Eleni Asouti

Eleni Asouti
University of Liverpool | UoL · School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology

MSc, PhD

About

41
Publications
45,598
Reads
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1,891
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
1153 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
Introduction
Eleni Asouti is Professor of Archaeology at the Department of Archaeology, Classics & Egyptology, University of Liverpool. He research interests focus on the early prehistory and palaeoecology of Southwest Asia, especially the northwest Zagros and southeast Anatolia, from the LGM to the early Holocene. She also specialises in anthracology: the study of archaeological wood charcoal macro-remains as proxies of past woodland vegetation and cultural selection of wood as fuel and raw material.
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - September 2021
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Reader
October 2012 - September 2016
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Senior Lecturer
January 2006 - September 2012
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology

Publications

Publications (41)
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter tackles one of the most enduring questions posed by prehistoric archaeology worldwide attracting the interest of prehistorians, anthropologists, economists, geographers and natural scientists alike: how and why did late Palaeolithic societies abandon long-lived and highly successful foraging and hunting economies in order to adopt farm...
Article
Full-text available
The multi-period (~38,000–6000 cal BP) site of Franchthi Cave, located in the Argolid peninsula of southern mainland Greece, is unique in the Eastern Mediterranean for preserving a long archaeological sequence extending from the Upper Palaeolithic through to the end of the Neolithic period. In this paper, we present new anthracological (carbonized...
Article
Full-text available
Palegawra cave, alongside its neighbouring Zarzi, has been an emblematic site of the Epipalaeolithic (Zarzian) cultural horizon in the NW Zagros of Southwest Asia ever since its first exploration in 1951 by Bruce Howe and Robert Braidwood in the context of the Iraq-Jarmo project. At the time scientific excavation, sampling and analysis methods were...
Article
Full-text available
Southeast Anatolia is home to some of the earliest and most spectacular Neolithic sites associated with the beginning of cultivation and herding in the Old World. In this article we present new archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological data from Gusir Höyük, an aceramic Neolithic habitation dating to the 12th-late 11th millennia cal BP. Our results sh...
Article
Full-text available
Research on Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer diet has focused on the consumption of animals. Evidence for the use of plant foods is comparatively limited but is rapidly expanding. The authors present an analysis of carbonised macro-remains of processed plants from Franchthi Cave in the Aegean Basin and Shanidar Cave in the north-west Zagros Mountains....
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter we discuss the vegetation history and palaeoecology of Anatolian woodlands, focusing on insights gained through the analysis of anthracological remains from prehistoric habitation sites. In the semi-arid regions of Anatolia, anthracology provides direct evidence of the presence and spread of pioneer woodland species, which often go...
Poster
Full-text available
The Archaeology Department of the University of Liverpool has carried out two groundbreaking projects that have improved our understanding of how human culture developed in ancient times. Playing a key role in that research has been the KEYENCE VHX-7000 Series Digital Microscope, the world's first 4K ultra-high accuracy microscope.
Article
Full-text available
Mortuary behavior (activities concerning dead conspecifics) is one of many traits that were previously widely considered to have been uniquely human, but on which perspectives have changed markedly in recent years. Theoretical approaches to hominin mortuary activity and its evolution have undergone major revision, and advances in diverse archeologi...
Article
Full-text available
The role of the environment in shaping agricultural origins is still not fully understood, despite a century of debate on this topic. Comparison of the expected prevalence of a resource in the landscape with actual archaeological presence of the same resource can provide a metric for assessing resource choice in prehistory. However, the palaeoenvir...
Article
Full-text available
Significance We demonstrate that the initial spread of farming outside of the area of its first appearance in the Fertile Crescent of Southwest Asia, into Central Anatolia, involved adoption of cultivars by indigenous foragers and contemporary experimentation in animal herding of local species. This represents a rare clear-cut instance of forager a...
Article
Full-text available
We review and evaluate human adaptations during the last glacial-interglacial climatic transition in southwest Asia. Stable isotope data imply that climatic change was synchronous across the region within the limits of dating uncertainty. Changes in vegetation, as indicated from pollen and charcoal, mirror step-wise shifts between cold-dry and warm...
Article
Full-text available
Palynological archives dating from the Pleistocene-Holocene transition are scarce in the arid zone of the southern Levant. Anthracological remains (the carbonized residues of wood fuel use found in archaeological habitation sites) provide an alternative source of information about past vegetation. This paper discusses new and previously available a...
Article
Full-text available
