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Doctoral Students


Elzanne Singels

PhD Thesis Title: The role of geophytes in stone-age hunter-gatherer diets in the Cape of South Africa.

Description: During the course of our species evolution a stable source of carbohydrates would have become increasingly more important for our sugar hungry brain development.  A vast source of carbohydrates presents itself in the geophyte plant community in the Cape of South Africa.  Geophytes are plants which possess underground storage organs, packed with complex carbohydrates.  The Cape has the highest diversity and density of these plants in the world which seemingly played an important role in prehistoric diets.  Describing how our ancestors survived by foraging in the Cape is difficult, but there are a few key lines of evidence which will be followed to solve the mystery.

Supervisors:Prof John Parkingrton and Prof Karen Esler (from Stellenbosch University)

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Michelle House

PhD title: Straight from the cow's mouth: exploring cattle management and procurement at Great Zimbabwe (1200-1700 CE) using a multi-isotopic approach.

Great Zimbabwe known for its magnificent architecture, thrived from around AD1200- 1700. Cattle at this prehistoric Shona society have long been known to be of vital importance socially, economically and politically. The distribution of cattle skeletal remains across the site through time and space have been relatively well researched. However, the management of resources by cattle herders such as grazing land as well as transhumance strategies have never been explored using empirical evidence. My PhD aims to use serial sampling of cattle tooth enamel and dentine to measure the oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and strontium isotope profiles. These methods have been widely used in other regions of the world, and to a lesser extent in the southern African Iron Age. This work hopes to shed light on issues surrounding the seasonal use of resources around Great Zimbabwe and southern Zimbabwe through time and space. 

Supervisors: Prof Judith Sealy; Prof Shadreck Chirikure

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Vuyiswa Lupuwana

Thesis Title: The rock paintings and engravings of the 17th-18th century Karoo - Tracing Khoikhoi identity in a time of change, conflict and assimilation.

Supervisor: Prof. Simon Hall

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Other activities include - film-making (short films and documentaries), screenwriting and photography.






Robert Tendai Nyamushosho

Theses Title: Sociopolitical complexity, early urbanism and innovation in the Iron Age of the Shashi region, southern Africa

Supervisor: Assoc Prof Shadreck Chirikure

Research interests: Iron Age, Ethnoarchaeology, Ceramic ethnoarchaeology, Heritage Interpretation and presentation

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Societies: Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAFA)




Robyn Humphreys

Thesis Title:  Variation in the skeletal and ectodermal phenotype of mouse hybrids

Supervisor: Professor Rebecca Rogers Ackermann

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Banele Dosi

Nomawethu Hlazo

Shelona Klatzow

Nandi Masemula

Ndivhuho Eric Mathoho

Nthabiseng Mokoena

Pascall Taruvinga

Genius Tevera