Sheffield Centre for Archaeobotany and ancient Land-usE - Research

Below is a list of research projects, past and present, conducted under the auspices of SCALE.

Active research projects

Evolutionary origins of agriculture

An ERC-funded collaborative project (the universities of Sheffield and Manchester) investigating the selective pressures driving the domestication of crops through archaeobotany, experimental ecology and DNA analysis.

Origins of agriculture

A NERC-funded collaborative project that aims to develop an ecological model for crop domestication.

Out of Asia

A NERC-funded dating project investigating the timing and routes of the spread of agriculture from its point of arrival in SE Europe across the continent to NW Europe.

Functional Ecology

A NERC-funded project that developed techniques for the identification of ancient land-use through the functional ecology of crop weeds.

Previous research projects

Crop stable isotope: new approaches

A NERC-funded collaboration to investigate ancient farming practices and land-use patterns via the effects of manure input and water availability on the stable isotope ratio of nitrogen and carbon respectively.

Integrated Archaeobotanical Research

A EU Marie Curie funded project to design an integrated research strategy for archaeobotanical remains and create a web-based training package for archaeobotanical researchers and students.

Domestication of Europe

A NERC-funded Consortium project that involves the phylogrographic analysis of modern barley and the analysis of DNA from ancient crop remains.

Utilisation of ancient DNA

A joint project between Sheffield and Manchester universities developing methods for the utilisation of ancient DNA from charred seeds in the study of phylogenetics and population genetics of cultivated plants.

Site-specific research

Çatal Höyük (Turkey)

Çatal Höyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic site in Central Anatolia, excavated by Prof. Ian Hodder (Stanford University) since 1993. Çatal Höyük is a rare example of an early farming community, and its highly significant archaeobotanically assemblage is studied by SCALE.

Tell Brak (Syria)

Tell Brak is a large Late Bronze Age site in northern Syria, currently being excavated under Dr Augusta McMahon (Cambridge University). Archaeobotanical work at Tell Brak is being conducted by members of SCALE in association with the University of Oxford and University of Copenhagen

Assiros Toumba (Greece)

Assiros Toumba is a Bronze and Iron Age site in Northern Greece, excavated by Dr K. Wardle (Birmingham University). The archaeobotanical material from the site is one of the projects being studied within SCALE.