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Department of Archaeology

 

Biography

I took a BA in Asian History at the University of Bologna before moving in UK in 2006 to pursue a MSc in GIS and Spatial Analyses in Archaeology and a PhD in Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. After completing my doctorate in 2013, I worked as a Research Associate at UCL and as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Fellow at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. In 2016 I joined the Department of Archaeology in Cambridge as a McDonald Institute Anniversary Research Fellow and was subsequently appointed lecturer in Computational Analysis of Long-Term Human Cultural and Biological Dynamics. 

 

Research

My research interest focuses primarily on the application and development of quantitative methods in archaeology and anthropology. I apply these techniques to tackle a variety of research themes, including the study of long-term changes in settlement patterns, the reconstruction of prehistoric population dynamics, and the statistical inference of cultural transmission modes using archaeological data. I am particularly interested in the theoretical and methodological cross-fertilization between biology and archaeology within a cultural evolutionary framework and the interplay between population dynamics, migration, and cultural change.

I am currently the prinicipal investigator of the ERC-funded ENCOUNTER Project and co-investigator for the Leverhulme-funded Crops, Pollinators, and People (BuckBee) Project. 

  • Statistical Inference
  • Cultural Evolution
  • Human settlement and landscape ecology
  • Prehistoric Demography
  • Japanese Prehistory

I am also one of the main developer of rcarbon, nimbleCarbon, and other R packages

Information for Prospective Postgraduate Students

I am interested in supervising and working with PhD students that share similar methodological, theoretical, and contextual questions that I have. Whilst these broadly cover the application and development of quantitative & computational methods, cultural evolutionary research, and Japanese archaeology, I strongly recommend prospective applicants read my profile and outputs and think about specific topics that can be of shared interest. If you are just planning to apply standard statistical and computational methods I could potentially be part of the advisory team, but you will need to find a primary supervisor to cover the theoretical and contextual aspects of your project. I generally expect candidates to have a solid background in statistical inference and good computer coding skills in R, Python, or similar. If you are primarily interested in working on Japanese archaeology I will normally expect some degree of linguistic proficiency that demonstrates that you are able to read and extract information from publications in Japanese. 

 

 

 

 

Key Publications

Key publications: 

See this my personal webpage for complete list of publications and access to pdf/codes.  

Selected publications

[1] Crema, E.R., (2022). Statistical Inference of Prehistoric Demography from Frequency Distributions of Radiocarbon Dates: A Review and a Guide for the Perplexed. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-022-09559-5
[2] Crema, E.R., Shoda, S., (2021). A Bayesian approach for fitting and comparing demographic growth models of radiocarbon dates: A case study on the Jomon-Yayoi transition in Kyushu (Japan), Plos One, 16(5): e0251695.
[3] Crema, E.R., Kobayashi, K., (2020). A multi-proxy inference of Jōmon population dynamics using bayesian phase models, residential data, and summed probability distribution of 14C dates. Journal of Archaeological Science, 117, 105136.
[4] Crema, E.R., Kandler, A., Shennan, S., (2016) Revealing patterns of cultural transmission from frequency data: equilibrium and non-equilibrium assumptions. Scientific Reports 6, 39122.
[5] Crema E.R. (2014). A simulation model of fission-fusion dynamics and long-term settlement change. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory , 21, 385-404.
[6] Crema, E.R. Kerig, T., Shennan, S. (2014). Culture, Space, and Metapopulation: a simulation-based study for evaluating signals of blending and branching in archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science, 43, 289-298.
[7] Crema E.R. (2013). Cycles of change in Jomon settlement: a case study from Eastern Tokyo Bay. Antiquity, 87, 1169-1181

 

 

 

Publication

Journal articles

2024 (Published online)

  • Crema, ER., 2024 (Published online). A Bayesian alternative for aoristic analyses in archaeology Archaeometry,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/arcm.12984
  • 2024 (Accepted for publication)

  • Crema, E., Carrignon, S., Shoda, S. and Stevens, C., 2024 (Accepted for publication). Regional variations in the demographic response to the arrival of rice farming in prehistoric Japan Antiquity,
  • Crema, ER., 2024 (Accepted for publication). A Bayesian alternative for Aoristic analyses in archaeology Archaeometry,
  • 2024

