Photo of Professor Larry Barham

Professor Larry Barham PhD

Professor Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology

Research

Deep Roots Project, Zambia

An Early Stone Age hand axe from the old gravels of the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls.
An Early Stone Age hand axe from the old gravels of the Zambezi River near Victoria Falls.

Deep Roots blog post-Stone Age Africa
This is a four and half year project designed to generate data on the technological processes involved in the development of hafting. The focus is the Early to Middle Stone Age transition (Mode 2/Mode3) as preserved at Victoria Falls, Kalambo Falls and in the Luangwa Valley. The project involves dating specialists, use-wear analysts, experimental archaeologists, an ethnographer and palaeoenvironmental resesearchers.
Collaborating institutions include the University of Aberystwyth, University of Edinburgh, University of Liege, University of Zambia, Livingstone Museum (Zambia), the Moto Moto Museum (Zambia), the National Heritage and Conservation Commission (Zambia) and the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, Hannover, Germany.

The Population History of the Batwa of Central and Northern Zambia

This is a genetics based project that builds on previous research in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia with the focus now on the Batwa of the Kafue Flats of central Zambia and the Batwa around Lake Bangweulu, northern Zambia. The Batwa may be the descendants of former hunter-gatherer groups and whole genome analysis of saliva samples will help reconstruct the population history of these communities. The project is part of the research of the Jakobbson Lab at the University of Uppsala and involves colleagues at the Livingstone Museum. Jakobsson Lab, Uppsala. We are also examining fossil human remains from Zambia for ancient DNA that can help piece together the deep evolutionary history of the region.

The Middle Stone Age of Coastal Ghana

Geoff Duller (Aberystwyth) sampling the Asochrochona sediments for luminescence dating.
Geoff Duller (Aberystwyth) sampling the Asochrochona sediments for luminescence dating.

The early part of the Middle Stone Age record of West Africa is poorly dated and described. Working with colleagues at the Univeristy of Ghana, Legon, (Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies) and the Ghana Monuments and Museums Board and with funding from the British Academy, we undertook excavations at the coastal sites of Asochrochona and the Regional Maritime University in 2015. These test excavations sampled sediments for dating these localities which preserve Stone Age deposits. Asochrochona is a well known site first recognised in the 1950s with a history of investigation into the 1980s. Developments in luminescence dating should enable us to provide, for the first time, an age range for this site which may span the transition from the Early to Middle Stone Age. There is a Middle Stone Age record too along the coastal cliff below the Maritime University which is undated. The dating work is being done at the University of Aberystwyth, Wales and once the results are published we plan to return with an expanded project. Ghana Stone Age blog post

Research Grants

The NRM and the changing visibility of modern slavery in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic

MODERN SLAVERY AND HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY EVIDENCE CENTRE (UK)

August 2020 - September 2020

The last of the Bemba bark-cloth makers

THE BRITISH MUSEUM (UK)

June 2021 - January 2023

The Antislavery Knowledge Network: Community-Led Strategies for Creative and Heritage-Based Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa

ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL

October 2017 - March 2022

Investigating the Deep Roots of Human Behaviour.

ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL

May 2017 - May 2022

A genetics based population history of the BaTwa, northern Zambia

SWEDISH RESEARCH COUNCIL

July 2016 - June 2017

The human settlement of the Luangwa Rift Valley, Zambia - a microcosm of Africa prehistory.

ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL

October 2004 - June 2008

In Search of the Lost Great Lake of Africa

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY (USA)

August 2012 - September 2013

Resilience and Vulnerability in Hunter-Gatherer Research

THE WENNER-GREN FOUNDATION FOR ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH (USA)

October 2012 - June 2013

Sorting Through the Stones

ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL

February 2013 - May 2013

From hand to handle: the first industrial revolution

ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL

October 2011 - January 2012

Dating a neglected region of Africa: A pilot study in Ghana

BRITISH ACADEMY (UK)

February 2015 - January 2016

Research Collaborations

Prof J Marshall

Internal

Collaborative planning on climate change project in Zambia (LWEC group) and on the investigation of palaeo-lake Kafue, Zambia, planned for 2012.

Georg Meyer

Internal

Collaborating in the development of funding applications to support research on the evolution of human cognition.

LWEC

Internal

Contributor to launch of Living with Environmental Change research forum, and actively submitting funding applications as part of LWEC.

Dr F Cotterill

External: University of Cape Town

Collaborative research on Zambian palaeoenvironments and prehistory.

Dr M Ponting

Internal

Analysis of glass beads and metalwork from the Langwa Valley, Zambia

Dr Peter Cook

Internal

Co-supervision of BSc dissertation linked to archaeological research in Zambia

Dr P Ditchfield

External: The University of Oxford

Assessment of sedimentary contexts for the preservation of fossil bone in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia

Dr L Bishop

External: Liverpool John Moores University

Analysis of fossil fauna from the Luangwa Valley,
Zambia

Prof A Plater

Internal

Collaborative research on palaeoenvironments of the Luangwa Valley, Zambia

Prof G Duller

External: University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Luminescence dating of archaeological deposits in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia

Mark Stoneking

External: Max-Planck-Institute

Collaborative research on the population history of Zambia revealed through DNA analysis

Prof B Maher

External: The University of Lancaster

Palaeomagnetic dating of sediments in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia

Dr W Phillips

External: University of Idaho

Development of dating techniques for application in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia