Oxford archaeologists have carried out pioneering work on the remains of humans, plants, animals and insects from archaeological sites. This work includes investigation of ancient diets on the basis of stable isotope values in bone and teeth, development of techniques for analyzing ancient DNA, modeling of diagenetic alteration in bone and work on novel methods of analyzing bone amino aids for dating and dietary studies. Current bioarchaeological research at Oxford combines these key methods with ecological, ethnographic and historical approaches to reconstruct past diet, land use and lifestyles in their evolutionary and social context.
Current research projects based in various parts of the world include study of hominin and early human diet and residence patterns; primate ecology; the emergence and dispersal of modern humans; lifeways during Glacial periods; the emergence of cemeteries and other sedentary behaviours toward the end of the last Glacial; skeletal evidence for interpersonal violence in later prehistory; freshwater reservoir effects in the Iron Gates of the Danube; the timing and nature of the transition from hunting and gathering to farming; the spread of plants and animals through long-distance maritime trade; and reconstruction of daily and ritual life from Pompeii and Herculaneum to Roman and Anglo-Saxon communities of the Upper Thames valley.
The Agricultural Origins of Urban Civilization (AGRICURB)
Crop Stable Isotope Ratios: New approaches to palaeodietary and agricultural reconstruction
Measuring the Isotopic Landscape
Neolithic Çatalhöyük – Economic Integration and Cultural Survival
Interpersonal Violence in Neolithic NW Europe
Cultivating Societies: Assessing the evidence for agriculture in Neolithic Ireland
Cemeteries and Sedentism
Early Farming in SE and Central Europe
Environmental Archaeology of Pompeii and Herculaneum
Mass migration & apartheid in Anglo-Saxon Britain?: an ancient DNA re-evaluation
Knossos Gypsades Excavation
Feeding Anglo-Saxon England: The Bioarchaeology of an Agricultural Revolution
An innovative approach for the study of culinary practices in past societies (CUISINE)