The evidence for the slow development from gathering and cultivation of wild species to the use of domesticates in the Near East, deriving from a number of Epipalaeolithic and aceramic Neolithic sites with short occupational stratigraphies, cannot explain the reasons for the protracted development of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent. The botanic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the results of a spatiotemporal study of a burnt building at the site of Çatalhöyük, South Central Turkey. Burnt structures are interesting on the site because of the unusual pattern of deposition of material culture at the final point of closure, as well as the potential for extraordinary preservation of organic remains not usu...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the only substantive evidence for the Epipalaeolithic of central Anatolia. This evidence allows revised understandings of phenomena often proposed as characteristic of the Epipalaeolithic of South-west Asia including the appearance of sedentism, a putative Broad Spectrum Revolution, intensive plant exploitation and the emergenc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a critical overview of past and current approaches to the study of early agriculture in the Neolithic of South-west Asia through the application of archaeobotanical science. It outlines a number of novel propositions concerning the integration of archaeobotanical datasets with other sources of evidence and their contextual inter...
Article
Full-text available
The scale and nature of early cultivation are topics that have received relatively limited attention in research on the origins of agriculture. In Southwest Asia, one the earliest centers of origin worldwide, the transition to food production is commonly portrayed as a macroevolutionary process from hunter-gatherer through to cultivator-forager and...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have suggested that domestication was a slower evolutionary process than was previously thought. We address this issue by quantifying rates of phenotypic change in crops undergoing domestication, including five crops from the Near East (Triticum monococcum, T. dicoccum, Hordeum vulgare, Pisum sativum, Lens culinaris) and six crops fr...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the archaeobotanical record of the transition from foraging to farming in the southern Levant. The concise presentation of the published botanical evidence follows a critical assessment of: (a) the nature of Epipalaeolithic plant management strategies, (b) the place of the southern Levant in the polycentric development of Near Ea...
Article
Full-text available
The Holocene fire regime is thought to have had a key role in deforestation and shrubland expansion in Galicia (NW Spain) but the contribution of past societies to vegetation burning remains poorly understood. This may be, in part, due to the fact that detailed fire records from areas in close proximity to archaeological sites are scarce. To fill t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we summarize recent archaeobotanical work at Neolithic-Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia, Turkey, with particular attention to on-site activities surrounding plant storage and consumption. In situ concentrations of plant material recovered from several burnt houses offer insights into choices made in the placement, scale and d...
Book
This volume introduces the ecological history of woodland vegetation in South India. It incorporates a critical overview of the theories of ecological on the subcontinent while detailing the history of long-term changes in the tree and shrub vegetation of the Indian peninsula that have resulted from climate change and the impact of human activities...
Article
Full-text available
This article aims to provide a critical evaluation of the influence of the culture-historical paradigm in the Neolithic archaeology of Western Asia through the reassess -ment of currently established theoretical concepts, notably the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) interaction sphere, demic diffusion and acculturation. It is argued that these concep...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper the significance of the analysis of archaeological wood charcoal macro-remains as a tool for the reconstruction of woodland vegetation and its exploitation is discussed. Drawing from both older and more recent publications a number of theoretical and methodological approaches are examined. It is suggested that greater integration of c...
Article
Full-text available
Wood charcoal from stratified layers at Akrotiri is helping to map the ecology of the island of Santorini before the volcanic eruption in the second millennium BC which brought Bronze Age settlement to an end. Far from being treeless like today, the island had a relatively moist and cool climate with diverse vegetation including open oak woodland....
Article
Full-text available
Analysis of charred plant macro-remains, including wood charcoals, cereals, seeds, tubers and fruits from the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük has indicated complex patterns of plant resource use and exploitation in the Konya plain during the early Holocene. Evidence presented in this paper shows that settlement location was not dictated by proximity t...
Article
Full-text available
The results produced by charcoal analysis are used in conjuction with pollen evidence, geomorphological data and ecological analogues, in order to reconstruct ancient woodland vegetation in the Konya Basin and its surroundings during the Neolithic. Emphasis is placed on the structure, diversity and seasonal habit of different vegetation types, as w...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The main aim of LASTHUNTER is to investigate the chronology, habitation patterns, material culture, subsistence economies and palaeoenvironments of the last hunter-gatherers of the NW Zagros from the LGM to the start of the Holocene, and their involvement in the transition to farming in the Taurus-Zagros region.
Project
Researching the pre-agricultural communities and palaeoenvironment of the NW Zagros during the late Pleistocene and the start of the Holocene (~20,000-10,000 cal BP)