King's College London

Research portal

Holocene resource exploitation along the Nile: diet and subsistence strategies of Mesolithic and Neolithic societies at Khor Shambat 1, Sudan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Julie Dunne, Maciej Jórdeczka, Marek Chłodnicki, Karen Hardy, Lucy Kubiak-Martens, Magdalena Moskal Del Hoyo, Marta Osypińska, Marta Portillo, Iwona Sobkowiak-Tabaka, Selina Delgado-Raack, Przemysław Bobrowski, Paul S. Breeze, Nick Drake, Katie Manning, Richard P. Evershed

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1445
Number of pages20
Issue number384
Published28 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Multidisciplinary research at the KSH1 site was funded by a grant from the National Science Centre, Poland (grant 2015/17/D/HS3/01492). The authors thank the Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2016-115) for funding ‘Peopling the Green Sahara? A multi-proxy approach to reconstructing the ecological and demographic history of the Saharan Holocene’, and NERC 771 (reference: CC010) and NEIF ( ) for funding and maintenance of the instruments used for this work. Publisher Copyright: Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Antiquity Publications Ltd.

King's Authors


The subsistence practices of Holocene communities living in the Nile Valley of Central Sudan are comparatively little known. Recent excavations at Khor Shambat, Sudan, have yielded well-defined Mesolithic and Neolithic stratigraphy. Here, for the first time, archaeozoological, palaeobotanical, phytolith and dental calculus studies are combined with lipid residue analysis of around 100 pottery fragments and comparative analysis of faunal remains and organic residues. This holistic approach provides valuable information on changes in adaptation strategies, from Mesolithic hunter-gatherers to Neolithic herders exploiting domesticates. A unique picture is revealed of the natural environment and human subsistence, demonstrating the potential wider value of combining multiple methods.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454