  • Crema, ER., Bortolini, E. and Lake, M., 2024. How Cultural Transmission Through Objects Impacts Inferences About Cultural Evolution Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, v. 31
    Doi: 10.1007/s10816-022-09599-x
  • Crema, ER., Bloxam, A., Stevens, CJ. and Vander Linden, M., 2024. Modelling diffusion of innovation curves using radiocarbon data Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 165
    Doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2024.105962
  • Riris, P., Silva, F., Crema, E., Palmisano, A., Robinson, E., Siegel, PE., French, JC., Jørgensen, EK., Maezumi, SY., Solheim, S., Bates, J., Davies, B., Oh, Y. and Ren, X., 2024. Frequent disturbances enhanced the resilience of past human populations. Nature,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-024-07354-8
  • 2023 (Accepted for publication)

  • Bogaard, A., Ortman, S., Birch, J., Cervantes Quequezana, G., Chirikure, S., Crema, E., Cruz, P., Feinman, G., Fochesato, M., Green, AS., Gronenborn, D., Hamerow, H., Jin, G., Lawrence, D., McCoy, MD., Munson, J., Roscoe, P., Rosenstock, E., Thompson, A., Petrie, CA. and Kohler, TA., 2023 (Accepted for publication). The Global Dynamics of Inequality (GINI) project: analysing archaeological housing data Antiquity,
    Doi: 10.15184/aqy.2023.188
  • 2023

  • Kudo, Y., Sakamoto, M., Hakozaki, M., Stevens, CJ. and Crema, ER., 2023. An Archaeological Radiocarbon Database of Japan Journal of Open Archaeology Data, v. 11
    Doi: 10.5334/joad.115
  • 2022

  • Stevens, C., Crema, ER. and Shoda, S., 2022. The importance of wild resources as a reflection of the resilience and changing nature of early agricultural systems in East Asia and Europe Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, v. 10
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.1017909
  • Krzyzanska, M., Hunt, HV., Crema, ER. and Jones, MK., 2022. Modelling the potential ecological niche of domesticated buckwheat in China: archaeological evidence, environmental constraints and climate change Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, v. 31
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00334-021-00856-9
  • Bradford, DJ. and Crema, ER., 2022. Risk factors for the occurrence of sexual misconduct during archaeological and anthropological fieldwork American Anthropologist, v. 124
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1111/aman.13763
  • Crema, ER., 2022. Statistical Inference of Prehistoric Demography from Frequency Distributions of Radiocarbon Dates: A Review and a Guide for the Perplexed Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, v. 29
    Doi: 10.1007/s10816-022-09559-5
  • Marie Prentiss, A., Edinborough, K., Crema, ER., Kuijt, I., Goodale, N., Ryan, E., Edwards, A. and Foor, TA., 2022. Divergent population dynamics in the middle to late Holocene lower Fraser valley and mid-Fraser canyon, British Columbia Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, v. 44
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2022.103512
  • Crema, E., Stevens, C. and Shoda, S., 2022. Bayesian analyses of direct radiocarbon dates reveal geographic variations in the rate of rice farming dispersal in prehistoric Japan Science Advances,
    Doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adc9171
  • Silva, F., Coward, F., Davies, K., Elliott, S., Jenkins, E., Newton, AC., Riris, P., Vander Linden, M., Bates, J., Cantarello, E., Contreras, DA., Crabtree, SA., Crema, ER., Edwards, M., Filatova, T., Fitzhugh, B., Fluck, H., Freeman, J., Klein Goldewijk, K., Krzyzanska, M., Lawrence, D., Mackay, H., Madella, M., Maezumi, SY., Marchant, R., Monsarrat, S., Morrison, KD., Rabett, R., Roberts, P., Saqalli, M., Stafford, R., Svenning, JC., Whithouse, NJ. and Williams, A., 2022. Developing Transdisciplinary Approaches to Sustainability Challenges: The Need to Model Socio-Environmental Systems in the Longue Durée Sustainability (Switzerland), v. 14
    Doi: 10.3390/su141610234
  • 2021

