Amy Styring is now a Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. Her project is entitled: ‘Refining crop isotopic approaches to understanding past farming practice: gaining an archaeological insight into agricultural sustainability in West Africa’. She is using isotope analysis of modern and ancient crops to reconstruct past farming practice in the Sahel region of West Africa. The aim is to gain an understanding of the long-term effects of climatic and environmental change on agricultural sustainability, in a region that today is vulnerable to the repercussions of global warming.
‘From domestication to Domesday: Celebrating recent archaeological research on early farming funded by the European Research Council’
An evening of talks, refreshments and ‘agricultural tours’ through the Pitt Rivers Museum, March 13th, 5-7:30 pm
How did farming emerge in prehistory, and what impact did it have on people, plants, animals and landscapes? Recent research in the School of Archaeology has tackled these questions and revealed new and surprising answers. Our work has ranged from the domestication of the dog by late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers to the establishment of cultivation and herding in diverse settings from the Middle East to western Europe, and the first ‘enclosure movement’ in Britain — the emergence of Bronze Age field systems. Funded by the European Research Council, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in the week of March 13-17, 2017, this research has fresh implications for how we think about farming today and plan for future food security.
Brief informal talks by three ERC project grant holders in the School of Archaeology at Oxford — Greger Larson, Amy Bogaard and Chris Gosden — will be followed by wine, canapes and small group tours through the Museum Court displays, highlighting some of the collection’s lesser known objects and stories relating to farming from all over the world.
Three members of the AGRICURB team will jointly present work on long-term agroecological records and climate change as a new perspective that can inform the design of future agrosystems and food security. Amy Bogaard will present a talk co-authored with Elizabeth Stroud and Amy Styring entitled, ‘Long-term archaeobotanical records of agricultural practice under changing climatic conditions: Case studies from western Asia and Europe’.
We are collaborating with Sam Bowles (Santa Fe Institute) and Mattia Fochesato (NYU Abu Dhabi) on quantification of material wealth inequality for the archaeological sites and sequences included in the AGRICURB project. This collaboration grew out of a paper presented at the 2016 SAAs, in a session entitled ‘Inequality from the bottom up’ organized by Tim Kohler and Mike Smith. The session was selected for further development in an intensive Amerind Foundation seminar in September, 2016. We are developing the hypothesis that extensive, land-limited farming sustained higher levels of inequality than intensive, labour-limited systems.
Amy Bogaard received a research award for recent work investigating the nature of prehistoric farming in western Eurasia (‘From First Farmers to First Cities: New Insights into the Agricultural Origins of Urban Societies in Western Eurasia’) at the Shanghai Archaeology Forum in December, 2015. This collaborative work has developed through two consecutive research projects: ‘Crop stable isotope ratios: new approaches to palaeodietary and agricultural reconstruction’ (NERC NE/E003761/1; co-Investigators Michael Charles, Richard Evershed, Tim Heaton, Glynis Jones) and the ongoing ERC-funded AGRICURB project (‘The Agricultural Origins of Urban Civilization’). Amy Styring, who worked on both projects, presented the research and received the award in Shanghai. For more information about the Second Shanghai Archaeology Forum, see: