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Department of Archaeology




  • B.A., Anthropology major, Indigenous Studies minor, June 2007, University of British Columbia Okanagan                            
  • M.A., Archaeology, December 2010, University of Calgary                           
  • Ph.D., Anthropology, August 2015, University of Texas at Austin

As an environmental archaeologist, with an expertise in microbotanical methods, phytolith, starch analysis and microcharcoal, I am interested in how people used plants in the past. More broadly I study how people used, modified and ultimately constructed their environments and how this feedback impacts human experience and plant-use.

During my PhD I conducted phytolith analysis at several key Epipaleolithic (ca. 23-14.7 cal. BP) sites in the Levant (Israel and Jordan) to investigate hunter-gatherer plant-use throughout the climate fluctuations of the late Pleistocene.

This research led me to consider the critical role of reliable resources, particularly wetland resources, to hunter-gatherer life-ways. Building on this, my current project – H-E Interactions (funded by the European Commission under a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship) – employs a combination of microbotanical approaches, (phytolith, starch and microcharcoal analyses) and geoarchaeology, in particular micromorphology, to investigate how increasingly anthropogenic wetland landscapes and the reliable resources therein may have influenced the evolution of plant-food production and the origins of agriculture through the Final Pleistocene into the Early Holocene (ca. 23-8 ka cal. BP) in the Levant.


  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Paleoethnobotany
  • Microbotanical Analysis (phytoliths, starch and microcharcoal)
  • Residue Analysis
  • Geoarchaeology and Micromorphology
  • Human Niche Construction
  • Human-Environment Interactions
  • Hunter-Gatherers
  • Origins of Agriculture

I am presently working on a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship funded by the European Commission entitled ‘Increasingly Anthropogenic Landscapes and the Evolution of Plant-Food Production: Human-Environment Interactions during the Final Pleistocene and Early Holocene in the Levant’ (H-E Interactions):

September 2017-August 2019: H-E Interactions


Key publications: 


Ramsey, M.N., A.M. Rosen, L. Maher, D. MacDonald and D. Nadel

2018      Sheltered by the Reeds: Construction and use of a twenty thousand year old hut according to phytolith analysis from Kharaneh IV, Jordan. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 50:85-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2018.03.003

Ramsey, M.N., A.M. Rosen and D. Nadel

2017      Centered on the Wetlands: Integrating new phytolith evidence of plant-use from the 23,000-year-old site of Ohalo II, Israel. American Antiquity, 82(4):702-722. DOI: 10.1017/aaq.2017.37

Ramsey, M.N., A.M. Rosen, L. Maher and D. MacDonald

2016      Risk, Reliability and Resilience: Phytolith evidence for alternative ‘Neolithization’ pathways at Kharaneh IV in the Azraq Basin, Jordan. PLOS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164081

Ramsey, M.N. and A.M. Rosen

2016      Wedded to Wetlands: Exploring Late Pleistocene Plant-Use in the Eastern Levant. Quaternary International, 396:5-19. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.10.109

Ramsey, M.N., M. Jones, T. Richter and A.M. Rosen

2015      Modifying the Marsh: A Preliminary Evaluation of Early Epipaleolithic Hunter-Gatherer Impacts in the Azraq Wetland. The Holocene, 25:1553-1564. DOI: 10.1177/0959683615594240

Other publications: 


Laparidou, S., M.N. Ramsey and A.M. Rosen

2015      Introduction to the Special Issue: ‘The Anthropocene in the Longue Durée’. The Holocene, DOI: 10.1177/0959683615594472

Crumley, C., S. Laparidou, M.N. Ramsey and A.M. Rosen

2015 A view from the past and the future: concluding remarks on ‘The Anthropocene in the Longue Durée’. The Holocene, DOI: 10.1177/0959683615594473

Other Professional Activities

Job Titles

Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Research Associate, Darwin College

General Info

Not available for consultancy

Contact Details

Downing Street