post-doctoral Research Associate

PhD in Archaeobotany (2015, The University of Sheffield)

MSc in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy (2007, The University of Sheffield)

BA/BSc (Hons) (2005, The University of Melbourne)

Email address: c.longford@sheffield.ac.uk

Department address:

Department of Archaeology
University of Sheffield
Minalloy House
10 – 16 Regent Street
S1 3NJ
United Kingdom



I have a BA/BSc with majors in Archaeology, Geology and an Honours degree in Botany (2005) from the University of Melbourne. After I completed an MSc in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy (2007) at the University of Sheffield, I was employed within the Archaeology Department as a Marie Curie Research Fellow in Archaeobotany researching roots and tubers as part of the ‘Integrated Archaeobotanical Research’ project (2007-09) and then as a Research Officer in Archaeobotany (2009-10). My PhD (2015), also at the University of Sheffield, focused on the plant economy of the Kura-Araxes within the context of Bronze Age Near Eastern archaeobotany. I am currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate working with Professor Glynis Jones as part of the University of Manchester ERC funded ADAPT project led by Professor Terry Brown. The ADAPT project is using genetic and archaebotanical data to investigate how certain crops were able to adapt, and why others may have failed to adapt, to the change in climate as agriculture spread across Europe during the Neolithic.

Prior to joining the ADAPT project, I worked as the post-excavation supervisor for Headland Archaeology in their Midland and West office. I also work within the Department as a contractor for the Sheffield Archaeobotanical Consultancy as a plant macroremains and charcoal specialist. I have been involved as an archaeobotanist in field projects in Turkey, Georgia, Israel, Bulgaria and the UK at sites dating from the Neolithic to Medieval period.

Professional Roles:

Member of the Association of Environmental Archaeologists.
Member of the British Institute at Ankara.
Member of the Palestinian Exploration Fund.
Member of the Centre for British Research in the Levant.


Research Interests

I have specialised in Near Eastern archaeology and ancient agriculture, in particular the Bronze Age Kura-Araxes culture. More broadly I am interested in agricultural decision-making, crop choices and risk management in ancient societies, food and identity (both archaeological and modern) and the spread of agriculture.

I am a member of several international archaeological teams being the project archaeobotanist for Tel Beit Yerah, Israel (Tel Aviv University), GAIA (Georgian-Australian Investigations in Archaeology, The University of Melbourne and Tbilisi State Museum), and the Tundzha Regional Archaeology Project, Bulgaria (Macquarie University, Australia). I am also project archaeobotanist for the Roman Families Project based in Credenhill, Herefordshire UK.

My main areas of interest include:

  • Near Eastern archaeology
  • Archaeobotany
  • Kura-Araxes culture
  • Bronze Age Caucasus and Anatolia
  • Food and Identity
  • Crop choices

Research Projects/Collaborations:

Georgian-Australian Investigations in Archaeology (GAIA) Chobareti. Professor Tony Sagona University of Melbourne and Dr Kakha Kakhiani Otar Lordkipanidze Centre for Archaeological Research (Tbilisi)

Tel Beit Yerah Research and Excavation Project. Dr Rafi Greenberg Tel Aviv University, Dr Sarit Paz Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project Dr Shawn Ross and Dr Adela Sobotkova Macquarie University

Roman Families Project, Credenhill Christopher Atkinson Community Heritage and Archaeology Consultancy


  • 2014 Centre for British Research in the Levant Travel Grant for ‘Plant Economy and Environment of Tel Beit Yerah’
  • 2013 Palestine Exploration Fund Travel Grant for ‘The Tel Beit Yerah Archaeobotany Project’.


Publications list

Connor, S., Longford, C. Thomas, I. (In Press) “Prehistoric plant use and highland vegetation change in the Pasinler Valley, eastern Anatolia.” Festschrift for Professor Antonio Sagona, Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supplement (Louvain: Peeters Press)

Longford, C. (2013) “Environmental Investigations 2012 Analysis and results”, in Kakhiani, K., Sagona, A., Sagona, C., Kvavadze, E., Bedianashvili, G., Massager, E., Martin, L., Herrscher, E., Martkoplishvili, I., Birkett-Rees, J., Longford, C. “Archaeological Investigations at Chobareti in southern Georgia, the Caucasus.” Ancient Near Eastern Studies 50, 1-138 (46-48)

Connor, S., Ross, S., Sobotkova, A., Herries, A., Mooney, S., Longford, C., Iliev, Ilia. (2013) “Environmental conditions in the SE Balkans since the Last Glacial Maximum and their influence on the spread of agriculture into Europe.” Quaternary Science Reviews 68, 200-215.

Longford, C., Drinnan, A., Sagona, A. (2009) “The Archaeobotany of Sos Hoyuk, Turkey: A preliminary study.” In Fairbairn A., O’Connor S., and Marwick, B. (eds) New Directions in Archaeological Science (Terra Australis 28). ANU E-press: Canberra, 121 – 136.

Fairbairn, A., Longford, C., Griffin, B. (2007) “Archaeobotany at Kaman-Kalehoyuk 2006.” Anatolian Archaeological Studies 16, 151-157.