Areas of interest
- Human osteology and palaeopathology
- Early Neolithic lifeways
- Stable isotope analysis
- Microscopy of dental calculus
Research centres and groupsDiet, Health and Life Course
Transitional lifeways and identity construction in the Early Neolithic of the Eastern Fertile Crescent. An interdisciplinary study of human diet, activity and health.
The Eastern Fertile Crescent (EFC), comprising the Zagros uplands and plains of eastern Iraq and western Iran, represents a key region for the early development of domestication and settled life. Nevertheless, most research on the so-called ‘Neolithic transition’ has concentrated on other geographical areas, and very few studies have investigated shifts in the human-environment nexus and their impact on the lived experience through an interdisciplinary analysis of human remains.
Through the primary evidence of lifeways offered by an osteoarchaeological assemblage from the site of Bestansur (c. 7700-7100 BCE), this project seeks to explore the biocultural correlates of Neolithic subsistence and lifestyle transitions at the dawn of early sedentism in the EFC. The research will combine different, multi-method approaches for the reconstruction of aspects of diet, activity and health, providing new, human-centred perspectives on a key transformational period.
The project is kindly supported by the AHRC SWW-DTP funding scheme.
Professor Roger Matthews (University of Reading)
Dr Alex Pryor (University of Exeter)
During my BA and MA studies in Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Torino (Italy), I developed a strong interest in prehistoric and protohistoric mortuary behaviours in the Middle East. My MA dissertation, which focused on Ubaid and Late Chalcolithic funerary practices in Iraq, was recommended for publication and won the prize for best Archaeology dissertation of the 2018-2019 academic year. Later on, I completed a Human Osteology and Palaeopathology MSc at the University of Bradford with Distinction, receiving the Ann Manchester Prize for high achievements in Palaeopathology and the Jason Maher Award for academic excellence in the 2019-2020 academic year. Throughout my education and training, I have learnt the importance of integrating different approaches to illuminate research questions of historical significance, striving to shed light on the lived experience of people in the past. I have previously worked as an osteoarchaeologist and collaborated on projects involving the museum sector, balancing fieldwork in Iraq with professional experiences at various institutions.