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Department of Archaeology


Agriculture in Africa faces multiple challenges. Climate extremes, ecosystem degradation and population growth continually prompt calls for the urgent transformation of food systems. Mainstream attempts remain focused on modernising paradigms in ways that overlook historic and contemporary smallholder practice as primary sources of innovation. This project challenges this narrative, adopting an archaeological framework to reconceptualise smallholder innovation as an iterative historic process harnessable as a mechanism for future agricultural design. Landscape surveys, object analysis and oral histories will explore shifting agrarian lifeways in Elgeyo-Marakwet, Kenya, to understand how farmers creatively innovate in the face of changing social and ecological conditions.


Leverhulme Trust/Newton Foundation

Team Members

Dr Matthew Davies

Dr David Kay

Dr Wilson Kipkore

Mr Timothy Kipkeu Kiprutto

Mr Joseph Kimutai Cheptarus

Mr Benny Shen

Project Lead

Project Tags

Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Material Culture
Periods of interest: 
Other Historical
Geographical areas: 
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Socio-Politics of the Past
Archaeological Theory
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies
Cultural Heritage
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