lches News Research people Duckworth
  home | people | Maria Ana Correia


Maria Ana Correia
PhD student
Darwin College
Dept. of Archaeology & Anthropology
University of Cambridge




Project Supervisor Funding

Diet Reconstruction in Eastern Africa: Refining subsistence strategies in a Holocene population in Lake Turkana

Robert  Foley

In-Africa Project

Knowing an organism diet is paramount in understanding its species’ ecology.  In other words, in deciphering its place in nature and the relationships it establishes with its environment and with other organisms. In fact, comprehending dietary adaptations permits an insight into any selection forces responsible for shaping the morphology and behaviour of a given species (Alemseged & Bobe, 2009; Kelly, 2013; Ungar & Lucas, 2010; Ungar & Sponheimer, 2011, 2013; Wood & Schroer, 2012). Moreover, changes in diet can help understanding subsistence strategies and social structures (Kelly, 2013; Ungar & Lucas, 2010). Consequently, when studying modern and ancient hominin populations, diet reconstruction of said populations becomes paramount.

Next, one must consider the central role East Africa likely played in the evolution and diversification of modern humans. As suggested by  Lahr (2013), the ecological diversity of East Africa might have worked as a refugium network – a set of independent refugia linked by geographic corridors – where human populations would adapt based on a rapid demographic response to periods of plenty or famine.

Considering this, my project focuses on diet reconstruction of prehistoric hunter-gatherer populations of eastern Africa, with particular emphasis on the newly discovered rich fossil record of late Pleistocene and early Holocene human groups in West Turkana. To accomplish this I will use a set of different methods, including isotopic and morphological analysis.





© 2018 Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of Cambridge           » Privacy policy