Accessibility statement

Annabell Zander

Research project

"Lost in transition" – tracing human responses to climatic and environmental change in the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in north-western Europe

Supervisor: Nicky Milner

Funding: White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) AHRC and Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German Academic Scholarship Foundation)

11,500 years ago an episode of intense climatic warming ended the last Ice Age and transformed the vegetation and fauna. The hunter-gatherers living during this transition needed to adapt their hunting strategies as a response to the environmental changes. Despite the broadly undefined complex developments of cultural traditions at this interface, the arbitrary division between Palaeolithic, glacial archaeology and Mesolithic, post-glacial archaeology remains the status quo. This PhD will question this artificial division while offering a broader European perspective on human adaptations to climate change.

Key themes: Final Palaeolithic; Early Mesolithic; lithic analysis; faunal remains; environmental change; Pleistocene-Holocene transition; pan-European research



2013 – 2016 The University of Cologne, Germany

MA Prehistoric Archaeology (Distinction)

Modules included: Methodology for Prehistoric Archaeologists; The Palaeolithic in Southern Germany; Zooarchaeology; The Stone Age between the last Ice Age and 5000 BC; Analysing Aurignacian stone artefacts from Jabrud, Syria; Analysing the Creation and Functioning of Cities and States; Bronze Age and Iron Age Archaeology

Dissertation: Heek-Nienborg and Werl-Büderich: human responses to environmental change at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Westphalia (awarded: High Distinction)

2010 – 2013 The University of Nottingham

BA (Hons) Ancient History and Archaeology (First Class. Overall average: 80%)

Modules included: Archaeology of Technology and Production; Prehistoric Britain and Italy; History, Theory and Practice of Archaeology; Archaeology: IT and Research Methods; Zooarchaeology; Extended Source Study examining the Roman fasti Antiates Maiores; Roman Dining; Masculinity and Citizenship in Ancient Greece and Rome

Dissertation in Archaeology: An investigation of the faunal and lithic assemblages of the European Mesolithic sites with antler frontlets (awarded 95%)


Relevant Work Experience

2013 – 2016: The Neanderthal Museum, Germany. Freelance museum education officer

- Developing and delivering tours and workshops in the Museum and the Stone Age Workshop primarily about human evolution, Neanderthals and Palaeolithic and Mesolithic lifeways

2015 – 2016: The University of Cologne. Research Assistant

- Analysing Final Palaeolithic and early and late Mesolithic lithic assemblages from Westphalia, Germany

Summer 2015: LWL – Amt für Denkmalpflege in Westfalen-Lippe: Blätterhöhle (cave) Project, The University Cologne. Internship/Archaeological assistant

- Participated in an extensive excavation project of the multi-period (Final Palaeolithic, Early and Late Mesolithic and Neolithic) cave site (Blätterhöhle) in Hagen

Spring 2014: LVR – Amt für Denkmalpflege im Rheinland. Internship/Archaeological assistant

- Participated in an extensive excavation project of a Roman camp in Bonn

2011 – 2013: The University of Nottingham Museum. Collection Care Assistant and University Student Representative

- Led and supervised several educational programmes of the Museum, including developing and delivering extensive teaching sessions in primary schools about Roman artefacts and presenting several outreach workshops for families

- Participated in several collection care activities in the Museum

Summers 2012/2013/2014/2015: Star Carr Project, The University of York and The University of Manchester. Archaeological assistant

- Participated in an extensive excavation project of the Mesolithic sites at Flixton, UK across four seasons of excavation

Summers 2012/13: The Neanderthal Museum, Germany. Internships

- Developed the Museum’s educational programme for the Egyptian Mummy exhibition

- Planned a special exhibition about the transition from Wolf to Dog

- Created a Pleistocene database list in English for the Museum-run website NESPOS

- Participated in an extensive research project concerning the transition in stone tool industries from Mousterian to Aurignacian in southern Iberia
- Helped at the annual Summer Outreach Celebration of the Museum

2011 – 2012: The Nottingham Industrial Museum. Member of the Research, Design and Marketing Teams; Front of House Volunteer

Heavily involved in National Institute of Adult & Community Education and Museums, Libraries & Archives funded Project of re-opening the volunteer-run Nottingham Industrial Museum:
- Assisted in developing a new design for the Museum

- Designed and marketed information for flyers and advertisement

- Researched and developed themes for the new panels of the Museum in the Nottingham Archives and the Library

- Participated in the Museum-related training, including Health & Safety, Emergency First Aid in the Workplace, Disability Awareness, Collections Care, Object Handling and Curatorial Assistance

- After the Opening in March 2012: Acted as a Front of House Volunteer involving assisting visitors, delivering tours, assisting as a cashier and managing the Museum

Spring 2012: Nottingham City Museums and Galleries. Family Backpack Volunteer

- Assisted families visiting Wollaton Hall & Deer Park

- Encouraged and instructed the use of free backpacks which comprised of various activities for children around the heritage site

Summer 2011: Southwell Project, The University of Nottingham. Archaeological Assistant

-Participated in excavating, cataloguing and cleaning the artefacts (Roman/medieval)

- Operated a stall at the Outreach Programme of the University where I taught the visitors about their community’s history

Organisational roles

March 2017: Organising and hosting the 26th Annual Mesolithic Conference in Wuppertal, Germany

