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Durham University

Research & business

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Bones of Ol Pejeta: Neotaphonomic and Ecological Survey (BONES)

A research project of the Department of Anthropology, part of the old research group.

Background

Co-directors: Dr. Fire Kovarovic (Durham University) and Dr. Briana Pobiner (Smithsonian Institution)

In association with Ol Pejeta Conservancy (OPC), Kenya, this project constitutes a longitudinal study of the taphonomic and ecomorphic characterizations of bone communities in the conservancy’s mosaic of several well-defined habitat types. We are tracing changes in mammal habitat affiliations and predator-prey pressure across time and space - information that will be used to interpret past ecologies and mammal community dynamics in the Plio-Pleistocene fossil record. The project began in 2007, building on pilot study data collected in 2003 and 2005. 

Collaborators include Professor Peter Andrews (Natural History Museum, London – vegetation and habitat associations), Nathan Gichohi (OPC – ecological monitoring, kill site identification), Dr. Geff Wahungu (Moi University, Kenya – ecological monitoring, vegetation mapping) and Dr. Nick Walton (Legendware, York – GIS, data storage).

This project received grant support from the Smithsonian Endowment Fund.

To see what the BONES team gets up to, have a look here:

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/september-2011/article/the-bones-of-ol-pejeta-clues-to-the-past

Staff

From the Department of Anthropology