Department of Archaeology
   
   
  

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Alexandra Livarda

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Arts

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Expertise Summary

Archaeobotany (the study of human-plant relationships in archaeology), the social role of plants and the archaeology of food, with particular focus on the Aegean and the Roman to medieval periods of northern and western Europe.

Note that I expect to be on leave during the academic year 2017-18

Teaching Summary

I teach in the areas of the archaeology of food, bioarchaeology and archaeobotany at both UG and PG level as well as Roman and general archaeology for UGs.

I teach the following undergraduate modules:

Introduction to Scientific Archaeology/Environmental Archaeology - this first year undergraduate module is designed to provide students with an understanding of the theory and practice of reconstructing past environments. A central premise of the module is that by looking to the past, we can better understand and mitigate against the challenges that face us in the future. As part of this module all students undertake practical laboratory work on archaeological assemblages.

Bioarchaeology - building upon the knowledge gained in 'Environmental Archaeology', our second year undergraduate students are given the opportunity to increase their skills in the analysis and interpretation of archaeological plant and animal remains. Considerable laboratory work is undertaken as part of this module and during this time the students build their own support/research network.

Professional Bioarchaeology - this is a third year module, taught in three intensive daylong workshops and several support sessions. Building upon the skills gained in the second year 'Bioarchaeology' and 'Archaeology as a Detective' modules, students are introduced to the work environment of contract bioarchaeology and learn to produce assessments on plant, animal and human bone remains. This is a unique, practice-focused module that prepares an easy incorporation of our bioarchaeology students to the professional work environment.

The bioarchaeology laboratory is available at set times each week for students of all the abovementioned modules to allow students of all years to mix, providing an active research and teaching environment where they can discuss their work and ideas between them and with their teachers.

Food and Culture: an exploration of tastes - this third year module explores the socio-cultural dimensions of food and plants. The overall approach is diachronic and culinary approaches, from prehistoric feasting to the modern restaurant and fast food, from the emergence of agriculture to the Columbian exchange and to the industrialisation of food production and distribution, are explored to understand changing worldviews and social organisation. Drawing on archaeology, anthropology, sociology and geography, the module provides an alternative approach to understanding society and its changes through time, linking the past to current issues of food security, sustainability, trade and social in/stability.

The Archaeology of the Roman World

Dissertation & Independent Project in Archaeology

I also teach and contribute to the following Postgraduate modules:

Practical Archaeobotany

Foodways in Archaeology

Research Methods

Precise topic (various subjects on bioarchaeology)

Research Summary

I am an archaeobotanist with particular research interests in the archaeology of food and the social geographies of plants. My research is an investigation of the dynamic interplay between humans and… read more

Recent Publications

  • PREECE, C., LIVARDA, A., CHRISTIN, P.-A., WALLACE, M., MARTIN, G., CHARLES, M., JONES, G., REES, M. and OSBORNE, C.P., 2017. How did the domestication of Fertile Crescent grain crops increase their yields? Functional Ecology. 31(2), 387-397
  • JERVIS, B., WHELAN, F. and LIVARDA, A., 2017. Chapter 13. Cuisine and conquest: interdisciplinary perspectives on food, continuity and change in 11th century England and beyond. In: HADLEY, D.M. and DYER, C.C., eds., The Archaeology of the Eleventh Century: Continuities and Transformations. Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 38. Routledge. 244-262
  • ORENGO, H.A. and LIVARDA, A., 2016. The seeds of commerce: a network analysis-based approach to the Romano-British transport system Journal of Archaeological Science. 66, 21-35
  • LIVARDA, A., 2016. The Mycenean Series 2014-15: Foodscapes, plants, and ecofacts in Bronze Age Greece Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. 59(1), 135-6

Current Research

I am an archaeobotanist with particular research interests in the archaeology of food and the social geographies of plants. My research is an investigation of the dynamic interplay between humans and plants across time and space and its impact on cultural and socio-economic systems of the past. The three main strands of my current research are:

  • Social archaeobotany and the investigation social identities and trade, with a focus on northwestern Europe;
  • The archaeobotany of the Aegean;
  • The bioarchaeology of ritual and religion

I have worked also in the study of early prehistoric societies and the origins of agriculture.

I am currently involved in a number of projects, including:

  • Cova des Pas. Collaboration with the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain.
  • Sarpedon, The Sissi Archaeological Project, Crete, Greece (http://www.sarpedon.be/). Universities of Louvain and Leuven, Belgium, under the auspices of the Belgian School of Athens (EBSA), directed by Prof. Jan Driessen.
  • Lefkandi, Euboea, Greece (http://lefkandi.classics.ox.ac.uk/index.html). Oxford University, UK, directed by Dr Irene Lemos.
  • Methone, Pieria, Greece. ΚΖ' Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, excavation director Matthaios Besios, Prof.s Jon Papadopoulos and Sarah Morris (UCLA).

I have also co-directed the 'PALAP' Bronze Age excavation project at Paliakastro, Crete (Greece) with Dr Carl Knappett (University of Toronto, Canada) and Dr Nicoletta Momigliano (University of Bristol, UK) under the auspices of the British School at Athens.

For more details see: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/archaeology/research/projects/current/palap-palaikastro-phase-four-2012-2016.aspx

I supervise PhD and Masters students on a range of topics:

Current PhD students:

Leslie Bode. Palaeodiet and environmental management: an archaeobotanical investigation of the Epipallaeolithic site Kharaneh IV in the Azraq Basin, Jordan.

Mila Andonova. Baskets and basket-makers of prehistoric southeast Europe. A palaeoethnobotanical approach.

Rachel Small Food, identity and humoral theory in early modern England, a case study from Leicestershire

Completed PhD students:

Alison Meakes. Neolithic ceramic technologies from southwest Iran.

Julie-Anne Bouchard-Perron Historical Meals, Archaeobotanical Foodways: Politics of the Past and Past Identities in Quebec City.

Hengameh Ilkhani-Mogadam. A comparative analysis of archaeobotanical remains from the Central Iranian Plateau and Fars Highlands in Iran during the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods.

I am happy to discuss research proposals in any area of archaeobotany and the archaeology of food, and in particularly in relation to the following subjects: Roman and medieval food trade, garden archaeology, archaeobotany in the Aegean, food and socio-cultural identity, food and gender, food and politics, bio-archaeology of ritual and religion.

For more information please contact: Alexandra.Livarda@nottingham.ac.uk

  • PREECE, C., LIVARDA, A., CHRISTIN, P.-A., WALLACE, M., MARTIN, G., CHARLES, M., JONES, G., REES, M. and OSBORNE, C.P., 2017. How did the domestication of Fertile Crescent grain crops increase their yields? Functional Ecology. 31(2), 387-397
  • JERVIS, B., WHELAN, F. and LIVARDA, A., 2017. Chapter 13. Cuisine and conquest: interdisciplinary perspectives on food, continuity and change in 11th century England and beyond. In: HADLEY, D.M. and DYER, C.C., eds., The Archaeology of the Eleventh Century: Continuities and Transformations. Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 38. Routledge. 244-262
  • ORENGO, H.A. and LIVARDA, A., 2016. The seeds of commerce: a network analysis-based approach to the Romano-British transport system Journal of Archaeological Science. 66, 21-35
  • LIVARDA, A., 2016. The Mycenean Series 2014-15: Foodscapes, plants, and ecofacts in Bronze Age Greece Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. 59(1), 135-6
  • LIVARDA, A. and ORENGO, H.A., 2015. Reconstructing the Roman London flavourscape: new insights into the exotic food plant trade using network and spatial analyses. Journal of Archaeological Science. 55, 244–252
  • PREECE, C., LIVARDA, A., WALLACE, M., MARTIN, G., CHARLES, M., CHRISTIN, P.-A., JONES, G., REES, M. and OSBORNE, C.P., 2015. Were Fertile Crescent crop progenitors higher yielding than other wild species that were never domesticated? New Phytologist. 207(3), 905-913
  • KNAPPETT, C., LIVARDA, A. and MOMIGLIANO, N., 2015. Palaikastro (Siteia) 2013: preliminary report on the first excavation season. In: KARANASTASI, P., TZIGOUNAKI, A. and TSIGONAKI, C., eds., Archaeological Work in Crete 3. Proceedings of the 3rd Meeting, Rethymnon, 5-8 December 2013. Volume B. Faculty of Letters Publications, University of Crete. 549-558
  • LIVARDA, A. and KOTZAMANI, G., 2014. The archaeobotany of Neolithic and Bronze Age Crete: synthesis and prospects. Annual of the British School at Athens. 108, 1-29
  • LIVARDA, A., 2014. Archaeobotany in Greece. Archaeological Reports. 60, 106-116
  • SMITH, R.A.K., DABNEY, M.K., KOTZAMANI, G., LIVARDA, A., TSARTSIDOU, G. and WRIGHT, J.C., 2014. Plant Use in Mycenaean Mortuary Practice. In: TOUCHAIS, G., LAFFINEUR, R. and ROUGEMONT, F., eds., PHYSIS L’Environnement Naturel et la Relation Home-Millieu dans le Monde Égéen Protohistorique. Aegaeum 37. Leuven, Liege: Peeters. 265-269.
  • KOTZAMANI, G. and LIVARDA, A., 2014. Plant resource availability and management in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Greece. In: TOUCHAIS, G., LAFFINEUR, R. and ROUGEMONT, F., eds., PHYSIS L’Environnement Naturel et la Relation Home-Millieu dans le Monde Égéen Protohistorique. Aegaeum 37. Leuven, Liege: Peeters. 229-238
  • LIVARDA, A., 2013. Date, rituals and socio-cultural identity in the north-western Roman provinces Oxford Journal of Archaeology. 32(1), 101-117
  • KOPANIAS, K., BEUGER, C., CARTER, T., FOX, S., HADJIKOUMIS, A., KOURTESSI-PHILIPPAKIS, G., LIVARDA, A. AND MACGINNIS, J., 2013. The Tell Nader and Tell Baqrta Project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. SUBARTU. 6-7, 23-57
  • VAN DER VEEN, M., HILL, A. AND LIVARDA, A., 2013. The Archaeobotany of Medieval Britain (c AD 450–1500): Identifying Research Priorities for the 21st Century. Medieval Archaeology. 57, 151-182
  • BOGAARD, A., CHARLES, M., LIVARDA, A., ERGUN, M., FILIPOVIC, D. and JONES, G., 2013. The archaeobotany of mid-later Neolithic occupation levels at Çatalhöyük. In: HODDER, I., ed., Humans and Landscapes of Çatalhöyük: Reports from the 2000-2008 Seasons. Los Angeles: Monographs of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California at Los Angeles. 93-128
  • LIVARDA, A., 2011. Spicing up life in northwestern Europe: exotic food plant imports in the Roman and medieval world Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 20(2), 143-164
  • LIVARDA, A., 2011. Plant remains, site B. In: BULL, R., DAVIS, S., LEWIS, H. AND PHILLPOTTS, C. WITH BIRCHENOUGH, A., ed., Holywell Priory and the Development of Shoreditch to c1600. Archaeology from the London Overground East London Line. London: MOLA. 168
  • ISAAKIDOU, V., LIVARDA, A., TSORAKI, C. AND VEROPOULIDOU, R., 2011. Bio-archaeological assemblages and ground stone artefacts: methodological framework and preliminary results. In: DRIESSEN, J., SCHOEP, I., CARPENTIER, F., CREVEVOEUR, I., DEVOLDER, M., DRIESSEN-CAIGNEROT, F., HACIGÜZELLER, P., ISAAKIDOU, V., JUSSERET, S., LANGOHR, C., LETESSON, Q. AND SCHMITT, A., ed., Excavations at Sissi II. Preliminary Report on the 2009-2010 Excavations. AEGIS 4. Presses Universitaires de Louvain. 211-218
  • LIVARDA, A., 2008. New Temptations? Olive, cherry and mulberry in Roman and medieval Europe. In: BAKER, S., ALLEN, M., MIDDLE, S. AND POOLE, K., ed., Food and Drink in Archaeology I. Prospect Books. 73-83
  • LIVARDA, A., 2008. The archaeobotanical remains. In Hatzaki, E., Prent, M., Coldstream, J.N., Evely, D. and Livarda, A. Knossos, The Little Palace North Project, Part I: The Early Greek Periods. Annual of the British School at Athens. 103, 259-271
  • LIVARDA, A. and VAN DER VEEN, M., 2008. Social access and dispersal of condiments in North-West Europe from the Roman to the medieval period Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. 17(1), 201-209
  • VAN DER VEEN, M., LIVARDA, A. AND HILL, A., 2008. New plant foods in Roman Britain – dispersal and social access. Environmental Archaeology. 13(1), 11-36
  • WRIGHT, J.C., TRIANTAPHYLLOU, S, DABNEY, M.K., KARKANAS, P., PAPPI, E., KOTZAMANI, G., LIVARDA, A., 2008. Nemea valley archaeological project, excavations at Barnavos. Final report. Hesperia. 77, 607-654
  • VAN DER VEEN, M., LIVARDA, A. AND HILL, A., 2007. The archaeobotany of Roman Britain: current state and identification of research priorities. Britannia. 38, 181-210
  • LIVARDA, A. AND KOTZAMANI, G., 2006. Plant lore in Dark Age Greece: Archaeobotanical evidence, from Lefkandi, Euboea, literal sources and traditional knowledge of the local people combined. In: ERTUĞ, F., ed., Proceedings of the 4th International Congress on Ethnobotany (ICEB) “Ethnobotany: at the junction of the continents and the disciplines”, Istanbul 21-26 August 2005. Yayinlari. 435-437

Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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