After my PhD at the University of Reading on the use of crop stable isotopes for the reconstruction of past water availability, I have been a Postdoctoral researcher at the same university. I have studied the effects of climate change on past Middle Eastern societies by compiling information, especially radiocarbon dates, into a database – establishing synchronicity between climate and social change is the first step before even starting to think of causality between the two. I have also been generating new climate data and am in the process of publishing the results of a speleothem record from Iraq. I have participated in excavations and experimental archaeology projects in Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, the UK, and the Netherlands.
Late Neolithic on the Karak Plateau (2018-2019 seasons)
FLOHR, P, Finlayson, W
Archaeology in Jordan
Radiocarbon dating of Bestansur and Shimshara
Flohr, P, Matthews, R, Matthews, W, Richardson, A, Fleitmann, D
Matthews, R, Matthews, W, Richardson, A, Raheem, KR
The Early Neolithic of the Eastern Fertile Crescent: Excavations at Bestansur and Shimshara, Iraqi Kurdistan
The Eastern Fertile Crescent region of western Iran and eastern Iraq hosted major developments in the transition from hunter-forager to farmer-herder lifestyles through the Early Neolithic period, 10,000-7000 BC. Within the scope of the Central Zagros Archaeological Project, excavations have been conducted since 2012 at two Early Neolithic sites in the Kurdistan region of Iraq: Bestansur and Shimshara. Bestansur represents an early stage in the transition to sedentary, farming life, where the inhabitants pursued a mixed strategy of hunting, foraging, herding and cultivating, maximising the new opportunities afforded by the warmer, wetter climate of the Early Holocene. They also constructed substantial buildings of mudbrick, including a major building with a minimum of 65 human individuals, mainly infants, buried under its floor in association with hundreds of beads. These human remains provide new insights into mortuary practices, demography, diet and disease during the early stages of sedentarisation. The material culture of Bestansur and Shimshara is rich in imported items such as obsidian, carnelian and sea-shells, indicating the extent to which Early Neolithic communities were networked across the Eastern Fertile Crescent and beyond. This volume includes final reports by a large-scale interdisciplinary team on all aspects of the results from excavations at Bestansur and Shimshara, through application of state-of-the-art scientific techniques, methods and analyses. The net result is to re-emphasise the enormous significance of the Eastern Fertile Crescent in one of the most important episodes in human history: the Neolithic transition.
FFR, Neolithic, radiocarbon dating, Near East, Archaeology, Middle East
What can crop stable isotopes ever do for us? An experimental perspective on using cereal carbon stable isotope values for reconstructing water availability in semi-arid and arid environments
Flohr, P, Jenkins, E, Williams, HRS, Jamjoum, K, Nuimat, S, Müldner, G