Philippa Ryan

Philippa Ryan
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

PhD

About

46
Publications
17,049
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690
Citations
Citations since 2016
30 Research Items
606 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Perspectives from the recent and ancient past are largely underutilized in modern sustainability or food systems studies. However, information about regional crop histories and land use systems through time can add essential value and context to debates concerning future agricultural strategies and food security. In particular, archaeological and a...
Article
Full-text available
The date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, has been a cornerstone of Middle Eastern and North African agriculture for millennia. It was first domesticated in the Persian Gulf, and its evolution appears to have been influenced by gene flow from two wild relatives, P. theophrasti, currently restricted to Crete and Turkey, and P. sylvestris, widespread from...
Preprint
Full-text available
27 • Crop diversity plays a major role in underpinning food security. It is especially important to 28 smallholder and subsistence farmers, who often rely on crop diversity for stable and resilient 29 production. Despite this, global expansion of a small pool of major crops and the associated 30 homogenisation of global agricultural systems may dec...
Article
Full-text available
Iconographic evidence from Egypt suggests that watermelon pulp was consumed there as a dessert by 4,360 BP. Earlier archaeobotanical evidence comes from seeds from Neolithic settlements in Libya, but whether these were watermelons with sweet pulp or other forms is unknown. We generated genome sequences from 6,000- and 3,300-yr-old seeds from Libya...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural practices in northern Sudan have been changing rapidly but remain little documented. In this paper we aim to investigate changes to crops grown in living memory and their uses through interviews with Nubian farmers on the island of Ernetta. By exploring cultivation and crop processing practices, together with associated material cultur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Crop diversity plays a major role in underpinning food security. It is especially important to smallholder and subsistence farmers, who often rely on crop diversity for stable and resilient production. Despite this, global expansion of a small pool of major crops and the associated homogenisation of global agricultural systems may decrease on-farm...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is expected to disproportionately affect sub‐Saharan Africa in the next century, posing a threat to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and deepening food insecurity. To adapt to this threat, more climate‐resilient crops need to be brought into the food system; these may be developed through breeding with crop wild relatives with...
Preprint
Full-text available
The date palm ( Phoenix dactylifera ) has been a cornerstone of Middle Eastern and North African agriculture for millennia. It is presumed that date palms were first domesticated in the Persian Gulf and subsequently introduced into North Africa, where their evolution in the latter region appears to have been influenced by gene flow from the wild re...
Article
Chemical and phytolith analyses of well-preserved goat faecal pellets from different strata of the Ramon I Rock Shelter, in the Makhtesh Ramon (Crater) in the Central Negev, Israel, show patterns of seasonal stabling and grazing among nomads from three different periods, the Late Neolithic, the Early Bronze Age, and recent times (ca. 1800 AD to dat...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity is essential to food security and nutrition locally and globally. By reviewing the global state of edible plants and highlighting key neglected and underutilized species (NUS), we attempt to unlock plant food resources and explore the role of fungi, which along with the wealth of traditional knowledge about their uses and practices, co...
Book
Full-text available
Kew’s State of the World’s Plants and Fungi project provides assessments of our current knowledge of the diversity of plants and fungi on Earth, the global threats that they face, and the policies to safeguard them. Produced in conjunction with an international scientific symposium, Kew’s State of the World’s Plants and Fungi sets an important inte...
Article
More than 31,000 useful plant species have been documented to fulfil needs and services for humans or the animals and environment we depend on. Despite this diversity, humans currently satisfy most requirements with surprisingly few plant species; for example, just three crops – rice, wheat and maize – comprise more than 50% of plant derived calori...
Article
This paper presents the results of integrated geoarchaeological and archaeobotanical analyses of desiccated and charred ovicaprid dung pellets from the New Kingdom pharaonic settlement of Amara West (Sudan). These analyses reveal diagnostic phytolithic evidence for considerable variations in plant diet amongst the site’s ovicaprid population. These...
Book
This community-orientated book was created as part of the ‘Nubian agricultural knowledge’ project (2017-2018). The book content, design and structure were discussed and refined in collaboration with the local communities, and both the Arabic and English versions were edited with local school teachers. The book is aimed at adults and older school ch...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about the introduction of domesticated crops in Sudan. Substantial early evidence of the cereals wheat and barley has, until recently, been mainly restricted to the post-Neolithic, third millennium BC pre-Kerma site on Sai Island, and prehistoric finds in general are scarce. Interestingly, an analysis of phytoliths from plant deposi...
Poster
Full-text available
Abstract: Analyses of phytoliths from pillow-like grave deposits and phytoliths and starch from dental calculus from human skeletons from the Early and Middle Neolithic Sudanese cemeteries of Ghaba and R12 provide evidence of exploitation of wild and domesticated grasses. The evidence of wheat and barley from R12 indicates that these domesticated t...
Article
Full-text available
Nubian agricultural practices are rapidly altering due to infrastructure development, as well as technological and environmental changes. We will discuss changes in cereals grown and crop husbandry over the last century, and how this may help to consider agricultural strategies at archaeological sites. (The paper attached is the extended IWAA8 conf...
Article
Full-text available
The study of plant exploitation and early use of cereals in Africa has seen over the years a great input from charred and desiccated macrobotanical remains. This paper presents the results of one of the few examples in Africa of microbotanical analyses. Three grave contexts of phytolith-rich deposits and the dental calculus of 20 individuals were a...
Article
Full-text available
Ankara Çatalhöyük 0 km 300 N The site of Ç atalhöyük occupies a key position within the development of larger settlements in south-west Asia, but the apparent absence of outdoor activity areas has challenged conceptions of social interaction within the site. Where did the inhabitants of this substantial settlement meet together if there were no pub...
Article
Full-text available
Bioarchaeological studies of animal dung from arid environments provide valuable information on various aspects of life in ancient societies relating to land use and environmental change, and from the Neolithic onwards to the animal husbandry and the use of animals as markers of status and wealth. In this study we present the archaeobotanical analy...
Article
Full-text available
Evidence for basketry survives at Çatalhöyük as clay imprints and as macroscopically visible silica-skeleton (phytolith) traces. In this paper we discuss the additional information that can be gained when an analysis of technology, uses, and forms is combined with identifi cation and study of distribution of the plant materials used to create the b...
Article
This report presents the results of the first season of renewed excavations at the Late Neolithic and early Aeneolithic site of Monjukli Depe in the Kopet Dag piedmont region of southern Turkmenistan. The project focuses on the microhistories of technological change in a region where change has long been explained on the basis of diffusionist model...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
This project is funded by the AHRC and GCRF through the ‘Follow-on Funding’ scheme, for research generated by the 'Sustainability and subsistence systems in a changing Sudan' project. A key output for the project was the creation of a community-orientated book 'Nubia past and present, agriculture, crops and food'. The project hopes to preserve traditional agricultural knowledge that can be considered as endangered cultural heritage and simultaneously as practical knowledge relevant to future agricultural resilience. https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/research_projects/all_current_projects/sudan/amara_west_research_project/nubia_past_and_present.aspx
Project
Mit Peter F. Biehl, SUNY Buffalo: Im 7. und 6. Jt. v. Chr. breitet sich die produzierende Lebensweise aus ihrem vorderasiatischen Entstehungsgebiet über Westanatolien und Südosteuropa nach Mitteleuropa aus. Mit unserem Grabungsprojekt auf dem Westhügel von Çatalhöyük (bei Küçükköy, Provinz Konya, Zentraltürkei), das derzeit in seiner Auswertungs- und Publikationsphase steht, verfolgen wir zusätzlich zum bereits gut erforschten 7. Jt. in einer Schlüsselregion dieser Ausbreitungs¬bewegung die weitere Entwicklung im 6. Jt., die als „Second Neolithic Revolution“ bezeichnet werden kann. Auf der Basis der gewonnenen chronologischen Sequenz werden Änderungen in der räumlichen Organisation der Siedlungen und Häuser, Bestattungs¬sitten, "Kunst", Ressourcen¬nutzung und Subsistenz sowie Steingeräte- und Keramikproduktion deutlich. Die Einbindung bereits bekannter Siedlungen ermöglicht es uns, diese Entwicklungen zu kontextualisieren und zu interpretieren und so einen Schlüssel zur Chronologie und Kulturgeschichte Zentralanatoliens und seiner Wechselwirkungen mit angrenzenden Regionen zu finden.