Department of Archaeology

Archaeobotany @ Nottingham

Alexandra Livarda

Key staff: Dr Alexandra Livarda, James Rackham

Archaeobotany has been taught at Nottingham since 2004 during which time staff and students have been undertaking high-profile research on issues of plant domestication, the origins and spread of agricultural practices and environmental changes, and the social role of plants. The Department specialises in the archaeobotany of Northwestern Europe and the Aegean and participates in several archaeological projects in the UK, Greece, Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

Our staff is involved in the following research, offering several opportunities for student training and providing resources to support teaching and research activities:

Archaeobotany of the Aegean

Several projects are running involving international collaborations with an array of archaeologists and other scientists. These include:

  • Human-natural environment relations during the Neolithic of northern Greece
  • Bronze Age Crete: agricultural economy, urbanisation and the formation of cultural landscapes 
  • The Greek Iron Age: North and South trade relations and the colonisation of the North 
  • A re-investigation of the character of the Greek Iron Age through a bioarchaeological perspective

Spicing-up life: the social role of plants

Wider research projects relating to the cultural history of exotic spices and other species are currently under way to investigate their contribution in shaping the multifaceted society and economy of Roman and medieval Europe.

Other research projects include: 

Teaching and research in archaeobotany takes place at the newly-refurbished bioarchaeology laboratories of the Archaeology Department that house a fast growing plant reference collection and an off-print library.

Commercial Research

We offer a commercial archaeobotanical service, providing low cost but high-quality reporting on plant macro-remains. Our reports reflect our teaching and research ethos – rather than simply describing the assemblage under analysis, our work addresses social issues pertinent to the excavators’ research questions.

For further details, please contact Dr Alexandra Livarda.


Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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