  • Brown, AA. and Crema, ER., 2021. Māori Population Growth in Pre-contact New Zealand: Regional Population Dynamics Inferred From Summed Probability Distributions of Radiocarbon Dates Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, v. 16
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2019.1605429
  • Bevan, A. and Crema, ER., 2021. Modifiable reporting unit problems and time series of long-term human activity. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, v. 376
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0726
  • Crema, ER. and Bevan, A., 2021. Inference from large sets of radiocarbon dates: Software and methods Radiocarbon, v. 63
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.95
  • Crema, ER. and Shoda, S., 2021. A Bayesian approach for fitting and comparing demographic growth models of radiocarbon dates: A case study on the Jomon-Yayoi transition in Kyushu (Japan). PLoS One, v. 16
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0251695
  • DiNapoli, RJ., Crema, ER., Lipo, CP., Rieth, TM. and Hunt, TL., 2021. Approximate Bayesian Computation of radiocarbon and paleoenvironmental record shows population resilience on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Nat Commun, v. 12
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24252-z
  • Kim, H., Lee, G-A. and Crema, ER., 2021. Bayesian analyses question the role of climate in Chulmun demography. Sci Rep, v. 11
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-03180-4
  • 2020

  • Crema, ER. and Kobayashi, K., 2020. A multi-proxy inference of Jōmon population dynamics using bayesian phase models, residential data, and summed probability distribution of <sup>14</sup>C dates Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 117
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2020.105136
  • Lucarini, G., Wilkinson, T., Crema, ER., Palombini, A., Bevan, A. and Broodbank, C., 2020. The MedAfriCarbon Radiocarbon Database and Web Application. Archaeological Dynamics in Mediterranean Africa, ca. 9600–700 BC Journal of Open Archaeology Data, v. 8
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.5334/joad.60
  • 2019

  • Colledge, S., Conolly, J., Crema, E. and Shennan, S., 2019. Neolithic population crash in northwest Europe associated with agricultural crisis QUATERNARY RESEARCH, v. 92
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1017/qua.2019.42
  • Saag, L., Laneman, M., Varul, L., Malve, M., Valk, H., Razzak, MA., Shirobokov, IG., Khartanovich, VI., Mikhaylova, ER., Kushniarevich, A., Scheib, CL., Solnik, A., Reisberg, T., Parik, J., Saag, L., Metspalu, E., Rootsi, S., Montinaro, F., Remm, M., Mägi, R., D'Atanasio, E., Crema, ER., Díez-Del-Molino, D., Thomas, MG., Kriiska, A., Kivisild, T., Villems, R., Lang, V., Metspalu, M. and Tambets, K., 2019. The Arrival of Siberian Ancestry Connecting the Eastern Baltic to Uralic Speakers further East. Curr Biol, v. 29
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.026
  • 2017

  • Ribéreau-Gayon, A., Rando, C., Schuliar, Y., Chapenoire, S., Crema, ER., Claes, J., Seret, B., Maleret, V. and Morgan, RM., 2017. Extensive unusual lesions on a large number of immersed human victims found to be from cookiecutter sharks (Isistius spp.): an examination of the Yemenia plane crash. Int J Legal Med, v. 131
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-016-1449-6
  • Biagetti, S., Merlo, S., Adam, E., Lobo, A., Conesa, FC., Knight, J., Bekrani, H., Crema, ER., Alcaina-Mateos, J. and Madella, M., 2017. High and Medium Resolution Satellite Imagery to Evaluate Late Holocene Human–Environment Interactions in Arid Lands: A Case Study from the Central Sahara Remote Sensing, v. 9
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.3390/rs9040351
  • Bortolini, E., Pagani, L., Crema, ER., Sarno, S., Barbieri, C., Boattini, A., Sazzini, M., da Silva, SG., Martini, G., Metspalu, M., Pettener, D., Luiselli, D. and Tehrani, JJ., 2017. Inferring patterns of folktale diffusion using genomic data Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v. 114
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1614395114
  • Bortolini, E., Pagani, L., Crema, ER., Sarno, S., Barbieri, C., Boattini, A., Sazzini, M., da Silva, SG., Martini, G., Metspalu, M., Pettener, D., Luiselli, D. and Tehrani, JJ., 2017. Reply to d'Huy et al.: Navigating biases and charting new ground in the cultural diffusion of folktales Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, v. 114
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1715139114
  • Crema, ER., Bevan, A. and Shennan, S., 2017. Spatio-temporal approaches to archaeological radiocarbon dates Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 87
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2017.09.007
  • 2016

  • Manning, K., Colledge, S., Crema, E., Shennan, S. and Timpson, A., 2016. The Cultural Evolution of Neolithic Europe. EUROEVOL Dataset 1: Sites, Phases and Radiocarbon Data Journal of Open Archaeology Data, v. 5
    Doi: 10.5334/joad.40
  • Crema, ER., Kandler, A. and Shennan, S., 2016. Revealing patterns of cultural transmission from frequency data: equilibrium and non-equilibrium assumptions Scientific Reports, v. 6
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1038/srep39122
  • Biagetti, S., Alcaina-Mateos, J. and Crema, ER., 2016. A matter of ephemerality: The study of Kel Tadrart Tuareg (southwest Libya) campsites via quantitative spatial analysis Ecology and Society, v. 21
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08202-210142
  • Crema, ER., Habu, J., Kobayashi, K. and Madella, M., 2016. Summed Probability Distribution of 14C Dates Suggests Regional Divergences in the Population Dynamics of the Jomon Period in Eastern Japan. PLoS One, v. 11
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0154809
  • 2015

  • Manning, K., Timpson, A., Shennan, S. and Crema, E., 2015. Size Reduction in Early European Domestic Cattle Relates to Intensification of Neolithic Herding Strategies. PLoS One, v. 10
    Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0141873
  • Fort, J., Crema, ER. and Madella, M., 2015. Modeling Demic and Cultural Diffusion: An Introduction. Hum Biol, v. 87
    Doi: 10.13110/humanbiology.87.3.0141
  • Crema, ER. and Lake, MW., 2015. Cultural Incubators and Spread of Innovation. Hum Biol, v. 87
    Doi: 10.13110/humanbiology.87.3.0151
  • Shennan, SJ., Crema, ER. and Kerig, T., 2015. Isolation-by-distance, homophily, and "core" vs. "package" cultural evolution models in Neolithic Europe Evolution and Human Behavior, v. 36
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.006
  • 2014

  • Timpson, A., Colledge, S., Crema, E., Edinborough, K., Kerig, T., Manning, K., Thomas, MG. and Shennan, S., 2014. Reconstructing regional population fluctuations in the European Neolithic using radiocarbon dates: A new case-study using an improved method Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 52
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.08.011
  • Bevan, A. and Crema, E., 2014. Une modélisation géographiquement explicite d’interaction culturelle. Dialectes crétois modernes, archéologie de l’âge du Bronze Les Nouvelles de l'archéologie,
    Doi: 10.4000/nda.2373
  • Manning, K., Timpson, A., Colledge, S., Crema, E., Edinborough, K., Kerig, T. and Shennan, S., 2014. The chronology of culture: A comparative assessment of European neolithic dating approaches Antiquity, v. 88
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00115327
  • Crema, ER., Edinborough, K., Kerig, T. and Shennan, SJ., 2014. An Approximate Bayesian Computation approach for inferring patterns of cultural evolutionary change Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 50
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.07.014
  • Mannino, MA., Thomas, KD., Crema, ER. and Leng, MJ., 2014. A matter of taste? Mode and periodicity of marine mollusc exploitation on the Mediterranean island of Favignana (égadi Islands, Italy) during its isolation in the early Holocene Archaeofauna, v. 23
  • Crema, ER., 2014. A Simulation Model of Fission-Fusion Dynamics and Long-Term Settlement Change Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, v. 21
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-013-9185-4
  • Crema, ER., Kerig, T. and Shennan, S., 2014. Culture, space, and metapopulation: A simulation-based study for evaluating signals of blending and branching Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 43
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.01.002
  • Eve, SJ. and Crema, ER., 2014. A house with a view? Multi-model inference, visibility fields, and point process analysis of a Bronze Age settlement on Leskernick Hill (Cornwall, UK) Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 43
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2013.12.019
  • 2013

  • Crema, ER., 2013. Cycles of change in Jomon settlement: A case study from eastern Tokyo Bay Antiquity, v. 87
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00049930
  • 2012

