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Department of Archaeology

 

Displaying 15 projects

The ways Neanderthals treated their dead have been a key focus of long-standing debates about their capacities for compassion and symbolic thought, and their similarity to modern humans. These questions feed into broader questions concerning how similar Neanderthals were to ourselves, modern humans...
A multi-disciplinary research project focusing on St. John's Hospital cemetery, Cambridge, with an aim to learn more about the lives of the medieval urban poor during the bubonic plague epidemic known as the Black Death.
Tracking the early emergence of derived Homo -like cerebral features in the hominin fossil record can be expected to contribute to an understanding of the timing (i.e., chronology) and mode (i.e., process) of critical brain changes. Because brain tissue is not preserved in the fossil record...
Our knowledge of human evolution is limited by several factors. One is tightly linked to the nature of the fossil record, as bones of our extinct human relatives and other primate species rarely appear in archaeological and paleontological sites, and when they do, they very commonly appear in an...
How did our ancestors walk? Perhaps the greatest challenge that this question has posed in the past, is the lack of methodological applications in which no study has previously reconstructed how our ancestors moved using biomechanical modelling techniques. We need to consider not just individual...
Despite recent progress in molecular analyses and the constant increase of the hominin remains in the fossil record, the chronological, geographical and evolutionary context of the emergence of the genus Homo remains largely debated. More importantly, the identity of our direct ancestors and...
Children experiencing food insecurity, repeated infections and psychosocial stress have compromised development, and increased risk for non-communicable diseases in adulthood. While public health interventions have had limited benefits, addressing this is critical, both from a public health...
As the world's remaining hunting and gathering societies interact more actively with their settled agricultural neighbours, they face major changes in their diet, mobility and community networks. The 5-year MOBILE project is studying the impact of these changes on the health and biological...
The project centres on the development and application of quantitative methods that model the emergence and extinction of technological diversity. This research builds from the premise that technological innovations can be a key mechanism for mitigating unpredictable or rapidly changing...
Our understanding of the origins of our species, Homo sapiens, has undergone a major shift. New fossils, dates and genomic studies have consolidated our African origin. Yet, they also indicate a deeper past, involving multiple events. These events stretch to nearly three quarters of a million years...
Shanidar cave viewed from the south (Photograph: Graeme Barker) The Shanidar Cave Project Following an invitation to Professor Graeme Barker from the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, the Shanidar Cave Project was established as a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the...
Traumatic death affects our daily life, but how did traumatic mortality affect human behaviour from an evolutionary perspective? TRAUMOBITA aims to understand how traumatic mortality among prehistoric humans shaped our behaviour during the Late Pleistocene to the Middle Holocene. Confirming that...
The transition from Oldowan to Acheulean technologies are hypothesised to be concomitant with advances in cognition and behaviour. However, the nature of these shifts, and their cultural and evolutionary implications are poorly defined and understood. While extensive literature exists on these...
As the complex mosaic of Quaternary human lineages across and beyond Africa becomes increasingly apparent, an accurate chronology is critical to disentangle the patterns and process, particularly those that link human evolution to palaeoenvironmental and climatic change. “Wisdom Teeth” is a NERC-...
This project aims to improve the poor integration of localized data linking various WASH dimensions (infrastructure, access, practices) and children nutritional status at the population level as well as the poor involvement of policy makers concerned with WASH in local and country level nutritional...