The aquatic Neolithic of the Northern European Boreal Forest


This PhD research project is one of 15 Marie Curie funded European Joint Doctoral Training awards as a part of the ArchSci2020, network. It will employ organic residue analysis for the first time on the earliest pottery from the Russian Boreal European Steppe dating to the Upper Volga and Serteyskaya cultures, ca. 8500-8000 BP. Analysis of pottery from these sites are key to understanding the dispersal of pottery across Eurasia. The project will test the hypothesis that this adoption coincided with the rich aquatic environments that emerged across the northern hemisphere stabilising at the beginning of the Holocene. The project will undertake molecular and isotopic analysis of lipids extracted from 142 samples that are already in hand at the University of York. It will compare data from the use of pottery with other food processing technologies, including lithics and wooden artefacts, for example basketry, all which are very well preserved alongside the available faunal and floral remains. The project will draw on ethnography to examine comparative foodways in contemporary societies through secondment to the Arctic Centre in Groningen.

Early phase pottery sherd from Zamostje 2 (courtesy of Olga Lozovskaya).


The project is a collaboration between the Universities of York, UK and Groningen, the Netherlands. It will be undertaken by Manon Bondetti and supervised by Oliver Craig and Peter Jordan.