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Department of Archaeology

 

Biography

I am an archaeologist with diverse experience in geoarchaeology and landscape historical ecology in sub-Saharan Africa.

Following a BA (Hons) in Oriental Studies and postgraduate studies in geoarchaeology (MPhil & PhD, Cantab), I have held teaching and research posts in the UK, Spain, Italy, South Africa, and Denmark. I have conducted field research in Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Sardinia (Italy).

My main research interests are in landscape historical ecology, resource practices, and geoarchaeology of tropical environments. Before returning to Cambridge, I was Assistant Professor in Archaeology at UrbNet, Aarhus University.  

I am currently involved in field projects exploring: i) resource uses and ecosystem services at Great Zimbabwe; ii) resource landscapes of urban transition in Zanzibar; iii) Iron Age landscapes in SW Zambia.

As the A. G. Leventis Fellow in African Archaeology, I am developing new research on water security and urban landscapes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Research

I am currently engaged in the following research and training projects:

1)  From 2016: The long-term history of water and land management at Great Zimbabwe, with Innocent Pikirayi (Pretoria).

2)  From 2017: Urban ecology and transitions in the Zanzibar archipelago with Stephanie Wynne-Jones (York), and in collaboration with UrbNet (Aarhus). 

3)  From 2015: Geoarchaeological survey and analyses on Iron Age settlement and landscapes in the Kafue River floodplain, SW Zambia, with Jeffrey Fleisher (Rice), Matthew Pawlowicz (Virginia Commonwealth University), and Katherine de Luna (Georgetown).

Publications

Key publications: 

Edited volumes

-    Sulas F. & Pikirayi I. (eds.) 2018. Water and societies from ancient times to the present: Resilience, decline, and revival. Routledge, 402p.

-    Serreli G., Melis R. T., French C., Sulas F. (eds.) 2017. Sa massaria: Ecologia storica dei sistemi di lavoro contadino in Sardegna, 2 Vols. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 1040p.

-    Sulas F. (guest editor) 2011. Africa’s fragile heritages. Special issue, African Archaeological Review 28/1, 97p.

Articles and chapters

-    Isendahl C., Smith M. L., Stark M. T., Sulas F., Barthel S. (in press) Urban Ecology in the Ancient Tropics: Foodways and Urban Forms. In I. Douglas et al. (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Urban Ecology. Routledge.

-  Sulas F., Kristiansen S. M., Wynne-Jones S. 2019. Soil geochemistry, phytoliths and artefacts from an early Swahili daub house, Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar. Journal of Archaeological Science 103: 32–45.

-  Sulas F. 2019. Soils, plants and texts: An archaeologist’s toolbox. In C. Isendahl and D. Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology, Oxford University Press.

-  Sulas F. & Pikirayi I. 2018. Water and societies: an introduction. In F. Sulas and I. Pikirayi (eds.), Water and societies from ancient times to the present, pp. 1–14. Routledge.

-  Sulas F. 2018. Traditions of water in the highlands of the northern Horn of Africa. In F. Sulas and I. Pikirayi (eds.), Water and societies from ancient times to the present, pp. 155–175. Routledge.

-  Sulas F. 2018. Aksum, Environmental Archaeology (in). In C. Smith (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology, second edition (with updated entry). Springer.

-  Sulas F. Landscapes, archaeology and identity in Sardinia. In L. Gallinari (ed.), E pluribus unum: The Sardinian identity-making profile from the Middle Ages to Modernity, pp. 17–29. Peter Lang.

-  Sulas F. & Wynne-Jones S. 2018. Defining space in house contexts: chemical mapping at Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar. In R. Raja and S. Sindbæk (eds.), UrbNet Network Evolutions, pp. 263–270. Aarhus University Press.

-  Melis R. T., French C., Marriner N., Montis F., Serreli G., Sulas F., Vacchi M. 2018. 8000 years of coastal changes on a western Mediterranean island. Marine Geology 403: 93−108.

-  French C., Sulas F., Petrie C. 2017. Expanding the research parameters of geoarchaeology. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 9:1613–1626.

-  French C., Sulas F., et al. 2017. Evoluzione del paesaggio e insediamento nel bacino del Rio Posada. In G. Serreli et al. (eds.), Sa massaria, Vol. 1, pp. 81‒114. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche.

-  Melis R. T., French C., Sulas F. et al. 2017. Geoarcheologia e storia nel territorio di Las Plassas. In G. Serreli et al. (eds.), Sa massaria, Vol. 1, pp. 116‒144. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche.

-  Serreli G. & Sulas F. 2017. Il castrum Marmillae: un castello di confine e presidio delle risorse agricole arborensi. In G. Damiani and R. Florino (eds.), Military Landscapes pp. 398–399. Skira.

-  Sulas F., Fleisher J., Wynne-Jones S. 2016. Geoarchaeology of urban space in tropical island environments. Journal of Archaeological Science 77: 52‒63.

-  Pikirayi I., Sulas F., Musindo T. T., Chimwanda A., Chikumbirike J., Mtetwa E., Nxumalo B., Sagiya E. M. 2016. Great Zimbabwe's water. WIREs Water 3: 195–210.

-  Fleisher J. & Sulas F. 2015. Deciphering public spaces in urban contexts. Journal of Archaeological Science 55: 55‒70.

-  Sulas F. 2014. Aksum: Water and urbanization in northern Ethiopia. In T. Tvedt and T. Ostigaard (eds.), A History of Water, From Jericho to Cities in the Seas, pp. 171−195. I. B. Tauris.

-  Sulas F. 2014. Aksum, Environmental Archaeology (in). In C. Smith (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology, pp. 129−134. Springer.

-  Sulas F. 2014. Developing intra-site geoarchaeology at Songo Mnara, Tanzania. In I. Thiaw and H. Bocoum (eds.), Preserving African Cultural Heritage. University Cheikh Anta Diop Press.

-  Sulas F. & Madella M. 2012. Archaeology at the micro-scale. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 4/2: 145−159.

- Semicola L & Sulas F. 2012

-  Sulas F., Madella M., French C. 2009. State formation and water-resource management in the Horn of Africa. World Archaeology 41/1: 2−15.

-  French C., Sulas F., Madella M. 2009. New geoarchaeological investigations of the valley systems in the Aksum area of northern Ethiopia. Catena 78/3: 218−233.

-  Sulas F. 2009. Sviluppo e archeologia in Etiopia: note da Aksum. In M. G. Melis (ed.), Uomo e Territorio, pp. 134−140. University of Sassari.

-  Phillipson L., Sulas F. 2005. Cultural continuity in the Aksumite lithic tool production. Azania 15: 1−18.

 

Other publications (book reviews, etc.)

-    Sulas F. 2019. Review of: Erika Guttmann-Bond. Reinventing Sustainability: How Archaeology Can Save the Planet (Oxford & Philadelphia: Oxbow 2019). European Journal of Archaeology 22:4, 588-591. DOI: 10.1017/eaa.2019.51.

-    Wynne-Jones S. & Sulas F. 2018. Archaeological Fieldwork at Unguja Ukuu, Zanzibar, July 2017: Interim Report. Aarhus: AU Library Scholarly Publishing Services - E-books, doi: 10.7146/aul.276.191.

-  French C., Sulas F., Madella M. 2009. New geoarchaeological investigations of the valley systems in the Aksum area of northern Ethiopia. Catena 78/3: 218−233.

-  Sulas F. 2009. Sviluppo e archeologia in Etiopia: note da Aksum. In M. G. Melis (ed.), Uomo e Territorio, pp. 134−140. University of Sassari.

 

 

 

Other Professional Activities

Associate Editor, WIREs Water (Wiley Interdisciplinary Research Reviews)

Member, Scientific Steering Committee, IHOPE (Integrated History and Future of the People on Earth

 

Job Titles

Senior 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

The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Downing Street
Cambridge
CB2 3ER

Affiliations

Person keywords: 
Historical ecology
Geoarchaeology
Ethiopia
Zimbabwe
Subjects: 
Archaeology
Themes: 
Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Geographical areas: 
Africa
Mediterranean
Periods of interest: 
Iron Age
Medieval
Other Historical
Other Late Prehistory