Archive of European Projects

Tropical Micro-Archaeology: An interdisciplinary project aiming to study site formation processes in tropical environment related to hunter-gatherers' use of space (TropicMicroArch)
Start date: 01 Jan 2015, End date: 31 Dec 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

TropicMicroArch aims to study how hunter-gatherers' ways of living are reflected in their use of space and how it affects the depositional processes of microscopic materials in tropical forests. Although hunter-gatherers' use of space has previously been studied through Ethnoarchaeology, this project proposes to study it from a new microscopic perspective with special attention given to post depositional processes. In comparison to arid, semi-arid and temperate environments, site formation processes at tropical forest open air sites have not yet been studied in detail. This project will develop methods of sediments sampling and mapping and methods of laboratories analyses of microscopic remains which will aid the archaeological research to analyze the use of space among prehistoric hunter-gatherers and to understand and observe formation processes in tropical sites.This will be achieved by conducting ethnographic and geoarchaeological fieldwork, geochemical analyses and spatial mapping. Fieldwork will centers on living and abandon settlements of a contemporary hunter-gatherer community in the tropic forests of South India. Research will take place in the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in the University of Cambridge, where the integration of humanities, social sciences and exact sciences is possible. Due to its multidisciplinary properties, this study will involve several host scientists and mentors from the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at Cambridge University, in addition to collaboration with researchers from other departments and institutes from Europe and Asia. The fellow will benefit from the interplay and integration of scientific practice and theory in Cambridge University. He will gain invaluable training and experience as a member of the McDonald Institute and the McBurney Laboratory for Geoarchaeology, where many studies related to hunter-gatherers and tropical environments are currently being held.
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