Understanding the fundamental relationships between humans and their environment is pivotal for projecting future human-environmental interactions under a changing climate and in an increasingly populated world. In order to gain an appreciation of the relative magnitude of land cover changes associated with long term subsistence and land use, and to provide a baseline for understanding modern and future human-environment interactions, it is essential to have a large-scale picture of the timing and spatial pattern of human land uses that may have driven those changes. My postdoctoral project aims to advance our understanding of the spread of food-production, changing land use systems, and the evolution of anthropogenic landscapes and ecosystems in Southeast Africa. In October, my team (including two UQ students) excavated two sites in southern Zambia, with the specific aim of recovering organic remains for various lab analyses. In this talk I will present an overview of the project and the sites, some preliminary results, and the next steps towards building a more complete picture of the human-environment interactions of early farming communities, as well as better constrain the dates of the introduction of farming to the region.

About the presenter

Dr. Andrea Kay is a Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow hosted by both the University of Queensland and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, and received her PhD from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Her work is focused on the study of human-environment interactions over archaeological timescales, using a unique suite of interdisciplinary methods, from macro and micro scale archaeobotanical analysis to continental scale synthesis and modeling. Her current research focuses on subsistence and land use in Southern Zambia during the Initial-Early Iron Age.


About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.


Steele Building (03), UQ, St Lucia Campus

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