Sue Colledge

  • BSc, PhD, FSA
  • ERC Research Associate, EUROEVOL Project
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries

Research Interests

Archaeobotany; the origins, spread and development of Neolithic farming in SW Asia and Europe; plant domestication; the early prehistory of SW Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean; quantitative methods in archaeobotany.

Research Directory Records


  • Jerablus Tahtani Project: Bronze Age Syria; archaeobotany (Professor Eddie Peltenburg, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh)
  • Kissonerga Mylouthkia: Pre-Pottery Neolithic and Chalcolithic Cyprus; archaeobotany (Dr Paul Croft, Archaeological Research Centre, Paphos, Cyprus)
  • Ais Yiorkis: Pre-Pottery Neolithic Cyprus; archaeobotany (Professor Alan Simmons, Department of Anthropology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA)
  • Complex Hunter-Gatherers of the Trent Valley, Ontario: Middle Woodland Canada; archaeobotany (Dr James Conolly, Department of Anthropology, Trent University, Ontario, CA)
  • Qarassa excavations: Epipalaeolithic and Pre-Pottery Neolithic Syria; archaeobotany (Dr Lydia Zapata-Peña, Department of Geography, Prehistory and Archaeology, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain)
  • Dhra: Pre-pottery Neolithic Jordan, archaeobotany (Professor Bill Finlayson, CBRL, Amman, Jordan; Professor Ian Kuijt, Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA)

Educational Background

  • 1976 BSc Archaeology and Geology, University of Birmingham
  • 1994 PhD Archaeology University of Sheffield. Thesis title: Plant Exploitation on Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic Sites in the Levant

Publications (from 1990-present):


Colledge, S., Conolly, J., Dobney, K., Manning, K. and Shennan, S. (eds) 2013 The Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek.

Colledge, S. and Conolly, J. (eds) 2007 The Origins and Spread of Domestic Plants in Southwest Asia and Europe. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California.

Colledge, S. 2001 Plant Exploitation on Epipalaeolithic and Early Neolithic Sites in the Levant. BAR International Series 986.

Journal Articles:

Manning, K., Downey, S.D., Colledge, S., Conolly, J., Stopp, B., Dobney, K. and Shennan, S. 2013 The origins and spread of stock-keeping: the role of cultural and environmental influences on early Neolithic animal exploitation in Europe. Antiquity 87: 1046-1059. 

Shennan, S., Downey, S.S., Timpson, A., Edinborough, K., Colledge, S., Kerig, T., Manning, K. and Thomas, M.G. 2013 Regional population collapse followed initial agriculture booms in mid-Holocene Europe. Nature Communications

Whitehouse, N.J., Schulting, R.J., McClatchie, M., Barratt, P., Rowan, T., Bogaard, A., Colledge, S., Marchant, R., Gaffrey, J. and Bunting, M.J. 2013 Neolithic agriculture on the European western frontier: the boom and bust of early farming in Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science

Jones, G., Charles, M.P., Jones, M.K., Colledge, S., Leigh, F.J., Lister, D.A., Smith, L.M.J., Powell, W., Brown, T.A. and Jones, H. 2013 DNA evidence for multiple introductions of barley into Europe following dispersed domestications in Western Asia. Antiquity 87: 701-713.

McClatchie, M., Bogaard, A., Colledge, S., Whitehouse, N., Schulting, R., Barratt, P. and McLaughlin, T.R. 2013 Neolithic farming in north-western Europe: archaeobotanical evidence from Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science

Bevan, A., Conolly, J., Colledge, S., Frederick, C., Palmer, C., Siddall, R. and Stellatou, A. 2013 The Long-Term Ecology of Agricultural Terraces and Enclosed Fields from Antikythera, Greece. Human Ecology 41(2): 255-272.

Jones, G., Jones, H., Charles, M.P., Jones, M., Colledge, S., Leigh, F., Lister, D.A., Smith, L.M.J., Powell, W. and Brown, T.A. 2012 Phylogeographic analysis of barley DNA as evidence for the spread of Neolithic agriculture through Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science 39(10): 3230-3238. 

Conolly, J., Manning, K., Colledge, S., Dobney, K. and Shennan, S. 2012 Species distribution modelling of ancient cattle from early Neolithic sites in SW Asia and Europe. The Holocene 22: 997-1010. 

Lucas, L., Colledge, S., Simmons, A. and Fuller, D. 2011 Crop introduction and accelerated island evolution: archaeobotanical evidence from ‘Ais Yiorkis and Pre-Pottery Neolithic Cyprus. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 21(2): 117-129.

Conolly, J., Colledge, S., Dobney, K., Vigne, J.-D., Peters, J., Stopp, B., Manning, K. and Shennan, S. 2011 Meta-analysis of zooarchaeological data from SW Asia and SE Europe provides insight into the origins and spread of animal husbandry. Journal of Archaeological Science 38(3): 538-545

Colledge, S. and Conolly, J. 2010 Reassessing the evidence for the cultivation of wild crops during the Younger Dryas at Tell Abu Hureyra, Syria. Environmental Archaeology 15(2): 124-138. 

Palmer, C., Colledge, S., Bevan, A. and Conolly, J. 2010 Vegetation recolonisation of abandoned agricultural terraces on Antikythera, Greece. Environmental Archaeology 15(1): 64-80.

Hunt, H.V., Vander Linden, M., Lui, X., Motuzaite-Matuzeviciute, G., Colledge, S. and Jones, M. 2008 Millets across Eurasia: chronology and context of early records of the genera Panicum and Setaria from archaeological sites in the Old World. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 17: S5-S18. 

Conolly, J., Colledge, S. and Shennan, S. 2008 Founder effect, drift, and adaptive change in domestic crop use in early neolithic Europe. Journal of Archaeological Science 35(10): 2797-2804.

Coward, F., Shennan, S., Colledge, S., Conolly, J. and Collard, M. 2008 The Spread of Neolithic Plant Economies from the Near East to Northwest Europe: a phylogenetic Analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 35(1): 42-56.

Richter, T., Colledge, S., Luddy, S., Jones, D., Jones, M., Maher, L. and Kelly, R. 2007 Preliminary report on the 2006 season at Epipalaeolithic ‘Ayn Qasiyya, Azraq Ash-Shīshān. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 51: 313-328.

Colledge, S., Conolly, J. and Shennan, S. 2005 The evolution of Neolithic farming from SW Asian origins to NW European limits. European Journal of Archaeology 8/2: 137-156. 

Colledge, S., Conolly, J. and Shennan, S. 2004 Archaeobotanical Evidence for the Spread of Farming in the Eastern Mediterranean. Current Anthropology 45: S35-S58.

Nesbitt, M., Colledge, S. and Murray, M.A. 2003 Organisation and Management of Seed Reference Collections. Environmental Archaeology 8: 77-84. 

Hillman, G.C., Hedges, R., Moore, A., Colledge, S. and Pettitt, P. 2001 New Evidence of Late Glacial cereal cultivation at Abu Hureyra on the Euphrates. The Holocene 11(4): 383-393. 

Peltenburg, E., Colledge, S., Croft, P., Jackson, A., McCartney, C. and Murray, M.A. 2001 Neolithic dispersals from the Levantine Corridor: a Mediterranean perspective. Levant 33: 35-64.

Peltenburg, E., Colledge, S., Croft, P., Jackson, A., McCartney, C. and Murray, M.A. 2000 Agro-pastoralist colonisation of Cyprus in the 10th millennium BP: initial assessments. Antiquity 74: 844-853. 

Garrard, A.N., Baird, D., Colledge, S., Martin, L. and Wright, K. 1994 Prehistoric environment and settlement in the Azraq Basin: an interim report in the 1987 and 1986 seasons. Levant 26: 73-109. 

Book Chapters

Colledge, S. 2013 Plant Remains and Archaeobotanical Analysis. In: P.C. Edwards (Ed.) Wadi Hammeh 27, an Early Natufian Settlement at Pella in Jordan. Brill, Leiden. pp. 353-365.

Manning, K., Stopp, B., Colledge, S., Downey, S., Conolly, J., Dobney, K. and Shennan, S. 2013 Animal exploitation in the early Neolithic of the Balkans and central Europe. In: S. Colledge, J. Conolly, K. Dobney, K. Manning and S. Shennan (eds.) The Origins and Spread of Domestic Animals in Southwest Asia and Europe. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California. pp. 237-252.

Colledge, S. 2007 The Copper Age carbonised plant remains. In: L. Barfield Excavations in the Riparo Valtenesi, Manerba, 1976-1994. Istituto italiano di preistoria e protostoria, Firenze. pp. 400-413.

Colledge, S. and Conolly, J. 2007 The neolithisation of the Balkans: a review of the archaeobotanical evidence. In: P. Biagi and M. Spataro (eds) A Short Walk through the Balkans: the first farmers of the Carpathian basin and its adjacent regions. Quaderno 12, Atti della Società per la Preistoria e Protostoria della Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia. Trieste. pp. 25-38.

Colledge, S. and Conolly, J. 2007 A review and synthesis of the evidence for the origins of farming on Cyprus and Crete. In S. Colledge: and J. Conolly (eds) The Origins and Spread of Domestic Plants in Southwest Asia and Europe. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California. pp. 53-74.

Bending, J. and Colledge, S. 2007 The Archaeobotanical Assemblages. In: N. Postgate and D. Thomas (eds) Excavations at Kilise Tepe, 1994-98, from Bronze Age to Byzantine in Western Cilicia. McDonald Institute Monographs, Cambridge. pp.583-595.

Colledge, S. 2004 Reappraisal of the archaeobotanical evidence for the emergence and dispersal of the ‘founder crops’. In: E. Peltenburg and A. Wasse (eds) Neolithic Revolution: New perspectives on south-west Asia in the light of recent discoveries in Cyprus. Levant Supplementary Series Volume 1. Oxbow Books, Oxford. pp. 49-60.

Colledge, S. 2003 The charred plant remains in three of the pits. In: E. Peltenburg (ed) The Colonisation and Settlement of Cyprus. Investigations at Kissonerga-Mylouthkia 1976-1996. Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology LXX:4, Paul Åströms förlag, Sävedalen. pp. 239-245.

Colledge, S. 2003 Plants and People. In: R. Matthews (ed) Excavations at Tell Brak. Vol. 4, Exploring an upper Mesopotamian regional centre, 1994-1996. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research; British School of Archaeology in Iraq, Cambridge. pp. 389-416.

Colledge, S.  2002  Identifying pre-domestication cultivation in the archaeobotanical record using multivariate analysis: presenting the case for quantification.  In: R.T.J. Cappers and S. Bottema (eds) The Dawn of Farming in the Near East. Studies in Early Near Eastern Production, Subsistence and Environment 6.  ex oriente, Berlin. pp. 141-152.

Jones, M.K. and Colledge, S. 2001 Archaeobotany and the transition to agriculture. In: D.R. Brothwell and A.M Pollard (eds) Handbook of Archaeological Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester. pp. 393-401.

Colledge, S. 2000 Charred plant remains. In: R.D. Whitehouse, J.B. Wilkins and E. Herring (eds) Botromagno, Excavation and Survey at Gravina in Puglia 1979-1985. Accordia Specialist Studies on Italy volume 9, Accordia Research Institute, University of London. pp. 53-60.

Colledge, S. 2000 The charred plant remains. In: N. Sharples The Iron Age and Norse Settlement at Bornish, South Uist: An interim report on the 2000 excavations. Cardiff Studies in Archaeology, Specialist Report 18. School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University. pp. 22-24.

Colledge, S. 1998 Identifying Pre-domestication Cultivation Using Multivariate Analysis. In: A.B. Damania, J. Valkoun, G Willcox and C.O. Qualset (eds) The Origins of Agriculture and Crop Domestication. ICARDA, Aleppo, Syria. pp. 121-131.

Colledge, S. 1998 Dhuweila: Botanical Remains. In: A.V.G. Betts (ed) The Harra and the Hamad – Excavations and Explorations in Eastern Jordan. (volume 1) Sheffield Archaeological Monographs 9, Sheffield. pp. 185-189.

Charles, M.P., Colledge, S. and Monk, M. 1997 Appendix 6: Plant Remains. In P. Barker et al. The Baths Basilica, Wroxeter Excavations 1966-1990. English Heritage Archaeological Report 8, London. pp. 324-345.

Garrard, A.N., Colledge, S. and Martin, L. 1996 The emergence of crop cultivation and caprine herding in the ‘Marginal Zone’ of the southern Levant. In D.R. Harris (ed) The origins and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in Eurasia. UCL Press, London. pp. 204-226.

Jones, G., Charles, M., Colledge, S. and Halstead, P. 1995 Towards the archaeobotanical recognition of winter-cereal irrigation: An Investigation of modern weed ecology in northern Spain. In H. Kroll and R. Pasternak (eds) Res Archaeobotanicae – International Workgroup for Palaeoethnobotany (Proceedings of the 9th Symposium, Kiel 1992). Oetker-Voges-Verlag, Kiel. pp. 49-68.

Byrd, B. and Colledge, S. 1991 Early Natufian occupation along the edge of the southern Jordanian Steppe. In O. Bar-Yosef and F. Valla (eds) The Natufian Culture in the Levant. International Monographs in Prehistory, Ann Arbor, Michegan. pp. 265-276.

Colledge, S. 1991 Investigations of plant remains preserved in Epipalaeolithic sites in the Near East. In O. Bar-Yosef and F. Valla (eds) The Natufian Culture in the Levant. International Monographs in Prehistory, Ann Arbor, Michegan. pp. 391-398.

Digital Archives and Webpages

Colledge, S. 2001 Final report on the archaeobotanical analyses.  In: R.J. Matthews and J.N. Postgate Contextual analysis of the use of space at two Near Eastern Bronze Age sites: Tell Brak (north-eastern Syria) and Kilise Tepe (southern Turkey).  York ADS Electronic archive

Current students

  • Leilani Lucas  Economy and interaction: Exploring archaeobotanical contributions in Prehistoric Cyprus (Joint secondary supervisor with Cyprian Broodbank)

External students

  • Amaia Arranz (PhD - University of the Basque Country)

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