Ethnoarchaeology in Ethiopia
I am interested in investigating how societies react to environmental change, in the past and present. I study environmental adaptations in modern traditional societies in order to potentially help inform the archaeological record. Also, gaining a greater understanding of human-environmental interactions, in the past and present, can contribute to the ability of modern societies to react effectively to current shifts in the environment.
For my undergraduate thesis I focused on the interaction between a changing Mediterranean landscape and three classical cities on the west coast of what is now Turkey. The research investigated how the cities of Ephesus, Miletos and Priene adapted to the sedimentation of the rivers on which they were built, and the changing coastline.
My current MA research centers on investigating how traditional farmers adapt to environmental change in Tigrai, Ethiopia. The research also includes an exploration of the role of fire ecology in farming practices. Understanding these farming practices has the potential to help elucidate the role of the environment in the development of the first civilizations in the Horn of Africa, the pre-Aksumite and Aksumite.