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Department of Archaeology



I first studied archaeology as an Undergraduate at the Institute of Archaeology in London, before completing my PhD at Cambridge. My main background is within prehistoric and historical agricultural using botanical material from archaeological sites. I worked extensively within the British Isles including for Cambridge Archaeological Unit, and Wessex Archaeology. Along the way I also worked on archaeobotanical material from Pharaonic Egypt, and Etruscan Italy.

More recently I have worked on domestication and the spread of domesticated crops within China and Africa, as well as on Western Asia, Central Asia and Europe in general. Before coming back to Cambridge I was teaching World Archaeology and academic writing in China and writing a textbook for Chinese students on Western Asia, European, South Asian and African archaeology. 


I am currently employed on the ENCOUNTER PROJECT investigating the transition to agriculture within Japan.  I am still actively involved within domestication research, particularly on Asian and African millets and also the spread of crops within East Asia and Africa. 

My main research interests lie in the exploration of agricultural transitions and the use of radiocarbon data, climatic data and population structure within the analysis of these transitions.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Journal Articles since 2010

Stevens, C.J., Shelach-Lavi, G., Zhang, H., Teng, M, Fuller, DQ (2021) A model for the domestication of Panicum miliaceum (common, proso or broomcorn millet) in China. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 30: 21–33

Allaby, R.G., Stevens, C.J. and Fuller, D.Q. (2020). A novel cost framework reveals evidence for competitive selection in the evolution of complex traits during plant domestication. bioRxiv.

Li W, Zhou L, Lin YH, Zhang H, Zhang Y, Wu X, Stevens C, Yang Y, Wang H, Fang YM, Liang FW (2020) Interdisciplinary study on dietary complexity in Central China during the Longshan Period (4.5–3.8 kaBP): New isotopic evidence from Wadian and Haojiatai, Henan Province The Holocene, 0959683620970252

Barron, A; Fuller, DQ; Stevens, C; Champion, L; Winchell, F; Denham, T; (2020) Snapshots in time: MicroCT scanning of pottery sherds determines early domestication of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) in East Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science , 123 , Article 105259

Scott, M., Botigué, L., Brace, S., Stevens, C.J., Stevenson, A., Thomas, M., Fuller, DQ, Mott, R. (2019). Whole genome sequence from 3,000-year-old Egyptian emmer wheat reveals dispersal and domestication history. Nature Plants. 2019 Nov 5(11):1120-1128.

Fuller, DQ, Stevens, C.J. (2019). Between Domestication and Civilization: The role of agriculture and arboriculture in the emergence of the first urban societies. Vegetation History & Archaeobotany 28(3): 263–28

Brass, M., Fuller, DQ, MacDonald, K., Stevens, C., Adam, A., Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, I., Abdallah, R., Alawad, O., Abdalla, A., Gregory, I.V, Wellings, J., Hassan, F., and Abdelrahman, A. (2019). New findings on the significance of Jebel Moya in the eastern Sahel. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 54(4), 425-444.

Smith O, Nicholson WV, Kistler L, Mace E, Clapham A, Rose P, Stevens C, Ware R, Samavedam S, Barker G, Jodan D, Fuller D, Allaby RG, (2019).  A domestication history of dynamic adaptation and genomic deterioration in sorghum. Nature Plants 5: 369-379. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 54(4):425-444.

Murphy, C., Fuller, DQ, Stevens, C., Gregory, T., Parracho, F.  Silva, Dal Martello, R., Song, J., Bodey,  AJ. and Rau, C. (2019). Looking Beyond the Surface: Use of High Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography on Archaeobotanical Remains. Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica 10(1): 7-18.

Shelach-Lavi G, Teng M, Goldsmith Y, Wachtel, I., Stevens, C.J., Marder, O., Wan, XF., Wu, XH, Tu, DD, Shavit, R., Polissar, R., Xu, H., and Fuller, DQ. (2019) Sedentism and plant cultivation in northeast China emerged during affluent conditions. PLoS ONE 14(7):e0218751

Dal Martello, R., Min, R., Stevens, C., Higham, C., Higham, T., Qin, L., Fuller, DQ (2018). Early agriculture at the crossroads of China and Southeast Asia: Archaeobotanical evidence and radiocarbon dates from Baiyangcun, Yunnan. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 20, pp. 711-721.

Ellis, EC, Magliocca, NR, Stevens, CJ, Fuller DQ. (2018) Evolving the Anthropocene: linking multi-level selection with long-term social–ecological change. Sustainability science 13(1): 119-128.

Fuller, D.Q, Lucas L., Gonzalez Carretero, L., and Stevens, C. (2018). From intermediate economies to agriculture: trends in wild food use, domestication and cultivation among early villages in southwest Asia. Paleorient 44(2): 59-74

Winchell, F., Brass, M., Manzo, A., Beldados, A., Perna, V., Murphy, C., Stevens, C., and Fuller DQ (2018). On the origins and dissemination of domesticated sorghum and pearl millet across Africa and into India: a view from the Butana Group of the far eastern Sahel. African Archaeological Review 35(4): 483-505.

Brass, M., Adam, A.H, Fuller, DQ, Stevens, C., Hassan, F., Kozieradzka-Ogunmakin, I., Abdallah, R., Alawad, O., Abdalla, A., Wellings, J., and Abdelrahman, A. (2018). Jebel Moya: new excavations at the largest pastoral burial cemetery in sub-Saharan Africa. Antiquity 92(365): e6.

Bevan, A., Colledge, S., Fyfe, R., Fuller D.Q, Shennan S., Stevens, C.J. (2017) Holocene fluctuations in human population demonstrate repeated links to food production and climate. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA 114(49):. E10524-E10531

Arroyo-Kalin, M., Stevens, CJ, Wengrow, D., Fuller, DQ., and Wollstonecroft, M. (2017). Civilisation and Human Niche Construction. Archaeology International 20: 106–109.

Fuller D.Q and Stevens, C.J. (2017) Open for Competition: Domesticates, Parasitic Domesticoids and the Agricultural Niche. Archaeology International 20: 110–121. DOI:

Stevens C.J., Fuller, DQ. (2017) The spread of agriculture in Eastern Asia: Archaeological bases for hypothetical farmer/language dispersals. Language Dynamics and Change. 152-186

Allaby, R.G. Stevens, C.J., Lucas, L., Maeda O., Fuller D.Q (2017) Geographic mosaics and changing rates of cereal domestication. Philospohical Transactions of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences) 372(1735),

Winchell, F., Stevens, C., Murphy, C., Champion, L., Fuller, D. (2017). Evidence for Sorghum Domestication in Fourth Millennium BC Eastern Sudan: Spikelet Morphology from Ceramic Impressions of the Butana Group. Current Anthropology 58(5): 673-683

Stevens, C., Murphy, C., Roberts, R., Lucas, L., Silva, F., Fuller, D. (2016). Between China and South Asia: A Middle Asian corridor of crop dispersal and agricultural innovation in the Bronze Age. The Holocene 26(10): 1541–1555). doi:10.1177/0959683616650268

Tanaka, K., Stevens C.J., Iwasaki, S. Akashi, Y., Yamamoto, E., Dung, T.P., Nishida, H., Fuller DQ and Kato, K. (2016). Seed size and chloroplast DNA of modern and ancient seeds explain the establishment of Japanese cultivated melon (Cucumis melo L.) by introduction and selection. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 63 (7), 1237-1254

Fuller, D.Q., Kingwell-Banham, E., Lucas, L., Murphy, C., Stevens, C.J. (2015). Comparing Pathways to Agriculture. Archaeology International, 18 (0), 61. doi:10.5334/ai.1808

Yang, X., Ma, Z., Li, J., Yu, J., Stevens, C.J., Zhuang, Y. (2015). Comparing subsistence strategies in different landscapes of North China 10,000 years ago. The Holocene 25(12): 1957-1964. doi:10.1177/0959683615596833

Silva, F., Stevens, C.J., Weisskopf, A., Castillo, C., Qin, L., Bevan, A., Fuller, D.Q. (2015). Modelling the Geographical Origin of Rice Cultivation in Asia Using the Rice Archaeological Database. PLOS ONE 10 (9), doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137024

Stevens, C., Fuller, D., (2015). Alternative strategies to agriculture: the evidence for climatic shocks and cereal declines during the British Neolithic and Bronze Age (a reply to Bishop). World Archaeology, 47 (5), 856-875. doi:10.1080/00438243.2015.1087330

Fuller, D., Denham, T., Arroyo-Kalin, M., Lucas, L., Stevens, C., Qin, L. et al. (2014). Convergent evolution and parallelism in plant domestication revealed by an expanding archaeological record. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, 111 (17), 6147-6152.

Grant, M.J., Stevens, C.J., Whitehouse, N.J., Norcott, D., Macphail, R.I., Langdon, C., ...Crowder, J. (2014). A palaeoenvironmental context for Terminal Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic activity in the Colne Valley: Offsite records contemporary with occupation at Three Ways Wharf, Uxbridge. Environmental Archaeology, 19 (2), 131-152. doi:10.1179/1749631413Y.0000000015

Stevens, C.J., Fuller, D.Q. (2012). Did Neolithic farming fail? The case for a Bronze Age agricultural revolution in the British Isles. ANTIQUITY, 86 (333), 707-722.

Miller, R., Zwyns, N., Otte, M., Stevens, C.J., Stewart J/ (2012). La sequence mésolithique et néolithique du Trou Al’Wesse (Belgique): résultats pluridisciplinaires: The Mesolithic and Neolithic sequence at TrouAl’Wesse(Belgium):  Multidisciplinary results. L’Anthropologie 116(2): 99-126 doi:10.1016/j.anthro.2012.03.004.

Grant M.J. and Stevens C.J. (2012) Illuminating the hidden secrets of the London Olympic Park: significance of the environmental archaeology investigations, Association for Environmental Archaeology 118: 18-23

Barclay, A.J., Stevens, C.J., S.F. Wyles (2011). An Early Bronze age field System from Monkton Road, Minster, Thanet, and an Early Date for the Cultivation of Spelt. PAST 69: 2-3.

Fuller, D.Q., Allaby, R.G., Stevens, C. (2010). Domestication as innovation: The entanglement of techniques, technology and chance in the domestication of cereal crops. World Archaeology 42 (1), 13-28. doi:10.1080/00438240903429680

Peer Reviewed Book Chapters (from 2007)

Fuller, D, Champion, L., and Stevens C. (2019). Comparing the tempo of cereal dispersal and the agricultural transition: two African and one West Asian trajectory. Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH

Stevens, C.J. Fuller, DQ. (2019). The Fighting Flora: An Examination of the Origins and Changing Composition of the Weed Flora of the British Isles. In: Lightfoot E, Fuller DQ and Liu X (eds) 2018: Far from the Hearth. Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs), pp. 23-36.

Fuller, DQ. Stevens, C.J. (2019). The Making of the Botanical Battleground: Domestication and the Origins of the World’s Weed Floras In: Lightfoot E, Fuller DQ and Liu X (eds) 2018: Far from the Hearth: Essays in Honour of Martin K Jones (Cambridge: McDonald Institute Monographs), pp. 9-22

Stevens, C.J., Fuller, DQ. (2018). Sorghum and Pearl Millet. In: López Varela, S. L. (ed.) The SAS Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. DOI: 10.1002/9781119188230.saseas0542

Fuller, D.Q, Stevens, C.J., (2018). Sorghum Domestication and Diversification: A current archaeobotanical perspective. In Mercuri, A.M., D’Andrea, C., Fornaciari, R., Höhn, A.H. (eds.), Plants and People in the African Past: Progress in African Archaeobotany. New York: Springer, pp.427-452

Beldados, A., Manzo, A., Murphy, C., Stevens CJ, and Fuller, DQ. (2018). Evidence of sorghum cultivation and possible pearl millet in the second millennium BC at Kassala, eastern Sudan. In Mercuri, A.M., D’Andrea, C., Fornaciari, R., Höhn, A.H. (eds.), Plants and People in the African Past: Progress in African Archaeobotany. New York: Springer, pp. 503-528

Fuller, DQ., Colledge, S., Murphy, C., Stevens, C. (2017). Sizing up cereal variation: patterns in grain evolution revealed in chronological and geographical comparisons. In Miscelánea en homenaje a Lydia Zapata Peña (1965-2015). (pp. 131-149). Bilbao: Universidad Del País Vasco.

Fuller, D.Q., Stevens, C., Lucas, L., Murphy, C.A., Qin, L. (2016). Entanglements and entrapment on the pathway towards domestication. In Der, L., Fernandini, F. (Eds.), Archaeology of Entanglement. (pp. 151-172). Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Stevens C.J., Wyles, S.F. (2016). Environmental Archaeology. In Leivers, M. and Powell, A.B. A (Eds.) Research Framework for the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites World Heritage Site:  Avebury Resource Assessment. (pp.25-39), Wessex Archaeology Monograph 38. Salisbury.

Stevens, C. J., Clapham, A. J. (2014). Botanical Insights into the Life of an Ancient Egyptian Village. Excavation Results from Amarna. In Stevens, C.J., Nixon, S., Murray, M.A., Fuller, D.Q. (Eds). (2014). The Archaeology of African Plant Use: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop of African Archaeobotany. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Fuller, D., Stevens, C.J., McClatchie, M. (2014). Routine activities, tertiary refuse, and Labor organization. Social inferences from everyday archaeobotany. In Madella, M., Lancellotti, C., Savard, M. (Eds.), Ancient Plants and People. Contemporary Trends in Archaeobotany. (pp. 174-217). Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Stevens, C.J. (2014). Intersite Variation within Archaeobotanical Charred Assemblages: A Case Study Exploring the Social Organization of Agricultural Husbandry in Iron Age and Roman Britain. In Marton, J.M., d’Alpoim Guedes, J. Warinner, C. (Eds.) Method and Theory in Palaeoethnobotany (pp. 235-254). Boulder: University Press of Colorado. doi:10.5876/9781607323167.c012

Fuller, D. Q., Stevens, C.J. (2009). Agriculture and the development of complex societies. In Fairbairn A., Weiss E. (eds). From Foragers to Farmers. Papers in Honour of Gordon C. Hillman. (pp. 37-57). Oxbow Books, Oxford.

Clapham, A.J., Stevens, C.J. (2009). Dates and confused: does measuring date stones make sense? In Ikram, S., Dodson, A. (Eds) Beyond the Horizon: Studies in Egyptian Art, Archaeology and History in Honour of Barry J. Kemp. (pp. 9–27). Cairo: Supreme Council of Antiquities, vol. 1.

Schuster, J., Stevens, C.J. (2009) A medieval type of Grubenhaus bakery/kitchen from Kent. In Freeden, U. von, Friesinger, H., Wamers, E. (eds), Glaube, Kult und Herrschaft. Phänomene des Religiösen im 1. Jahrtausend n. Chr. in Mittel- und Nordeuropa, Kolloquien zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte 12. Bonn: Habelt, 511–5

Stevens, C.J. (2007). Reconsidering the evidence: Towards an understanding of the social contexts of subsistence production in Neolithic Britain. In Colledge, S. and Conolly, J. (eds.) The origin and spread of domestic plants in Southwest Asia and Europe. (pp. 375-389). Walnut Creek: Left Coast press

Edited Volumes and Books

Powell A.B., Barclay, A.J., Mepham, L., Stevens, C.J. (2015). Imperial College Sports Ground and RMC Land Harlington. The development of prehistoric and later communities in the Colne Valley and on the Heathrow Terraces. Wessex Archaeology Report 33. Salisbury.

Stevens, C.J., Nixon, S., Murray, M.A., Fuller, D.Q (Eds). (2014). The Archaeology of African Plant Use: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop of African Archaeobotany. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Andrews, P., Mepham, L., Schuster, J., Stevens C.J. (2011). Settling the Ebbsfleet Valley: HS1 excavations at Springhead and Northfleet, Kent – the late Iron Age, Roman, Saxon and medieval landscape Vol. 4: Post-Roman finds and environmental reports. Oxford/Salisbury: Oxford/Wessex Archaeology.

Barnett, C., McKinley J.I., Stafford, E., Grimm, J. M., Stevens C.J. (2011). Settling the Ebbsfleet Valley High Speed 1 Excavations at Springhead and Northfleet, Kent The Late Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, and Medieval Landscape. Oxford/Salisbury: Oxford/Wessex Archaeology

Wright, J., Leivers, M., Seager Smith, R., Stevens, C.J., (2009). Cambourne New Settlement: Iron Age and Romano-British settlement on the clay uplands of West Cambridgeshire, Wessex Archaeology Report 23. Salisbury, Wessex Archaeology.

Wilkinson, K.N., Stevens C.J. (2nd Ed 2008). Environmental archaeology: approaches, techniques and applications. Tempus: Stroud.

Wilkinson, K.N., Stevens C.J. (2007). 환경 고고학 [Environmental Archaeology]. Korean Translation by Seungmo Ahn and Deok-im Andong. Seoul: Hakyoun Cultural History Publishing



Job Titles

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies

Contact Details

cjs1000 [at]


Person keywords: 
Archaeobotany, Environmental Archaeology, Domestication, Agriculture
Science, Technology and Innovation
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Geographical areas: 
Central Asia
East Asia
Egypt and Sudan
Mesopotamia and the Near East
South Asia
Periods of interest: 
Classical - Roman
Copper/Bronze Age
Iron Age
Other Historical
Other Late Prehistory
Other Prehistory