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HEEAL: Historical Ecologies of East African Landscapes


February 2010

Pauline von Hellermann was invited to speak to the Political Ecology Group of the Geography Department at the University Cambridge and gave the paper 'Conservation contra Cashcrops: Okomu National Park and its plantation neighbours, Southern Nigeria', on 9th February 2010.

January 2010

Center for African Studies, University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida, 9th 2010

While visiting the US, Paul Lane gave an invited public lecture on ‘Possibilities for a postcolonial archaeology in sub-Saharan Africa: Indigeneity, hybrid knowledge and useable pasts’.


Society for Historical Archaeology, 43rd Annual Conference

Amelia Island Plantation, Florida, 6-9th January 2010

Paul gave two invited papers at the conference, on in the session Prehistory as History or the end of Prehistory: Reconfiguring Historical Archaeology to Include Non-western, Global Perspectives, entitled ‘Presencing the past: implications for bridging the history-prehistory divide.’ His second paper, ‘Global connections and the 19th-century trade in East Africa ivory,’ was given in a session on African Historical Archaeology: Diasporic Conversations.


December 2009

TAG 2009

Durham, 17-19th December 2009

Daryl Stump and Paul Lane organised a session at the 31st Theoretical Archaeology Group conference on Developing Landscape Historical Ecologies: Integrating Theory with Applied Approaches, and Daryl presented a paper on ‘Beyond Burgundian fishponds: can historical ecology fulfil its promise of future application.’ Paul was unfortunately snowed in at Bergen airport (where he had been to examine a PhD thesis), and was unable to get to Durham in time to present his own paper.

108th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association

Philadelphia, 2-6 December 2009

Paul Lane attended the 108th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, and gave an invited paper in the Presidential Session – Anthropology’s Post-National Spaces, on ‘Possibilities for a post-nationalist archaeology in sub-Saharan Africa: Indigineity, hybrid knowledge and the public sphere.’


November 2009


HEEAL-PLATINA Research Meeting & HEEAL Management Board Meeting

Stockholm, 12-13 November

All of the HEEAL project members visited Stockholm in November to present short papers on their respective research at a joint HEEAL-PLATINA research seminar, generously supported by the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. Most members of the HEEAL Management Board also attended the meeting. This was the first opportunity the Management Board had had to meet the HEEAL team as a group, and they provided very helpful advice and constructive criticism on the various elements of the project.

Conflicts over Lands in the 21st Century.
Colloquium at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, organised by the National Committee of Geographers

Stockholm, 10th November

Pauline von Hellermann attended this meeting.

Sealinks - Ancient Indian Ocean Corridors Conference

Oxford, 7-8 November

Paul Lane attended this conference, and acted as the final discussant.



October 2009

Archaeology Department Research Forum Seminar

York, 21 October

Daryl Stump & Paul Lane presented short seminars in the department’s Research Forum seminar series. Daryl spoke on his previous work at Engaruka and plans for further research there in 2010, while Paul spoke about the historic buildings in Pangani and the possibilities for research collaboration with the Tanzania Antiquities Unit and a local NGO Uzikwaza.


CREATING (Collaborative Research on East Africa Territory Integration within Globalisation)

Tervuren, Belgium, 15-16 October

Paul Lane attended a workshop on the EU-funded CREATING project coordinated by the University of Toulouse-Le Mirail, the British Institute in Eastern Africa, IFRA-Nairobi and the Royal Museum for Central Africa. As part of the workshop he helped review student presentations of their research activities and participated in discussions concerning future activities and collaboration.

6th African Archaeology Research Day

Liverpool, 10th October 2009.

Paul Lane, Daryl Stump, Pauline von Hellermann, Ashley Coutu and Matthias Heckmann attended the AARD meeting, with Heckmann presenting ‘Repeated phases of landscape instability and soil erosion in the Pare Mountains, NE Tanzania’.

Africa’s Fragile Heritages and Future Challenges

Cambridge, 3-4 October

Paul Lane and Daryl Stump attended this two-day workshop held at the McDonald Institute in the Department of Archaeology. Paul presented a paper on Future Urban Growth and Archaeological Heritage Management: Some Implications for Research Activity in Africa.

Postgraduate Conference in Historical Archaeology

Leicester, 3rd October 2010

Ashley Coutu presented ‘Tracing the links between elephants and humans during the 19th-century East African caravan trade’.


September 2009

Researching Ivories Workshop 3

York, 29-30th September2009

Paul Lane co-organised this workshop together with Sonia O’Connor (University of Bradford) as part of an AHRC/EPSRC science and heritage network grant Researching Ivories. He presented a paper (with Ashley Coutu and Steve Ashby) on ‘Reconstructing the biographies of ivory objects: An African case study.’

