Daryl Stump
Senior Research Fellow



Daryl Stump heads the ERC-funded ‘Archaeology of Agricultural Resilience in Eastern Africa’ project (AAREA) which is examining the long-term sustainability of two east African agricultural systems (Engaruka in Tanzania and Konso in Ethiopia) through a combination of archaeological, geoarchaeological, archaeobotanical and modelling techniques.  In doing so the project aims to move beyond a focus on these sites to present a frank and realistic appraisal of the role archaeology can play in sustainability debates worldwide, and to actively engage with broader developmental and conservationist agendas by directly liaising with governmental and non-governmental agencies that explicitly or implicitly act upon perceptions of long-term resilience.

Daryl first joined York as part of another EU-funded project: ‘Historical Ecologies of East African Landscapes’ (HEEAL) led by Paul Lane between 2007 and 2011.  Between these two projects he returned to his first love of British contract field archaeology; a compulsion he has been both enjoying and enduring since 1992.  Daryl holds a degree in Social Anthropology and African Archaeology from SOAS (1999); an MA and PhD in African Archaeology from UCL (2001 and 2006); and a grudge against the pigeons that eat his cabbages.



Recent and current research combines an interest in agricultural history, applied archaeology and in the later archaeology and ethnography of eastern Africa.


The Archaeology of Agricultural Resilience in Eastern Africa (AAREA)

Resistance and Resilience of ancient agricultural soils (tRRACES), with Cruz Ferro Vázquez (Marie Curie Research Fellow)

Anthropogenic units detected by rare earth elements (REE) soil analysis in archaeological strata (MATRIX), with Gianni Gallello (Marie Curie Research Fellow)


Research group(s)

Landscape and Society


Selected publications

Stump, D.  2013. ‘On applied archaeology, indigenous knowledge and the usable past’, Current Anthropology 54 (3): 268-298.

Stump, D.  2013. ‘The role of agricultural and environmental history in developmental discourse in eastern Africa’, in Davies, M and F. Nkirote (eds) Humans and the Environment: new archaeological perspectives for the 21st century.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stump, D.  2013. ‘The archaeology of agricultural intensification in Africa’, in Mitchell, P. and P. Lane (eds) Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stump, D.  2010.  ‘Ancient and backward or long-lived and sustainable: the role of the past in debates concerning rural livelihoods and resource conservation in eastern Africa’, World Development 38 (9): 1251-62.

Stump, D.  2010.  ‘Intensification in context: archaeological approaches to precolonial field systems in eastern and southern Africa’, African Studies 69 (2): 255-278.  Special issue History and Archaeology in Conversation edited by P. Delius and A. Schoeman.

Stump, D. & M. Tagseth.  2009. The history of precolonial and early colonial agriculture on Kilimanjaro: a review’, in T. Clack, (ed.), Culture, History and Identity: Landscapes of Inhabitation in the Mount Kilimanjaro Area, Tanzania. BAR International Series No. 1966. Oxford: Archaeopress. pp. 107-124.

Stump, D.  2006.  ‘The development and expansion of the field and irrigation system at Engaruka, Tanzania’.  Azania 41: 69-94.





Daryl is the module leader for the Third Year special topic 'Archaeology of Colonialism'


Current PhD students:

Tabitha Kabora, 'Dynamics of Water management systems in historical African agricultural societies: Modelling the long term ecosystem and socioeconomic interactions in an historical agronomy in East Africa'

Senna Thornton-Barnett, 'The archaeobotany of agricultural resilience in East Africa'


Contact details

Dr Daryl Stump
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor

Tel: +44 (0)1904 324979

External activities

Invited talks and conferences

Invited to give the first in a series of seminars for the World Historical Ecology Network (WHEN), Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, 8th April 2010, speaking on ‘The role of the past in developmental discourse in eastern Africa’.

Invited speaker at the 3rd Five Hundred Year Project Workshop, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, 24th-26th July 2009.

Selected conference papers

‘Archaeological perspectives on indigenous conservation in precolonial Pare, Tanzania’, presented to the 1st World Congress of Environmental History, Copenhagen, 4th-8th August 2009.

‘Applied archaeology and historical ecology: archaeological approaches to the definition and application of historic resource exploitation strategies’.  Conference session co-organised with Christian Isendahl for the World Archaeology Congress, Dublin, 29th June-4th July 2008. 

‘The historical ecology of east African intensive agriculture’.  presented to the Society of Historical Archaeology Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 9th-13th January 2008.