  • Crema, ER., 2012. Modelling Temporal Uncertainty in Archaeological Analysis Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, v. 19
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-011-9122-3
  • Lake, MW. and Crema, ER., 2012. The cultural evolution of adaptive-trait diversity when resources are uncertain and finite Advances in Complex Systems, v. 15
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1142/S0219525911003323
  • Crema, ER. and Nishino, M., 2012. Spatio-Temporal Distributions of Middle to Late Jomon Pithouses in Oyumino, Chiba (Japan) Journal of Open Archaeology Data, v. 1
    Doi: 10.5334/4f8eb4078284b
  • 2010

  • Crema, ER., Bevan, A. and Lake, MW., 2010. A probabilistic framework for assessing spatio-temporal point patterns in the archaeological record Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 37
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.012
  • Book chapters

    2019

  • Kandler, A. and Crema, ER., 2019. Analysing cultural frequency data: neutral theory and beyond
    Doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-11117-5_5
  • 2016

  • Bevan, A., Crema, E., Li, X. and Palmisano, A., 2016. Intensities, interactions, and uncertainties: Some new approaches to archaeological distributions
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315431932-8
  • 2015

  • Crema, ER., 2015. Time and probabilistic reasoning in Settlement Analysis
  • Edinborough, K., Crema, ER., Kerig, T. and Shennan, S., 2015. An ABC of lithic arrowheads: A case study from southeastern France
  • Crema, ER., 2015. Modelling Settlement Rank-Size Fluctuations
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00008-4__8
  • Crema, ER., 2015. Modelling settlement rank-size fluctuations
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00008-4_8
  • 2013

  • Crema, ER. and Bianchi, E., 2013. Looking for patterns in the noise: non-site spatial analysis at Sebkha Kalbia (Tunisia).
  • Conference proceedings

    2011

  • Crema, ER., 2011. Aoristic approaches and voxel models for spatial analysis
  • Teaching and Supervisions

    Teaching: 

    I am the coordinator of the following courses:

    I also occasionally participate in the teaching of the following courses:

    • A2 Archaeology in Action
    • B1 Humans in Biological Perspective
    • G02 Core Archaeology
    • Digital Skills for Dissertation
    Research supervision: 

    I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

    Students with recent PhD Completion

    Other Professional Activities

    I am an associate editor of Journal of Archaeological Science, and member of the editorial board of Japanese Journal of Archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports and Journal of Open Archaeology Data;

    I peer-reviewed for American AntiquityAnimal Behavior, Antiquity; Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences; Current Anthropology; Environmental Archaeology; Frontiers in Digital Archaeology; Humanities and Social Sciences CommunicationsJournal of Anthropological ArchaeologyJournal of Archaeological Science; Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports; Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory; Journal of Quaternary Science​,  Nature CommunicationsNature: Scientific Reports; Nature Human Behaviour, Open Quaternary; Papers of the Institute of Archaeology; PLOS ONE; Proceedings of the Computer Applications in Archaeology ConferenceQuaternary International; Radiocarbon, Science AdvancesTheoretical Population BiologyTrends in Ecology & Evolution; World Archaeology; the National Science Foundation, and edited volumes for Ubiquity Press and Springer.  

    Job Titles

    Associate Professor in Computational Analysis of Long-Term Human Cultural and Biological Dynamics

    General Info

    Takes PhD students
    Not available for consultancy
    Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
    Archaeological Theory
    Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
    Cultural Evolution

    Contact Details

    Office G.5, Courtyard Building
    McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
    Downing Street
    erc62 [at] cam.ac.uk
    Cambridge
    CB2 3ER
    01223 (3)39335

    Affiliations

    Person keywords: 
    Cultural Evolution
    Statistics
    Computer Simulations
    Archaeological Theory
    Settlement Pattern
    Spatial Analysis
    Demography
    Japanese Prehistory
    Origins and Spread of Farming
    Subjects: 
    Archaeological Science
    Archaeology
    Biological Anthropology
    Themes: 
    Science, Technology and Innovation
    Human Evolutionary Studies
    Geographical areas: 
    East Asia
    Periods of interest: 
    Neolithic
    Other Prehistory
    Palaeolithic/Mesolithic