Leverhulme Trust Project


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This 36-months Leverhulme Trust project (2021-2024, School of Archaeology, University of Oxford) started in December 2021 and builds on the outcomes of the NICHE project.

The project’s aim is to study how the interplay of social and agricultural factors drove the evolution of key features of the world’s oldest farming communities in southwest Asia: increasingly autonomous households, changing property rights, and the intensification of plant management practices. The main objectives are to create a high-resolution record of changing cultivation practices over time, and to correlate this record with archaeological proxy data for social and economic change: changing household organisation, morphological markers for crop domestication, subsistence-related labour investments, food sharing and ownership principles.

Follow the regularly updated project log on ResearchGate here.

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Experimentally harvesting wild emmer wheat at Mt. Gilboa, Israel (Photo: M. Ergun, early May 2022).

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Wild emmer wheat growing together with Dorycnium rectum at Mt. Gilboa, Israel (Photo: M. Ergun, early May 2022).

© Alexander Weide