Archaeology Data Service
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NERC EFCHED project, no data delivered aside from metadata.
Advanced computer modelling of hominin dispersal from Africa: integrating archaeological and palaeoclimatic simulations
The project aim was to develop process-based computer simulations of the dispersal of Homo erectus out of Africa. This involved developing realistic constraints on the patterns of vegetation and the effects of changes in global sea level. It was assumed that this migration out of Africa could be investigated through the paradigm of a single migration event, starting around 2 millions of years ago and arriving in Dmanisi around 1.8 millions of years ago. The data archived here consists of the vegetation patterns used in constructing the simulations and the patterns of climate variability used to constrain the variations in sea level and vegetation change. From these data it is possible to reproduce the simulation results. Simulation results are available from J.K. Hughes, A. Haywood, S.J. Mithen, B.W. Sellwood, P.J. Valdes (In Press) Investigating Early Hominin Dispersal Patterns : developing a framework for climate data integration. Journal Of Human Evolution.
The spectacular botanical preservation and long occupation of Qasr Ibrim, Egypt make this site archaeobotanically matchless. 600 samples have been collected over 20 years covering a timespan of c. 1000 BC - AD 1800. The project has particularly focussed on the period AD 100-400 during which several new summer crops including sorghum, cotton, lablab and sesame first appear. These new crops are thought to be associated with the introduction of new irrigation technology, specifically a device known as the saqia, an ox-driven water wheel from which descends a conveyor belt to which pots are attached. It has never before been possible to examine this crucial change archaeologically and this project has allowed the investigation of when and how this great change happened. This has major implications for the history of agriculture in Africa and the Indian Ocean.
To reconstruct the maternal demographic history of the populations of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelagos using genetic profiles obtained from colonial era skeletal material and hair collections. The project had two main technical arms: to obtain authentic DNA data from well-handled museum collections of human material, which were a priori presumed to be heavily contaminated; to use the data to fill in lacuna in the genetic landscape left by large-scale demographic decline caused by disease and social disruption associated with the modern era. The major aim of the interpretative phase of the project was to obtain realistic estimates for the date of settlement of these island groups based on genetics because of the absence of reliable archaeological evidence. The main aim of this research was to determine whether the Andaman islanders were part of a very early radiation from Africa or arrived to their archipelago much later. The Nicobars were included in the research to have a comparative data set from the same region from people with a different phenotype. The data set is comprised of mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and coding region Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms.
Searching for traces of the Southern Dispersal: environmental and historical research on the evolution of human diversity in southern Asia and Australo-Melanesia
This research sought to explore the pattern of population movement (direction, rate, permanency) along a hypothesised route from Africa to Australasia during Oxygen Isotope Stage 4. Using GIS-based analyses and hypothetical models of population movement, potential routes out of East Africa were generated and examined. The goal of these analyses was to assess the viability of particular routes, and consider them in terms of ecological and geographical constraints. As a result, several routes through Africa, Arabia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australasia were proposed and evaluated. These routes have been further examined with regards to archaeological site location, the timing of human presence in South Asia, and biological indicators of human diversity.
The Ancient Biomolecules Initiative is a Natural Environment Research Council programme exploring the biomolecular record of past life which is entombed in archaeological and geological deposits. The findings have applications in archaeology, anthropology, forensic science, research into the past climates and oil exploration. This resource consists of a series of leaflets in PDF format which describe the key findings of the Ancient Biomolecules Initiative.
Scope This database compiles, from published sources, the sample records of archaeobotanical (plant) remains from archaeological sites located in southwest Asia, central Anatolia and Cyprus dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic or earlier. Research The database contributes directly to the following publication, and users are referred to that article for further information on the development and intended use of the database: Wallace, M., Jones, G., Charles, M., Forster, E., Stillman, E., Bonhomme, V., Livarda, A., Osborne, C., Rees, M., Frenck, G., Preece, C. (submitted). Re-analysis of archaeobotanical remains from pre- and early agricultural sites provides no evidence for a narrowing of the wild plant food spectrum during the origins of agriculture in southwest Asia. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. Funding This database was developed during two projects based at the University of Sheffield, funded by a European Research Council (ERC) grant 'The Evolutionary Origins of Agriculture' (grant no. 269830-EOA, PI Glynis Jones, University of Sheffield) and a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant 'Origins of Agriculture: an Ecological Perspective on Crop Domestication' (grant no. NE/H022716/1, PI Colin Osborne, University of Sheffield). The database builds on an earlier database compiled by Sue Colledge during 'The Origin and Spread of Neolithic Plant Economies in the Near East and Europe' project (AHRB, PIs Stephen Shennan and James Conolly, University College London) and the 'Domestication of Europe' project (NERC, PI Terry Brown, University of Manchester). Citation When using data included in this database the original publication(s) of the data should be cited. Original publications can be identified in the tables '4_Records (samples)' and '5_References'. The authors would be grateful if this database is cited in addition to the original publication(s). Disclaimer This database is a compilation of data as presented by other researchers. Inclusion in this database does not constitute an endorsement of the data or the researchers. The authors of the database do not take responsibility for any adverse outcome due to transcription or other errors introduced in the creation of this database. When using the database the original source of data should be checked to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data included in the database
This project aimed to investigate whether the present chronological data for late Mousterian sites in Europe are biasing our perception of Neanderthal populations by making them appear more cold-adapted than the incoming anatomically modern Early Upper Palaeolithic humans. In this study we focused on the part of the Neanderthal world that experienced the most continental climatic environments - namely, European Russia north of the Black Sea - for it is in such a region that the environmental preferences, in particular tolerance to temperature, are most discernible. By applying a series of cross-validated non-14C chronological methodologies (OSL, TL, palaeomagnetic intensity, and tephrostratigraphy) to late Middle Palaeolithic assemblages the project sought to identify spatial and temporal patterning which, when correlated with local environmental proxies and wider climate data, would provide a better understanding of Neanderthal climate tolerances. The project has produced a suite of new age determinations from a selection of archaeological sites that had previously undergone investigation and which were available to sample without requiring new excavations; the corresponding data on the cultural, lithic and environmental associations of the new age measurements derive mostly from earlier existing studies.