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Doctoral Students

Kerryn Warren

Thesis title: Of Mice and Hominins: Using Hybridization in Mice as a Proxy for Identifying Hybrids in the Hominin Fossil Record.

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Rebecca R Ackermann

Contact details: Twitter: @kerryn_warren 




Nicholas Zachariou

Short description: My PhD thesis is titled ‘A Biography of Land and Landscape: the Archaeology of the Sak River Mission Station 1799-1900’, and addresses the biographies of archaeological sites in the semi-desert Karoo region of South Africa through visual and written text, landscape and archaeology. My interests lie in the interface between the colonial and pre-colonial spheres, the associated milieu or bricolage, and how each interacts and influences the other, particularly through representation, landscape use and material culture.

Supervisor: Assoc Prof. Simon L. Hall

Contact Details:

                                                                       Societies: Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA)
                                                                       PanAfrican Archaeological Association (PAA)     

Abigail Moffett

Short description: My PhD thesis, entitled 'Phalaborwa, where the hammer is heard: an archaeological and historical investigation into the organisation of metal production', focuses on the role of metals in the political economy of Iron Age communities. My current research interests include the production, circulation and consumption of commodities in the Iron Age, crafting and cross craft gender relationships and innovation, improvisation and technology transfer across southern Africa and the Indian Ocean network.

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Shadreck Chirikure and Assoc Prof. Simon Hall





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)

Contact Details:


Julie Luyt

Thesis title: An application of light stable isotope biogeochemistry to shed light on the environmental changes in the Southern African winter and year-round rainfall zone.

Supervisor: Prof Judith Sealy









Name: Tawanda MUKWENDE
PhD Title: An Archaeological study of the Zimbabwe Culture Capital of Khami, South-western Zimbabwe
The focus of my study is to understand the material culture and use of spaces at the site of Khami, the capital of the Butua state between about 1400AD and 1650AD. Understanding of the material culture distribution will help in understanding the use of the various spaces at the site including the many stone walled platforms and other open areas that are generally believed to be commoner zones. My other objective is to use material culture to understand the chronology of the site and how it relates to other sites in southern Africa. I am also interested in issues of heritage management.

Supervisors: Assoc Prof Shadreck Chirikure and Assoc Prof Simon Hall