UK Archaeological Sciences 2009 Biennial Conference

Nottingham, 8th - 10th September 2009

Ashley Coutu presented 'Provenancing historic East African ivory using stable and radiogenic isotope analysis: Preliminary results and ongoing challenges', whilst Matthias Heckmann spoke on 'Human and climate induced phases of landscape instability and soil erosion in the Pare Mountains, NE Tanzania'.

Association for Environmental Archaeology 30th Anniversary Meeting

University of York, 3rd - 5th September 2009

Matthias Heckmann presented 'Examining landscape change and soil erosion histories in the Pare Mountains, NE Tanzania’, and Ashley Coutu gave the paper 'The 19th century East African ivory trade: a bioarchaeological study'.

August 2009


1st World Congress of Environmental History


Copenhagen, 4th - 8th August 2009

HEEAL organised the panel Land Use History and Landscape Change in Northeastern Tanzania: Multi-disciplinary and Multi-temporal Perspectives to present HEEAL and KITE research. Paul Lane gave a paper on behalf of Rob Marchant and the KITE team, entitled ‘Detecting human footprints over the Late Holocene in a biodiversity hotspot: the Eastern Mountains of Tanzania’, which both presented KITE findings and raised important questions about forest cover changes in the last millennium. In  ‘Agricultural Intensification and Landscape Change in the Pare-Mountains: Archaeological and Geoarchaeological approaches’, Matthias Heckmann presented  a summary of his findings, which point towards a long history of soil erosion in his research sites, whilst Daryl Stump gave an overview of his research in Northern Pare in ‘Archaeological perspectives on indigenous conservation in precolonial Pare, Tanzania’. Pauline von Hellermann discussed the dynamics of landscape change in the Pare Mountains in relation to existing narratives of environmental change in ‘Colonial and Postcolonial Land Use Regimes and Landscape Change in the Pare Mountains, Northeastern Tanzania’.


July 2009


50th Anniversary of Olduvai Gorge Conference


Arusha, 13 – 17th July 2009

Thomas Biginagwa received an invitation to present at a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Zinjanthropus Boisei at Olduvai Gorge. His paper ‘The consequences of the 19th century caravan trade on human environment in East Africa’ gave a snapshot of the findings from Ngombezi and a preliminary analysis of the data to inform the conference participants that this topic is doable by employing multi-techniques and methods, as well as by forging multi-disciplinary approaches.


Five Hundred Years Initiative Project

Mpumalanga & Johannesburg, South Africa, 22-26 July

Daryl Stump and Paul Lane joined the pre-Workshop field trip to visit archaeological sites and monuments in Mpumalanga, led by Professor Tim Maggs, and later attended the 3rd FYI workshop, held at the Origin’s Centre, Wits University. Both presented invited papers on their HEEAL research.


June 2009

Researching Ivories Workshop 2

London, 9th June 2009

Paul Lane co-organised this workshop together with Sonia O’Connor (University of Bradford) as part of an AHRC/EPSRC science and heritage network grant Researching Ivories.


April 2009


Researching Ivories Workshop


Liverpool, 23rd April 2009

Paul Lane co-organised this workshop together with Sonia O’Connor (University of Bradford) as part of an AHRC/EPSRC science and heritage network grant Researching Ivories. Ashley Coutu spoke about isotope analysis.

ASA09: Anthropological and archaeological imaginations


Bristol, 6th - 9th April 2009

Together with Professor James Fairhead (University of Sussex), Pauline von Hellermann organised the panel Historical ecologies of tropical landscapes: new engagements between anthropologists and archaeologists at ASA09. The panel brought together leading Historical Ecology researchers working in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and resulted in highly stimulating and fruitful discussion. Von Hellermann presented a paper co-authored with Daryl Stump, ‘The archaeology and anthropology of conservation in Pare, Tanzania’. Paul Lane presented  ‘“But how false a view is this!” Historical ecology, climate change and anthropologies of East African pastoralism’.

Geoarchaeology 2009

Sheffield, 15th – 17th April 2009

Matthias Heckmann presented his poster ‘Soil Erosion phases in the Pare Mountains: Humans or Climate?’.

February 2009

Pauline von Hellermann was invited to speak at the Centre for World Environmental History at Sussex University on 25th February 2009. She presented ‘Historical ecologies of East African Landscapes: Missionary photographs, memory and landscape change in the Pare Mountains.’

January 2009


Quaternary Research Association (QRA), Annual Discussion Meeting

5th – 7th January 2009

Matthias Heckmann presented and discussed his poster  ‘Landscape Change in the Pare Mountains‘.
Pauline von Hellermann was invited to speak at the Colloquium Africanum, Cologne University, on 27th January 2009. She presented her preliminary research findings in the paper ‘“More houses, more trees”: Missionary Photographs and Landscape Change in the Pare Mountains.’

November 2008

5th African Archaeology Research Day

HEEAL hosted the 5th African Archaeology Research Day at York, an event attended by 65 delegates presenting 30 papers. These included Ashley Coutu’s paper ‘, whilst Pauline von Hellermann presented a paper based on her previous research at Sussex University on forest history in Southern Nigeria, ‘Was Benin a Forest Kingdom? Reconstructing Past Landscapes in Southern Nigeria’.

September 2008

The Third International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology

Vanbrugh College, University of York
September 14-16, 2008

Ashley Coutu presented 'Tracing the links between elephants, humans, and land use in East Africa during the 19th century caravan trade: a bioarchaeological study', a paper which demonstrates the enormous potential of the techniques she has been developing. Matthias Heckmann discussed his research methods and preliminary findings in 'Landscape history of the Pare Mountains, Tanzania: a geoarchaeological approach'. 
ASAUK Biennial Conference 2008
'The Presence of the Past? Africa in the 21st Century'
September 11–13, 2008, University of Central Lancashire, Preston
Pauline von Hellermann presented  ' Evoking the past: missionary photography and landscape memory in the Pare Mountains’ , Daryl Stump ‘Past and policy: historical perspectives on sustainable agriculture in highland Tanzania’ and Paul Lane ‘Pastoralist cultural 'Bomas' - paradoxes of place and the re-invention of tradition in Kenya and Tanzania.’

The 19th SAfA Biennial Meeting

Cultural Diversity of Africa's Past
8th - 11th of September 2008

Paul Lane was elected President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists. He spoke on 'Pastoralist landscapes and burial practices in Samburu and Laikipia' and was  a discussant  on the panel 'The diversity of foraging and food-producing communities in East Africa'. He also co-authored a poster presentation with Stefania Merlo, University of Botswana, on 'The emergence of Tswana settlement patterns in Southeastern Botswana: archaeology at Ranaka - Kanye'. At the same event Daryl Stump spoke on 'Archaeological perspectives on indigenous conservation in pre-colonial Pare, Tanzania', and Ashley Coutu and Matthias Heckmann gave poster presentations on their research. 

June-July 2008

Sixth World Archaeology Congress

University College Dublin
29th June – 4th July

Daryl Stump co-organised a session with Christian Isendahl (Department of African and Comparative Archaeology, University of Uppsala) on ‘Applied archaeology and Historical Ecology’ as part of the broader theme ‘Our Changing Planet: past human environments in modern contexts’.  The session included papers from Africa, South America and from northern and Mediterranean Europe, all of which aimed to critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of archaeological data in the formation of modern land-use policies.  Stump presented a paper entitled ‘The role of the past in developmental discourse in eastern Africa’ and will be contributing a chapter of the same name to a forthcoming volume arising from this session theme.

May 2008

New research on Nigeria Workshop

St. Antony’s College, Oxford, 15th May 2008

Pauline von Hellermann again presented ‘The Chief, the youth and the plantation: a patrimonial crisis in rural Nigeria’, at this stimulating workshop on recent research on Nigerian politics.

April 2008

14th British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Symposium

The British Academy, London, 22nd April 2008

Pauline von Hellermann presented a paper resulting from her previous postdoctoral fellowship at Sussex University, ‘The Chief, the Youth and the Plantation: Resource Politics in Southern Nigeria’.

January 2008

The Society of Historical Archaeologists’ Conference

Albuquerque, New Mexico, 9th-13th January

Daryl Stump presented a paper entitled ‘The historical ecology of east African intensive agriculture’ which aimed to summarise the aims of the HEEAL project

December 2007

4th African Archaeology Research Day

St. Hugh’s College, Oxford

Paul Lane spoke on recent fieldwork on stone cairns in Kenya, whilst Daryl Stump presented ‘Hamo Sassoon’s personal archive.  Comments on material recently gifted to the BIEA’; a paper that was subsequently published in the African Archaeological Review (Stump 2008).  A poster outlining the aims, methodologies and structure of the HEEAL project was also presented.

June 2007

Inaugural meeting of the East African Quaternary Research Association (EAQUA), Kampala, 5th-6th of June

A paper entitled ‘Late Iron Age intensive agricultural landscapes in eastern Africa: a summary of recent and ongoing research’ was presented by Daryl Stump at the inaugural meeting of this research association.  Jemma Finch of the KITE project also attended, presenting a poster on her first fieldwork data

Related projects

  • KITE York Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Dynamic
  • CELP York Centre for Ecology, Law and Policy
  • SEALINKS Bridging Continents Across the Sea: Multi-disciplinary perspectives on the prehistoric emergence of long-distance maritime contacts
  • PLATINA People Land and Time in Africa 

Key documents

For staff