We offer a list of possible topics and areas of interest below. You are welcome to suggest your own topic of interest, provided this fits with the Department’s core interests and themes. See link here for a summary of our key research themes.
Projects can draw on a range of methods, including stable isotope analyses, dental calculus studies, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, lithic and other artefactual studies, and GIS, and may involve field and/or laboratory approaches.
Ancient land use and trade: This project will draw on historical and archaeological datasets, as well as modelling approaches, to examine the externalisation of land use impacts through long-distance trade in commodities in the pre-industrial world. This research will be undertaken in collaboration with Jed Kaplan’s ARVE group at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Arid barriers and corridors: This project will take a long-term view of the arid regions of Eurasia, drawing on climate models and archaeological data to reconstruct phases of aridity and explore their relationship to patterns of human dispersal, migration and mobility.
Biological exchange along the Silk Road: This project will explore the exchange of plants, animals or diseases across Eurasia by drawing on multidisciplinary datasets and methods.
Mobility and migration in Central Asia: This project will examine the movement of human populations across Eurasia, using biomolecular and other techniques.
Rainforests: This project will use stable isotope methodologies to reconstruct human-inhabited rainforests and human rainforest resource reliance.
Late Pleistocene palaeoenvironments and palaeoclimates: This project will examine past climates and environments during the earliest expansions of Homo sapiens throughout and beyond Africa, drawing on stable isotope and/or other datasets.
Megafauna: This project will examine the relationships of humans and megafauna, addressing megafaunal extinctions, diets and palaeonvironments, drawing on stable isotope and/or other datasets.
Arabia: This project will examine palaeoenvironments and human adaptations in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene of the Arabian peninsula, with attention on the place of Arabia in Out of Africa dispersals.
China: This project will reconstruct hominin palaeoenvironments and adaptations in Late Pleistocene and Holocene China using biomolecular techniques
South Asia: This project will examine human mobility and diet across the Late Pleistocene and Holocene of India and Sri Lanka.
Papua New Guinea: This project will develop “on-site” stable isotopic records of Late Pleistocene and Holocene forest coverage and human presence in the Highlands of New Guinea.