SCALE - Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and ancient Land usE

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The Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and ancient Land-usE (SCALE) is an internationally renowned centre for research into ancient plant economies and land use. Research within the centre integrates archaeology with ecology, botany, agronomy, earth sciences, genetics and ethnobotany. Pioneering innovative research with a strong ecological and ethnoarchaeological focus, SCALE members specialise in Western Asian, Mediterranean and British archaeobotany and land use. The Centre has strong collaborative links with Animal and Plant Sciences, Geography and the Department of Probability and Statistics within the University of Sheffield. Within the Centre we have reference collections for wood charcoal, pollen, phytolith and starch and a large seed reference collection. We have facilities for the study of charred and waterlogged seeds, wood charcoal, pollen, phytoliths and starch.

The Centre is composed of several permanent members of academic staff, research assistants, technicians and a strong team of PhD students. Training in archaeobotany and geoarchaeology is provided through our taught Masters programmes.

waterloggedIn particular, the Centre is focused on investigating:

• the origins of agriculture;
• the early dispersal of crops, genes, and agricultural practices;
• the role of agriculture in the development and collapse of complex societies;
• the relationship between human migration and the use of plant foods;
• production of crops and their consumption by humans and animals;
• landscape and human land-use interactions (agriculture, pastoralism etc.).

If you are interested in further information on our staff, research projects, facilities and study opportunities please use the links to the left.