Thursday, 5 December 2019

New project: TerraSAgE: Terraces as Sustainable Agricultural Environments.

I am excited to announce a new AHRC research project starting at Newcastle in January, TerraSAgE: Terraces as Sustainable Agricultural Environments.The project is led by PI Prof. Sam Turner, and I am one of the project coIs, overseeing the geoarchaeological aspects of the project. Sam and his team have been doing pilot studies for this project for a while now, developing a new OSL dating method to understand the chronology and formation of agricultural terraces from prehistory to historic periods. I became involved in the project last year to advise on geoarchaeological and soil science approaches to the analysis of archaeological and historic terraces. The major aims of the project are to understand how and when terraces were constructed and how they were maintained and managed, and how this varies in different geographic regions, and in different time periods. We also want to understand why terracing developed, and conversely, why it was abandoned in some places but not others, and whether this agricultural technology enabled communities to develop a greater resilience to economic and ecological instability. The project is a real team and interdisciplinary effort, and I look forward to welcoming a new team of geoarchaeology researchers to Newcastle next year.

We found out about the funding a few months ago but for various reasons I haven't had a chance to make a proper announcement. But now two of the PDRA jobs have gone live, so I thought it was time to spread the news. One of the PDRAs is in Geoarchaeology, focused on sediment micromorphology and related methods. The other is in landscape Archaeology, and will focus on GIS as well as contrbuting to other aspects of the geoarchaeology work. At a later date we will be advertised for a technician to help process the thin section samples, and another PDRA based at St Andrews who will be working on OSL dating.

Job adverts can be found here: Geoarchaeology and Landscape Archaeology.