The Programme is available here:

For more information please visit:

Summer 2012/2013: Involved in the exhibition management and the development of complimentary educational programmes for two special exhibitions in the Neanderthal Museum, Germany: “Mumien – Reise in die Unsterblichkeit” – about Egyptian Mummies, exhibited from November 2013 to April 2014

“Wölfe” – about the transition from Wolf to Dog in the Stone Age, exhibited from March to June 2013


University of Kiel Conference Grant 2017

To travel to and present at the International Workshop “Socio-Environmental Dynamics over the Last 12,000 Years: The Creation of Landscapes V” in Kiel, Germany, March 2017

Germany Scholarship 2014 and 2015

Awarded to the top 0.5% of students in Germany for academic, social and personal Achievements

a.r.t.e.s. Research Master Travel Grants 2014-2015

To cover travelling costs to conferences and excavations for outstanding students in the a.r.t.e.s. Research Master programme

The University Prize for Academic Excellence 2013, University of Nottingham

Awarded to the final undergraduate student in the School of Humanities who has achieved the highest overall mark

The Edward Thompson Prize 2013, University of Nottingham

Awarded to the student in Classics with the highest overall average mark

Runner up for The Prehistoric Society Undergraduate Dissertation Prize 2013

Awarded to the best undergraduate dissertation in Prehistoric Archaeology

The Nottingham Advantage Award 2013, University of Nottingham

Modules: Part-time jobs, Vacation jobs and Volunteering (2012); Placements and Internships (2012); Career Planning Skills (2013)


First-year modules

Accessing Archaeology; Prehistory to the Present

Second-year modules

Themes in Prehistory (Middle Palaeolithic, Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic themes); Research Skills for Archaeologists


Peer-reviewed publications

Street, M., Baales, M., Gehlen, B., Heinen, M. and Zander, A. 2016. “Human responses to rapid environmental change: Archaeology across the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary in western Germany”. In: XXVIIIe Congrès »Préhistoire de l’Europe du Nord-Ouest: mobilité, climats et entités culturelles«, Programmes et résumés de communications, Session 3. »L’Europe du Nord-Ouest autour de 10 000 BP (9 600 cal BC): quels changements?« (workshop organized by U.I.S.P.P. Commission »The Final Palaeolithic of Northern Eurasia«), 86-88. Amiens, France, 30. May – 4. June 2016.

Richter, T., Bartík, J., Bērziņš, V., Blumenröther, J., Eigner, J., Gehlen, B., Graf, R., Groß, D., Heinen, M., Ismail-Weber, M., Kind, C.-J., Leesch, D., Lübke, H., Nadler, M., Pechtl, J., Schön, W., Stapel, B., Wild, M. and Zander, A. 2015. “Bericht zum 23. Treffen der AG Mesolithikum 2014 in Landshut”, Archäologische Informationen 38: 1-10 (

Zander, A. (2016). “Grenzgänger: Heek-Nienborg und Werl-Büderich zwischen Paläolithikum und Mesolithikum“, Archäologie in Westfalen-Lippe 2015, 187-189.

Zander, A. (2016). “Heek-Nienborg and Werl-Büderich: The transition from Palaeolithic to Mesolithic in Westphalia”, Archäologische Informationen 39, 285-291 (

Zander, A. Yates, A.B., Gehlen, B., Forbriger, M. and Stapel, S. (in prep.) “The artefact as a site” – Microwear and residue analyses of an Initial Mesolithic blade from Heek-Nienborg, Westphalia, Germany.

Conference presentations

The Final Palaeolithic of Northern Eurasia, International Prehistoric Conference in Amiens, France (invited) (June 2016)

Street, M., Baales, M., Gehlen, B., Heinen, M. & Zander, A. Human responses to rapid environmental change: Archaeology across the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary in western Germany

25th Mesolithic Conference of the German Mesolithic Workgroup, Krásná Lípa, Czech (March 2016)

Heek-Nienborg and Werl-Büderich: Lithic assemblages at the Palaeolithic-Mesolithic transition in Westphalia, Germany

Bonn-Oberkassel Federmesser Burial, International Symposium on Palaeolithic Archaeology, Bonn, Germany (October 2015)

Gehlen, B., Zander, A., Street, M. & Scheu, A. Lateglacial and early Holocene transitions in Westphalia

23rd Mesolithic Conference of the German Mesolithic Workgroup in Landshut, Germany (March 2014)

Untersuchungen zu Fauna und Steinartefakten Europäischer Mesolithischer Fundplätze mit Hirschgeweihmasken

Where The Wild Things Are 2.0. Conference: Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology, Durham (January 2014)

An investigation of the faunal and lithic assemblages of the European Mesolithic sites with antler frontlets


Nottingham Industrial Museum: Winner of the Nottinghamshire Heritage Site of the Year Award 2012 (

University of Nottingham Museum 2011-2013: Everyday Life in Roman Margidunum Project

Led and supervised the key stage 2 and 3 educational travelling exhibition of the Museum, including developing and delivering extensive teaching sessions in primary schools about Roman artefacts (

Neanderthal Museum, Germany: Special Exhibitions “From Wolf to Dog” and “Egyptian Mummies” 2013-2014 (;

Contact details

Annabell Zander
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor

Tel: (44) 1904 433931
Fax: (44) 1904 433902