Emma Jenkins

Dr Emma Jenkins

  • 01202 968184
  • ejenkins at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • Associate Professor
  • Christchurch House C218b, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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I am an Environmental Archaeologist whose research interests are focused on the Neolithic of southwest Asia. I am particularly interested in why and how people made the switch from being mobile hunter-gatherers to settled farmers. I have two archaeological specialisms which I use to address these questions phytolith and microfaunal analysis.

I have an undergraduate degree in Archaeology from the University of Bristol and an M. Phil and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. I am a committee member for the Association for Environmental Archaeology and in my spare time I enjoy cycling, walking and reading.


I am currently involved in a number of research projects involving the Neolithic of southwest Asia.

I have recently been awarded an AHRC, Early Career grant in collaboration with Dr Carol Palmer (CBRL), Prof John Grattan (University of Aberystwyth) and Dr Helen Smith (Bournemouth University). The aim of this project is to develop a combined phytolith and geochemical method to help us understand how space was used in early Neolithic sites through the ethnographic analysis of Bedouin camp sites and traditionally built villages in Jordan (http://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/2014/07/inea-project-2/).

I work on the WF16 project (a PPNA site in southern Jordan), the Eastern Fertile Crescent Prehistory Project (EFEC) which explores the transition from foraging to farming in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq, the Boncuklu Project and the Çatalhöyük Project.

Journal Articles

  • Elliott, S., Palmer, C., Samantha Lee, A. and Jenkins, E., 2019. Examining Neolithic Building and Activity Areas through Historic Cultural Heritage in Jordan: A Combined Ethnographic, Phytolith and Geochemical Investigation. Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant : CBRL.
  • Flohr, P., Jenkins, E., Williams, H.R.S., Jamjoum, K., Nuimat, S. and Müldner, G., 2019. What can crop stable isotopes ever do for us? An experimental perspective on using cereal carbon stable isotope values for reconstructing water availability in semi-arid and arid environments. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.
  • Vos, D., Jenkins, E. and Palmer, C., 2018. A dual geochemical-phytolith methodology for studying activity areas in ephemeral sites: Insights from an ethnographic case study from Jordan. Geoarchaeology, 33 (6), 680-694.
  • Baird, D., Jenkins, E. et al., 2018. Agricultural origins on the Anatolian plateau. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115 (14), E3077-E3086.
  • Jenkins, E.L., Allcock, S.L., Elliott, S., Palmer, C. and Grattan, J., 2017. Ethno-geochemical and Phytolith Studies of Activity Related Patterns: A Case Study from Al Ma’tan, Jordan. Environmental Archaeology, 22 (4), 412-433.
  • Birch-Chapman, S., Jenkins, E., Coward, F. and Maltby, M., 2017. Estimating population size, density and dynamics of Pre-Pottery Neolithic villages in the central and southern Levant: an analysis of Beidha, southern Jordan. Levant, 49 (1), 1-23.
  • Wicks, K., Finlayson, B., Maričević, D., Smith, S., Jenkins, E. and Mithen, S., 2016. Dating WF16: Exploring the Chronology of a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Settlement in the Southern Levant. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 82, 73-123.
  • Jenkins, E., Jamjoum, K., Nuimat, S., Stafford, R., Nortcliff, S. and Mithen, S., 2016. Identifying ancient water availability through phytolith analysis: An experimental approach. Journal of Archaeological Science, 73, 82-93.
  • Fairbairn, A., Jenkins, E., Baird, D. and Jacobsen, G., 2014. 9th millennium plant subsistence in the central Anatolian highlands: new evidence from Pınarbaşı, Karaman Province, central Anatolia. Journal of Archaeological Science, 41, 801-812.
  • Baird, D., Jenkins, E. et al., 2013. Juniper smoke, skulls and wolves' tails. The Epipalaeolithic of the Anatolian plateau in its South-west Asian context; insights from Pinarbaşi. Levant, 45 (2), 175-209.
  • Jenkins, E., 2012. Mice, scats and burials: unusual concentrations of microfauna found in human burials at the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk, Central Anatolia. Journal of Social Archaeology, 12 (3), 380-403.
  • Mithen, S.J., Finlayson, B., Smith, S., Jenkins, E.L., Najjar, M. and Maricevic, D., 2011. An 11 600 year-old communal structure from the Neolithic of southern Jordan. Antiquity, 85, 350-364.
  • Flohr, P., Muldner, G. and Jenkins, E.L., 2011. Carbon stable isotope analysis of cereal remains as a way to reconstruct water availability: preliminary results. Water History.
  • Turner, R., Roberts, N., Eastwood, W.J., Jenkins, E.L. and Rosen, A.M., 2010. Fire, climate and the origins of agriculture: micro-charcoal records of biomass burning during the Last Glacial Interglacial Transition in Southwest Asia. Journal of Quaternary Science, 25, 371-386.
  • Finlayson, B., Mithen, S.J., Najjar, M., Jenkins, E.L. and Smith, S., 2009. Excavations at Pre-Pottery Neolithic A WF16, Southern Jordan. Antiquity (Project gallery), 83.
  • Finlayson, B., Mithen, S.J., Jenkins, E.L., Smith, S.J., Helmsley, S., Maricevic, D., Pankhurst, N., Yeomans, L. and al-Amarat, H., 2009. Excavations at the PPNA site WF16: A Preliminary Report on the 2008 season. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 53, 115-126.
  • Jenkins, E.L., 2009. Phytolith taphonomy: a comparison of dry ashing and acid extraction on the breakdown of conjoined phytoliths formed in Triticum durum. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36, 2402-2407.
  • Deckers, K., Riehl, S., Jenkins, E.L., Rosen, A.M., Dodonov, A., Simokava, A.N. and Conard, N.J., 2009. Vegetation Development and Human Occupation in the Damascus Region of Southwestern Syria from Pleistocene to Holocene. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 18, 329-340.
  • Mithen, S.J., Jenkins, E.L., Jamjoum, K., Nuimat, S. and Finlayson, B., 2008. Experimental Crop Growing in Jordan to Develop A Methodology for the Identification of Ancient Crop Irrigation. World Archaeology, 40, 7-25.
  • Finlayson, B., Mithen, S.J., Najjar, M., Smith, S.J. and Jenkins, E.L., 2008. New Excavations at the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Site of Wadi Faynan 16. Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant, 3, 60-61.



