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Biography I am an environmental archaeologist and a geoarchaeologist with a focus on Middle Eastern Neolithic Archaeology and Ethnoarchaeology. My research focuses on applying scientific methodologies to investigate human and animal occupation/activity signatures. I currently hold a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in partnership with the Council for British Research in the Levant ( I completed my degrees at the University of Reading. My PhD focused on Neolithic sites in the Zagros Mountains ( I previously worked at Bournemouth University on the INEA project ( I also held two Postdoctoral Fellowships at the British Institute in Amman (CBRL), and a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Aberdeen. Most recently I was a Posdoctoral fellow on the PAST project at the University of Exeter (


Research My research applies scientific methodologies to modern reference material, ethnoarchaeological and archaeological samples. I utilise a combined scientific approach to investigate human and animal signatures and activities in Neolithic villages in Jordan. The Neolithic period represents the transition from mobile hunter-gatherers to sedentary farmers. My specialisms are phytolith analysis (plant silica remains), thin section micromorphology, geochemistry and dung studies (faecal spherulites). In my research modern samples are collected from known contexts in order to apply the scientific methodology to samples where I can also collect the intangible heritage. These samples include plant material, animal dungs and modern sediments from traditionally built abandoned villages. The modern and ethnoarchaeological results are then used to inform on the scientific results from the archaeological samples. The archaeological samples originate from a range of Neolithic villages in Jordan from the early Neolithic up until the late Neolithic.

Journal Articles

  • Jenkins, E., 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 : the journal of human palaeoecology, 22 (4), 412-433.
  • Elliott, S., Bendrey, R., Whitlam, J., Aziz, K. and Evans, J., 2015. Preliminary ethnoarchaeological research on modern animal husbandry in Bestansur, Iraqi Kurdistan: Integrating animal, plant and environmental data. Environmental Archaeology: the journal of human palaeoecology.
  • Elliott, S., 2014. The Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe. Reviewed by Sarah Elliott. Archaeological Review From Cambridge, 29, 185-235.
  • Mithen, S., Wicks, K. and Elliott, S., 2012. Croig Cave: a Late Bronze Age ornament deposit and three millennia of fishing and foraging on the north-west coast of Mull, Scotland. The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 142.


  • Elliott, S., 2018. The Phytoliths. In: Fulford, M., Clarke, A., Durham, E. and Pankhurst, N., eds. Late Iron Age Calleva. The pre-conquest occupation at Silchester insula IX. Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.
  • Allcock, S. and Elliott, S., 2018. Sedimentary Analysis of Construction Materials. In: Mithen, S., Finlayson, B., Maričević, D., Smith, S., Jenkins, E. and Najjar, M., eds. WF16, The Excavation of an Early Neolithic Settlement in Wadi Faynan, Southern Jordan. Stratigraphy, Chronology, Architecture, and Burials. Oxford: Council for British Research in the Levant.
  • Bendrey, R., Whitlam, J., Elliott, S. and Aziz, K., 2016. ‘Seasonal rhythms’ of a rural Kurdish village: Ethnozooarchaeological research in Bestansur, Iraq. People with Animals Perspectives and Studies in Ethnozooarchaeology. Oxbow Books.
  • Shillito, L.-M. and Elliott, S., 2014. Phytolith indicators of plant resource use at Sheikh-e Abad and Jani. In: Matthews, R., Matthews, W and Mohammadifar, Y., eds. The Earliest Neolithic of Iran: 2008 Excavations at Sheikh-E Abad and Jani. Oxbow books.
  • Jenkins, E., Baker, A. and Elliott, S., 2014. Past plant use in Jordan as revealed by archaeological and ethnoarchaeological phytolith signatures. In: Mithen, S. and Black, E., eds. Water, Life and Civilisation. Climate, Environment and Society in the Jordan Valley. Cambrideg University Press.


  • Investigating Neolithic villages and farming communities in Jordan: developing and validating new scientific multi-methodologies. (British Academy, 14 Jan 2019). Awarded


  • BA (Hons) in Ancient History and Archaeology (2007)
  • MSc in Geoarchaeology (2008)
  • PhD in Archaeology (2016)
The data on this page was last updated at 08:28 on June 26, 2019.