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Josie Handley – University of Reading

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  • Archaeology Postgraduate Students

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Josie Handley

Testing the resilience of traditional agriculture in the Peruvian Andes to periods of climate change and human activity.

3 year research project testing the resilience of traditional irrigated agricultural systems in the Peruvian Andes, to periods of past climatic change throughout the late-Holocene, and assessing the implications of this to food security at present day. This is a joint project with the University of Exeter, funded though the AHRC SWW DTP. Methods being employed include archaeology, ethnography, and palaeoecology, specifically; pollen, non-pollen palynomorphs, and phytolith analysis. Some micro-XRF analysis is also being carried out with the help of the British Oceanography Sediment Core Research Facility (BOSCORF) in Southampton.


About Me:

 I have a BSc in Environmental Science and a MSc in Environmental Archaeology, from the University of Reading. At undergraduate, I completed a dissertation looking for evidence of pre-Columbian agriculture in the Llanos de Moxos Region of the Bolivian Amazon, using paleo-fire records. This sparked my interest in the interactions between people and the environment in the past and led me to undertake a MSc in Environmental Archaeology. During my masters, I worked on a dissertation of a similar theme, but this time focusing on the Peruvian Andes region. My research examined the relationship between the environment and late-Holocene societal changes in the Andes, with a specific focus on the levels of human land use in association with agriculture and metalworking. Before I started my PhD I also gain a year's experience of working as an Executive Administrator at the University of Reading.

Research Interests:

  • Palaeoecology.
  • Food Security.
  • Pre-Columbian Archaeology.

Research Groups:

Tropical Palaeoecology Research Group



126 Wager Building

Twitter: @JosieHandley 

Linked in


Professor Nicholas Branch (University of Reading)

Professor José Iriarte (University of Exeter)


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