Environmental archaeology (EA) is the study of humans in diverse ecological systems of the past through a variety of lenses, from geoarchaeology to zooarchaeology and archaeobotany. It complements both human and physical geography by adding time depth to the understanding of the environment and people’s interaction with it.
At UNT, we have strengths in geoarchaeology, the study of the geological record to understand past environments and archaeological site formation processes, and in zooarchaeology, the study of animal remains from archaeological sites to understand past diets and environments. Our research in the EA core takes place in many parts of the world, from the Pacific Islands to North and South America to central Asia, spanning topics from hominid evolution to conservation biology and archaeological chemistry.
The Center for Environmental Archaeology houses the geoarchaeology and zooarchaeology laboratories. Current projects include geoarchaeology at Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia, carnivore and human ecology in late Holocene New Zealand, method development in archaeological residue analysis, and late Holocene environments and conservation paleobiology in North America. Recent publications have appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the Journal of Archaeological Science, Diversity and Distributions, and Ecological Monographs. Recent funding sources include the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences.