Exploring The Ancient Environment
How people coped with and exploited the environment is one of the major questions we will be exploring at Tell Khaiber. Southern Iraq has been through great environmental changes over the last few millennia, most recently the destruction of the marshes in the 1990s. Its resourceful people have always risen to the challenge, responding and adapting their way of life to ensure continued survival.
Detailed examination of plant and animal remains will provide the information we need to build up a picture of the local environment and economy in ancient times. We will be collecting from the archaeological layers the minutest fragments of carbonised seeds and twigs, as well as animal, fish and bird bones. These will then be identified and analyzed by our environmental archaeology team. For the material to be of statistical use, it has to be collected in a systematic manner and we are fortunate in that Professor Terry O’Connor has agreed to provide expert advice on the design and implementation of the sampling programme. Terry is one of the UK’s foremost environmental archaeologists, being Professor of Archaeological Science, and Head of the Environmental Archaeology Unit, at the University of York, ‘the UK’s archaeological capital’.