Centre for Human Palaeoecology (CHumPal)
The Centre exists to foster links between archaeology, biology, and
environmental science, to enable the fully integrated study of the
individual, population, and community ecology of past peoples.
expertise in the following disciplines at York:
The study of plant remains (principally
macrofossil - fruits, seeds, moss, wood and so on) as a route to
understanding past environments and environmental change, human activity
and man-plant interractions.
The application of soil science and
geomorphology to understanding the formation of archaeological deposits,
and the role of past peoples as agents of geomorphic change.
- Invertebrate zooarchaeology
Reconstruction of past climate, ecology and human activity and living conditions, with an accent on insect remains.
- Vertebrate zooarchaeology
The cross-cultural study, through
remains such as bones and teeth, including those of humans - of past
interactions between people and other vertebrates.
Current and recent major projects include Quoygrew, and the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey.
- Viborg, Denmark: invertebrates from an early 11th century lakeside occupation site (for Viborg Museum)
- Reviews of plant and invertebrate remains from the northern counties of England (for English Heritage)
- Kaupang, Norway: assessment of plant, invertebrate and vertebrate material from the 2002 excavations (for University of Oslo)
- Environment of Medieval Aberdeen: assessment and subsequent
analysis of plant and invertebrate material from a wide range of
excavations from the city (for Aberdeen Archaeological Unit, with
funding from Heritage Lottery Fund).
- Synthesis of evidence from plant and animal remains for environments
and human activity in Anglo-Scandinavian York (for York Archaeological
Trust, with funding from English Heritage).
The CHP reports
series puts on record preliminary results and data for work which may either
not be published formally or for which publication is distant at the time of
The residue of the former Environmental Archaeology
Unit was absorbed into the CHP in January 2003, bringing with it nearly
30 years of experience in the investigation of and reconstruction of all aspects
of the past human environment, with particular expertise in the study of urban
environments. Follow this link for a list of reports and publications by EAU staff to the end of 2002.
The following staff contribute to the work of the Centre: