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Travelling companions and unwelcome guests: human dispersal and exchange networks in the Holocene
A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
Funded for 5 years by the Wellcome Trust in August 2003, the principal investigative objective of this international and collaborative research project, is to establish whether there are significant and interpretable relationships between modern and ancient populations of selected commensal and domestic animals within two distinct maritime areas of the world: (1) the North East Atlantic Façade (including the Baltic and North Sea) and (2) the Pacific Ocean. This is being achieved by applying geometric morphometric and biomolecular approaches to selected modern collections and zooarchaeological assemblages. This project involves collaboration with a colleague from the Anthropology Department at Durham (Dr. Una Strand-Vidarsdottir) a Wellcome Trust funded post-doctoral Research Associate (Dr. Masakatsu Fujita) and a Fyssen Foundation Research Fellow (Dr. Thomas Cucchi) from the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. The project is in its final analytical stage with major success achieved in unravelling human dispersal in Island South East Asia and the Pacific using the Pacific rat (Rattus exulans) and wild and domestic pig (Sus) as proxies for human dispersal.