  • Mithen, S., Finlayson, B., Maricevic, D., Smith, S., Jenkins, E. and Najjar, M., 2015. Death and Architecture: The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Burials at WF16, Wadi Faynan, Southern Jordan. In: Renfrew, C., Boyd, M.J. and Morley, I., eds. Death Rituals, Social Order and the Archaeology of Immortality in the Ancient World "Death Shall Have No Dominion". Cambridge University Press, 82-110.
  • Jenkins, E. and Yeomans, L., 2013. The Çatalhöyük microfauna. Humans and Landscapes of Çatalhöyük: reports from the 2000-2008 seasons. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 253-264.
  • Jenkins, E., 2012. The Microfauna of the BACH Area. In: Tringhham, R. and Stevanović, M., eds. Last House on the Hill: BACH Area Reports from Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Los Angeles, CA, USA: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 253-260.
  • Jenkins, E., Rosen, A.M. and Otsaku, M., 2012. The Phytoliths of the BACH Area. In: Tringham, R. and Stevanović, M., eds. Last House on the Hill: BACH Area Reports from Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Los Angeles, CA, USA: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 261-267.
  • Stokes, H., Muldner, G. and Jenkins, E.L., 2011. An investigation into the archaeological application of carbon stable isotope analysis used to establish crop water availability: solutions and ways forward. In: Mithen, S. and Black, E., eds. Water, life and civilisation: climate, environment and society in the Jordan Valley. Cambridge, England/ New York: Cambridge University Press/UNESCO, 373-380.
  • Jenkins, E.L., Jamjoum, K. and Nuimat, S., 2011. Irrigation and phytolith formation:an experimental study. In: Mithen, S.J. and Black, E., eds. Water, life and civilisation: climate, environment and society in the Jordan Valley. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press/UNESCO, 347-372.
  • Jenkins, E.L., Baker, A. and Elliott, S., 2011. Past plant use in Jordan as revealed by archaeological and ethnoarchaeological phytolith signatures. In: Mithen, S.J. and Black, E., eds. Water, life and civilisation: climate, environment and society in the Jordan Valley. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press/UNESCO, 381-399.
  • Jenkins, E.L. and Rosen, A.M., 2007. The Phytoliths. In: Finlayson, B. and Mithen, S., eds. The Early Prehistory of Wadi Faynan, Southern Jordan: Archaeological survey of Wadis Faynan, Ghuwayr and al-Bustan and Evaluation of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Settlement of WF16. Oxford, England: Oxbow Books, 429-436.
  • Jenkins, E.L., 2005. The Çatalhöyük microfauna: preliminary results and interpretations. In: Hodder, I., ed. Inhabiting Çatalhöyük: reports from the 1995-1999 seasons. Cambridge/London: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and British Institute at Ankara, 111-116.
  • Andrews, P. and Jenkins, E.L., 2000. The Taphonomy of the Small Mammal Faunas. In: Barham, L., ed. The Middle Stone Age of Zambia, South Central Africa. Bristol, England: Western Academic & Specialist Press, 57-62.


PhD Students

  • Michelle Feider. Understanding early Neolithic communities in Anatolia: using small vertebrates to inform on the palaeoenvironmental and social conditions during the transition from mobile hunter-gatherers to settled farmers

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Unit Leader Level M Advanced Zooarchaeology

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Unit Leader for Environmental Archaeology
  • Option Leader for Post Excavation-Environmental Remains
  • Unit Leader Level C Gathering Time

Invited Lectures

  • Magdalene College, University of Cambridge: Life on the Wadi Edge: Excavations at the PPNA site of WF16, southern Jordan
  • British Academy, London, 15 Mar 2017 more


  • Identifying activity areas in Neolithic sites through ethnographic analysis of phytoliths and geochemical residues (AHRC, 01 Jan 2014). Awarded

Internal Responsibilities

  • Outreach and Recruitment Lead, Archaelogy, Anthropology and Forensic Sciences Departmental Leadership Team
  • REF Outputs Champion, Archaeology, Anthropology and Forensic Sciences REF Team
  • Member, PGR External Examiner Approval Committee

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • 2016 Mini BU Archaeologists: Skull Workshop, Talbot Woods Pre-School, BU, Poole
  • 2016: Human Evolution workshop, Hamworthy Park Junior School, Poole
  • 2016 BU Mini Archaeologists:sand-pit digging activity. Talbot Woods Pre-School, BU, Poole
  • 2016 St Lukes primary School Visit-Farmyard animals from the inside out.
  • 2016 Talk on Wadi Faynan 16 a Neolithic village in Jordan-South Wessex Archaeological Association
  • 2016 Archaeology/Anthropology Talk and Osteoarchaeology Practical-Brockenhurst College
  • 2015 Archaeology talk and Osteoarchaeology practical-Luton Sixth Form College
  • 2015 Osteoarchaeology Talk and Practical-Ringwood Waldorf Steiner School
  • 2015 Stand at Glenmoor and Winton Academies Career Convention
  • 2015 Bournemouth University Webinar for International Applicants
  • 2014 Archaeology talk on the Neolithic-Luton Sixth Form College
  • 2014 Archaeology talk on the Neolithic-Strode College, Somerset
  • 2014 Archaeology Talk and Practical-Osteoarchaeology-Richard Huish College, Somerset
  • 2014 Stonehenge talk and Practical Activity-Hillside First School, Verwood
  • 2014 Stand at Bournemouth School Career Fair
  • 2014 Particpant in Meet the Scientist Day-Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester
  • 2014 Designed and participated in an A Level teacher CPD course
  • 2014 Neolithic Archaeology Talk-Ringwood Waldorf Steiner School
  • 2013 An in house Archaeology day for AS/A Level students from Brockenhurst College
  • 2013 Designed and participated in an A Level Teacher CPD course
  • 2013 Talk and stand at Careers Convention-Bournemouth and Talbot Heath Schools
  • 2013 Archaeology talk for the Bishop of Wordsworth School's History Society
  • 2013 Zooarchaeology talk and practical for AS/A Level Students-Brockenhurst College
  • 2013 Archaeology talk-Bournemouth School for Boys
  • 2013 Archaeology Talk-St Brendan's Sixth form College, Bristol
  • Ongoing-STEM Ambassador and Outreach Coordinator for Archaeology and Anthropology
  • 2013 Archaeology Talk and Workshop-Broadstone First School

Conference Presentations

  • Association of Environmental Archaeology, Combining phytolith analysis and geochemistry to study ephemeral sites in dynamic environments, 29 Sep 2016, Rome
  • International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Exploring methods for site characterisation in ephemeral Neolithic and ethnographic sites in Jordan, 25 Apr 2016, Vienna
  • International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, . Estimating Population Parameters of Early Village Societies in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic Central and Southern Levant, 25 Apr 2016, Vienna
  • 13th Synchroton-Light For Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) User Meeting User Meeting, Synthesis of a range of analytical techniques used in archaeological projects in Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Turkey: X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, portable X-ray fluorescence, environmental scanni, 25 Nov 2015, Amman
  • European Association of Archaeologists, A Tale of Two methods: Applying Phytolith and Geochemical Analysis to Study the Use of Space at Ethnographic and Neolithic Ephemeral Sites in Jordan, 02 Sep 2015, Glasgow
  • 1st Petra International Conference on Cultural Tourism, New Research on the Old Village of Al-Ma’tan: Futures for the recent past, 17 May 2015, Ma'an, Jordan
  • Society for American Archaeology, An Integrated phytolith and geochemical approach to understanding activity areas and the choice of building materials in Neolithic sites using ethnographic analysis, 15 Apr 2015, San Francisco
  • British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology, A new integrated approach to understanding household activity areas using phytolith and geochemical signatures from ethnographic and archaeological sites in Jordan, 07 Jan 2015, London
  • British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology, Rural Settlement, House Forms and Oral Histories in Southern Jordan, 07 Jan 2015, London
  • British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology, Studying Phytolith and Geochemical Soil Signatures in Bedouin Campsites at Wadi Faynan, Jordan, 07 Jan 2015, London
  • Association for Environmental Archaeology, An integrated approach to understanding activity areas using phytolith and geochemical signatures from ethnographic and archaeological sites in Jordan, 07 Nov 2014, Plymouth
  • -British Association for Near eastern Archaeology, Reconstructing past water management with plant stable isotopes: possibilities and applications of a novel technique, 09 Jan 2014, Reading
  • World Archaeological Congress, Plant carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios for the reconstruction of past water availability: new insights, 13 Jan 2013, Dead Sea Region, Jordan
  • Experimental Archaeology Conference, Reconstructing past water availability with plant stable isotope ratios: re-assessing a method by using experimental archaeology, 06 Jan 2012, York
  • Experimental Archaeology Conference, Phytoliths as indicators of past water availability and palaeoeconomic practices, 08 Jan 2011, Reading
  • Experimental Archaeology Conference, Stable isotope analyses of ancient cereal grains for environmental reconstruction: using experimental archaeology to improve existing methodology, 08 Jan 2011, Reading
  • British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology, Changes in Plant Exploitation from the PPNA to the PPNB in Wadi Faynan: Analysis of Phytoliths from WF16 to Ghuwayr 1, 07 Jan 2009, Durham
  • Society for American Archaeology, The Ecological Footprint of Early Levantine Cereal Exploitation, 24 Apr 2007, Austin, Texas
  • British Association of Near Eastern Archaeology, Water, Life and Civilisation: Experimental Crop Growing for Phytolith Analysis, 01 Apr 2007, Birmingham
  • International Meeting on Phytolith Research, Phytoliths as Indicators of Irrigation: An Outline of On-going Crop Growing Experiments and their Implications for Phytolith Research, 05 Sep 2006, Barcelona
  • Society for American Archaeology, Serial Collectors of the 12th to 11th Millennium BP: A Possible Case Against Cultivation in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A in the Jordan Valley, 24 Apr 2006, Puerto Rico
  • Society for American Archaeology, Phytoliths as Indicators of Plant Use at Çatalhöyük, 24 Apr 2006, Puerto Rico


  • BA (Hons) in Archaeology (University of Bristol, 1997)
  • MPhil in Archaeology (University of Cambridge, 1999)
  • PhD in Archaeology (University of Cambridge, 2004)


  • Association for Environmental Archaeology, Ordinary Committee Member, http://envarch.net/
  • British Association for Near Eastern Archaeology, Steering Commitee (2016-), http://banealcane.org/banea/
  • Council for British Research in the Levant, Member (2014-),
  • Higher Education Academy, Fellow (2014-),
  • Society for Phytolith Research, Member,
  • STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineeering and Mathematcis Network), Member (2013-), http://www.stemnet.org.uk/
  • WISE (Women in SCience technology and Engineering), Member (2016-), https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/
The data on this page was last updated at 04:09 on July 19, 2019.