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Innovative project 'Peopling the Green Sahara?' awarded Leverhulme Trust grant

Posted on 21/03/2016

 sahara-desert
We are delighted to announce that King’s (Geography Department) has been successfully awarded a Leverhulme Trust grant for the innovative project  ‘Peopling the Green Sahara? A multi-proxy approach to reconstructing the ecological and demographic history of the Saharan Holocene’.

King’s colleagues Nick Drake , Professor of Physical Geography and Paul Breeze will work alongside Professor Richard Evershed and Julie Dunne from the University of Bristol and Kat Manning from UCL.

The overall objective of the three-year research project is to examine the ecological and human response to climate change in the Sahara which went from desert to ‘green’ and back to desert in 5000 years. It is believed to be the largest scale project of its type ever undertaken and of immense interest to anyone interested in the relevance of past behavioural responses to major climate and habitat change.
The project will explore the climatic, ecological and demographic history of the enigmatic ‘Green Sahara’ to address how Holocene climate change affected broad-scale population dynamics and the role of climate as a driver in subsistence change and cultural innovation.
Using a radical, interdisciplinary approach, the team will bring together new methods  - combining biomolecular and stable isotopic analysis of organic residue in prehistoric pottery to provide dietary and ecological signatures with hi resolution palaeoclimate mapping and spatio-temporal modelling of ecological and archaeological data.

Future outputs will include conference presentations, publications, a website, and an open access database of all organic residue, archaeological and palaeohydrological records.

View of Camels at the Sahara Desert Photo by: bachmont, Creative Commons




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