Graeme Barker

Graeme Barker
University of Cambridge | Cam · McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

About

299
Publications
57,999
Reads
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5,766
Citations
Citations since 2017
22 Research Items
2325 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
October 2004 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • I retired as Director of the McDonald Institute in October 2014 but remain a Senior Fellow. I am also a Professorial Fellow at St Johns College, Cambridge.

Publications

Publications (299)
Article
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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....
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Résumé Le Moustérien du Zagros est un complexe lithique techno-typologique du Paléolithique moyen trouvé dans les montagnes du Zagros, en Irak et en Iran. Il est associé à des restes squelettiques de Néandertaliens dans quatre sites archéologiques, dont le plus célèbre est la grotte de Shanidar. Sa chronologie pose problème, mais tout porte à croir...
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Training animals to pull agricultural equipment and wheeled transport significantly shaped and advanced human economic systems. In this context the use of large domestic animals such as cattle was a milestone event in human history, part of what Sherratt memorably termed the Secondary Products Revolution: the use of the products of live animals suc...
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This paper examines the patterns of Etruscan urbanism by the innovative use of newly available rural data, employing rank size, and indices of centralization. The detailed case study looks at the development of urbanism of pre-Roman Etruria where both robust and delicate urbanism were present alongside one another. To achieve this end, the paper wi...
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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...
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Shanidar Cave in Iraqi Kurdistan became an iconic Palaeolithic site after Ralph Solecki’s discoveries in 1951-1960 of 10 Neanderthals, some of whom he argued had died in rockfalls and others–controversially–buried with formal burial rites, including one with flowers. New excavations began in 2015. In 2018 the team discovered the articulated upper b...
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Osseous remains of medium‐sized Caprinae and Antilopinae are often found in late Quaternary archaeological sites in the northeast Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas, but their accurate taxonomic identification poses considerable problems to zooarchaeologists. Building on previous osteomorphological studies and a statistically significant number of...
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The recovery of a seed grinding stone from human occupation layers dating to c.31 ka in the Haua Fteah cave on the coast of the Gebel Akhdar massif in northeast Libya sheds new light on the subsistence practices of modern humans in North Africa. An integrated study of usewear and organic residue analysis confirms the use of the tool for seed grindi...
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Oxygen isotope analysis (d 18 O) of caprine and bovine tooth enamel carbonates from the Haua Fteah cave (Gebel Akhdar massif, northeast Libya) reveals significant differences in palaeoseasonality during the last c. 70 ka. Data indicate different phases of human occupation of the region occurred under notably different climatic conditions. During th...
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Whilst there has been significant interest in the origins and spread of the Aurignacian industry, usually linked with the dispersal of anatomically modern humans into Europe, comparatively little attention has been paid to possible origins or movements further east. Recent work at Shanidar Cave, a site better known for the Neanderthal evidence disc...
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Archaeological shell middens are particularly important for reconstructing prehistoric human subsistence strategies. However, very little is known about shellfish processing, especially when related to the use of fire for dietary and disposal purposes. To shed light on prehistoric food processing techniques, an experimental study was undertaken on...
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The use of cattle labour in antiquity is a worldwide well-discussed topic among researchers as it can shed light on the possible development trajectories of our communities over the past several millennia. Zooarchaeology can play a vital role in illuminating the history of cattle traction through observed pathologies on cattle bones linked to tract...
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The use of cattle labour in antiquity is a worldwide well-discussed topic among researchers as it can shed light on the possible development trajectories of our communities over the past several millennia. Zooarchaeology can play a vital role in illuminating the history of cattle traction through observed pathologies on cattle bones linked to tract...
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READ ONLY OPEN ACCESS AT: rdcu.be/xl8s Understanding the timing, conditions, and characteristics of the Middle to Later Stone Age (MSA/LSA) transition in North Africa is critical for debates regarding the evolution and past population dynamics of Homo sapiens, especially their dispersals within, out of, and back into, Africa. As with many cultura...
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The Neanderthal remains from Shanidar Cave, excavated between 1951 and 1960, have played a central role in debates concerning diverse aspects of Neanderthal morphology and behaviour. In 2015 and 2016, renewed excavations at the site uncovered hominin remains from the immediate area where the partial skeleton of Shanidar 5 was found in 1960. Shanida...
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Shanidar Cave contains one of the most important Palaeolithic archaeological sequences in West Asia. During renewed excavations of Baradostian (Upper Palaeolithic) layers in the cave, an incised land-snail shell fragment was recovered. A natural cause seems unlikely and it does not appear likely to reflect palaeoeconomic functions. It is suggested...
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Shanidar Cave contains one of the most important Palaeolithic archaeological sequences in West Asia. During renewed excavations of Baradostian (Upper Palaeolithic) layers in the cave, an incised land-snail shell fragment was recovered. A natural cause seems unlikely and it does not appear likely to reflect palaeoeconomic functions. It is suggested...
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Terrestrial gastropods are problematical for radiocarbon ( ¹⁴ C) measurement because they tend to incorporate carbon from ancient sources as a result of their dietary behavior. The ¹⁴ C ecology of the pulmonate land snail, Helix melanostoma in Cyrenaica, northeastern Libya, was investigated as part of a wider study on the potential of using terrest...
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The paper presents the results of optical dating of potassium-rich feldspar grains obtained from the Haua Fteah cave in Cyrenaica, northeast Libya, focussing on the chronology of the Deep Sounding excavated by Charles McBurney in the 1950s and re-excavated recently. Samples were also collected from a 1.25 m-deep trench (Trench S) excavated during t...
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SETTLEMENT ON THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST - Mercuri ( L.), González Villaescusa ( R.), Bertoncello ( F.) (edd.) Implantations humaines en milieu littoral méditerranéen: facteurs d'installation et processus d'appropriation de l'espace (Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge). Actes des XXXIVe rencontres internationales d'archéologie et d'histoire d'Antibes,...
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Rainforests are often described as the world's last virgin landscapes; however hunter-gatherers may have been modifying these environments for over 50,000 years. Despite this, the antiquity of early tropical forest exploitation by hunter-gathers and the transition to farming are still poorly understood. Today globalization drives deforestation of r...
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Borneo has a 50,000-year record of Homo sapiens' interactions with rainforest on the coastal lowlands assembled especially by the interdisciplinary investigation of the archaeology and palaeoecology of the Niah Caves on the coastal plain of Sarawak (Barker et al., 2007; Barker, 2013). More recent work by many of the same team in the interior of Bor...
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Archaeological and molecular data suggest that horses were domesticated comparatively recently, the genetic evidence indicating that this was from several maternal haplotypes but only a single paternal one. However, although central to our understanding of how humans and environmental conditions shaped animals during domestication, the phenotypic c...
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Book synopsis: Kurdistan is home to some of the most important archaeological sites in the world, ranging from the Stone Age to the most recent past. While in earlier decades this exceptional potential did not receive the degree of attention which it merited, the past ten years has seen a burgeoning of cuttingedge archaeological field projects acro...
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Excavations at Haua Fteah cave in Cyrenaica , Libya , have revealed a cultural sequence that may span the last glacial–interglacial-glacial cycle. The TRANS-NAP project has been re-excavating Haua Fteah and conducting geoarchaeological survey of an ecologically diverse landscape that includes the fertile Gebel Akhdar and littoral, pre-desert, and d...
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The Gebel Akhdar massif in Cyrenaica, northeast Libya, has yielded a long record of human occupation going back at least 100,000 years. To date, there is only a limited understanding of how the landscape of the region varied in response to the climatic fluctuations of the last glacial–interglacial cycle, and the implications of these changes for lo...
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The North African region offers up essential data for the study of the origins of the earliest forms of plant exploitation. Data available from several Saharan and coastal areas in the region have revealed that the arrival of domestic wheat and barley from the Levant during the Mid Holocene did not replace the exploitation of autochthonous wild pla...
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Book synopsis: This book is the companion volume to Rainforest Foraging and Farming in Island Southeast Asia: the Archaeology of the Niah Caves, Sarawak. Together they present the results of new fieldwork in the caves and new studies of finds from earlier excavations, a project that has involved a team of over 70 archaeologists and geographers. Rai...
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Book synopsis: This book is the companion volume to Rainforest Foraging and Farming in Island Southeast Asia: the Archaeology of the Niah Caves, Sarawak. Together they present the results of new fieldwork in the caves and new studies of finds from earlier excavations, a project that has involved a team of over 70 archaeologists and geographers. Rai...
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One of the more persistent gaps in our knowledge of prehistoric human adaptation to tropical environments is the lack of developed models of early forager mobility and site function in Southeast Asia. This situation has been perpetuated, partly by the practical constraints that working in the humid tropics places of identifying and excavating new a...
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The palaeoclimate of the Gebel Akhdar massif, in Cyrenaica, northeast Libya, is investigated using the stable oxygen isotope ratio (δ18O) of herbivore tooth enamel from the archaeological faunal assemblages of the Haua Fteah and Hagfet ed Dabba caves. Samples accumulated through human activity at the sites, thus climatic interpretations are in dire...
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The seasonal pattern of shellfish foraging at the archaeological site of Haua Fteah in the Gebel Akhdar, Libya was investigated from the Epipaleolithic to the Neolithic via oxygen isotope (d 18 O) analyses of the topshell Phorcus (Osilinus) turbinatus. To validate this species as faithful year-round palaeoenvironmental recorder, the intra-annual va...
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One of the most basic but problematic issues in modern morphometrics is how many specimens one needs to achieve accuracy in samples. Indeed, this is one of the most regularly posed questions in introductory courses. There is no simple and certainly no absolute answer to this question. However, there are a number of techniques for exploring the effe...
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In this paper, we show that oxygen isotope ratios from the shell carbonate of the land snail Helix melanostoma reflect local rainfall parameters. Stable oxygen isotopes were measured in the body fluid (δ18Obody) and shells (δ18Oshell) of live-collected H. melanostoma along a north-south transect across the Gebel Akhdar in northeast Libya. δ18Obody...
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Horden Peregrine & Purcell Nicholas . The corrupting sea: study of Mediteranean history. xiv + 761 pages, 1 figures, 36 maps, 6 tables. 2000. Oxford & Malden (MA): Blackwell; 0-631-13666-5 hardback £ 70 & $ 74.95, 0-631-21890-4 paperback £ 24.99 & $ 34.95. - Volume 75 Issue 287 - Graeme Barker
Article
In this study we compare carbon isotope values in modern Helix melanostoma shell carbonate (δ13Cshell) from the Gebel al-Akhdar region of Libya with carbon isotope values in H. melanostoma body tissue (δ13Cbody), local vegetation (δ13Cplant) and soil (δ13Csoil). All vegetation in the study area followed the C3 photosynthetic pathway. However, the δ...
Chapter
Research on human evolution in tropical Southeast Asia faces many challenges, some logistical, some conceptual. The Niah Caves in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, have been central to the research agenda ever since the major archaeological excavations by Tom and Barbara Harrisson in the 1950s and 1960s. For decades, the anatomically modern “Deep Skull,”...
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Ever since the publication of Gordon Childe's Danube in Prehistory , almost fifty years ago, the first neolithic colonisation of temperate Europe through the Balkans has been one of the cornerstones of European prehistory. There is still a consensus of opinion in most of the recent literature on the general character of this process: that it involv...
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This paper is a study of the location of several causewayed camps in central southern England. We first discuss their contemporary environment, the cultivation technology of the early neolithic farmers, and the implications of this technology for land use. We conclude from soil studies that all except one of the sites examined were in pastoral situ...
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With one notable exception, the study of Italian prehistory has developed with little emphasis on the economic interpretation of cultures. The exception has been the so-called ‘Apennine’ Bronze Age of central and southern Italy, which has commonly been defined as a cultural phenomenon involving an economy of pastoralism and large-scale stock-keepin...
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The paper reports the preliminary results from the short season of fieldwork that the Cyrenaican Prehistory Project was able to undertake with a small Anglo-Libyan team in September 2013. The work concentrated on continuing the excavation of Trench M down the southern side of the Middle Trench and of Trench D on the southern side of the Deep Soundi...
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Little is known about late Holocene environmental change in Cyrenaica. The late Holocene sequence in the Haua Fteah, the key regional site, is highly discontinuous and characterised by stable-burning deposits. The geoarchaeology of the late-Holocene cave fill of a small cave, CP1565, located close to the Haua Fteah, is described. The well-stratifie...
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Geoarchaeological surveys were conducted in northern Cyrenaica in 2009 as part of the TRANS-NAP project. A major objective of the project is to understand the relationship between regional environmental changes and human occupation patterns in northern Cyrenaica over approximately the past 200,000 years. This paper focuses on the results of surveys...
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This paper discusses the complex societies which flourished on the central plateau of southern Africa between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers between c. AD 800 and 1500, and the models which can be proposed for how they functioned and why they developed. The principal archaeological monuments left by these societies are their regional political cent...
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The paper describes the initial results from renewed investigations at Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 of the c. 40,000-year old ‘Deep Skull’. The archaeological sequences from the West Mouth and the other entrances of the cave complex investigated by Tom and Barbara Harrisson and other researchers hav...
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The 1950s excavations by Charles McBurney in the Haua Fteah, a large karstic cave on the coast of northeast Libya, revealed a deep sequence of human occupation. Most subsequent research on North African prehistory refers to his discoveries and interpretations, but the chronology of its archaeological and geological sequences has been based on very...
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The Earl of Cranbrook (V) (then Lord Medway) was first introduced to archaeological research in 1958 when he participated in excavations at the Niah Caves, Sarawak Borneo. In that same year he published a paper entitled 'Food bone in Niah Cave excavations (-1958)' in the Sarawak Museum Journal. Unbeknownst to him at the time, his individual and int...
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Animal exchange networks have been shown to play an important role in determining gene flow among domestic animal populations. The Silk Road is one of the oldest continuous exchange networks in human history, yet its effectiveness in facilitating animal exchange across large geographical distances and topographically challenging landscapes has neve...
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The paper reports on the sixth season of fieldwork of the Cyrenaican Prehistory Project (CPP) undertaken in September 2012. As in the spring 2012 season, work focussed on the Haua Fteah cave and on studies of materials excavated in previous seasons, with no fieldwork undertaken elsewhere in the Gebel Akhdar. An important discovery, in a sounding ex...