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Kenneth Thomas

  • BSc, PhD
  • Emeritus Professor of Human Palaeoecology

Research Interests

Palaeoecology, environmental reconstruction and past human ecology, in theory and practice. Environment and subsistence change, especially the evolution of complex agrarian systems. Shell midden archaeology.

Current Research Projects

  • Human palaeoecology in the coastal zone of western Sicily from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Neolithic.
  • Late Neolithic to Bronze Age environmental, subsistence and technological transitions in northern Pakistan.
  • Environmental and economic context of early Iron Age urban societies in northern Pakistan.

Research Directory

Collaborations

  • British Museum, University of Cambridge, Bryn Mawr University (USA), the Pakistan Heritage Society (Peshawar) and the University of Peshawar : Bannu Archaeological Project.
  • NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory, Keyworth, Nottingham
  • Museo Archeologico Regionale “A. Salinas ”, Palermo and the Soprintendenza dei Beni Culturali ed Ambientali di Trapani (Sicily).

Educational Background

  • BSc Zoology (University of Wales at Bangor)
  • PhD in Zoology [Ecological Genetics] (University of Liverpool)
  • Petrie, C.A. & Thomas, K.D. (2012).  The topographical and environmental context of the earliest village sites in western South Asia. Antiquity 86, 1055-1067.
  • Petrie, C.A., Thomas, K.D., Knox, J.R., Khan, F. & Morris, J.C. (2012).  Looking at the topographic and environmental context of the earliest village sites in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab.  In Orientalismes. De l’archéologie au musée. Mélanges offerts à Jean-François Jarrige (ed. V. Lefèvre), pp. 279-290.  Turnhout: Brepols Publishers.
  • Cooper, J. and Thomas, K.D. (2012).  Constructing Caribbean chronologies: comparative radiocarbon dating of shell and wood artefacts from pre-Columbian sites in Cuba.  Archaeometry 54, 401-425.  doi:  10.1111/j.1475-4754.2011.00622.x
  • Thomas, K.D. and Khan, F. (2011).  Village potters of Bannu District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan:  observations on a craft tradition in decline.  The Old Potter’s Almanack 16(2), 1-9.
  • Mannino, M.A., Thomas, K.D., Leng, M.J., Di Salvo, R., & Richards, M.P.  (2011).  Stuck to the shore? Investigating prehistoric hunter-gatherer subsistence, mobility and territoriality in a Mediterranean coastal landscape through isotope analyses on marine mollusc shell carbonates and human bone collagen, Quaternary International 244, 88-104.  doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2011.05.044
  • Mannino, M.A. & Thomas, K.D.  (2010).  Studio preliminare del campione faunistico della Grotta Schiacciata a Levanzo (Trapani).  Atti 5° Convegno Nazionale di Archeozoologia (Rovereto, 2006), 97-99.  Edizioni Osiride:  Rovereto (TN).
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R., Thomas, K.D., Petrie, C.A. & Morris, J.C.  (2010).  Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Khan, F., Knox, R., Thomas, K., Petrie, C. & Morris, J. (2010).  Early village life in the north-western borderlands.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 1-6.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Petrie, C., Khan, F., Knox, R., Thomas, K. & Morris, J.  (2010).  The investigation of early villages in the hills and on the plains of western South Asia.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 7-28.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Thomas, K., Khan, F. & Petrie, C.  (2010).  The physical and human geography of the Bannu basin.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 29-39.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Khan, F., Knox, R., Thomas, K. & Petrie, C. (2010).  The site of Sheri Khan Tarakai.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 41-69.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Petrie, C., Knox, R., Khan, F., Thomas, K., Morris, J. & Joyner, L.  (2010).  Ceramic vessels from Sheri Khan Tarakai.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 71-193.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Knox, R., Thomas, K., Khan, F. & Petrie, C.  (2010).  Small finds from Sheri Khan Tarakai.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 211-303 & Appendix C, 425-438.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Thomas, K. & Cartwright, C.  (2010).  The biological remains from Sheri Khan Tarakai.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 305-342; Appendix D, 439-449 & Appendix E, 450.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Petrie, C., Thomas, K. and Morris, J.  (2010).  Chronology of Sheri Khan Tarakai.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 343-352.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Khan, F., Knox, R., Thomas, K., Petrie, C. & Morris, J.  (2010).  Other early village sites in the Bannu basin.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 353-378.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Thomas, K., Petrie, C., Khan, F., Knox, R. & Morris, J.  (2010).  Early village sites in the Gomal plain.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 379-398.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R., Thomas, K.D., Petrie, C.A. & Morris, J.C.  (2010).  Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in western South Asia.  In:   Sheri Khan Tarakai and early village life in the borderlands of north-west Pakistan (F. Khan, J.R. Knox, K.D. Thomas, C.A. Petrie & J.C. Morris), 407-418.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Mannino, M.A. & Thomas, K.D.  (2009).  Current research on prehistoric human coastal ecology: Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene hunter-gatherer transitions in NW Sicily.  In:  Mesolithic Horizons (eds S. MacCartan, R. Schulting, G. Warren and P. Woodman), pp. 140-145.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Mannino, M.A. & Thomas, K.D.  (2009).  The tragedy of the shoreline?  Social ecology of Mesolithic coastal subsistence, with reference to the site of Culverwell, Isle of Portland (southern England).  In:  Mesolithic Horizons (eds S. MacCartan, R. Schulting, G. Warren and P. Woodman), pp. 146-151.  Oxford:  Oxbow Books.
  • Mannino, M.A. & Thomas, K.D.  (2008).  A research agenda for the archaeomalacological study of prehistoric human ecology in the coastal zone of NW Sicily.  Archaeofauna 17, 35-45.
  • Mannino, MA, Thomas, K.D., Leng, M.J. & Sloane, H.J.  (2008). Shell growth and oxygen isotopes in the topshell Osilinus turbinatus:  resolving past inshore sea surface temperatures. Geo-Marine Letters.  doi: 10.1007/s00367-008-0107-5
  • Ammerman, A. J., Efstratiou, N., Ntinou, M., Pavlopoulos, K., Gabrielli, R., Thomas, K. D. & Mannino, M. A. (2008).  Finding the early Neolithic in Aegean Thrace:  the use of cores.  Antiquity 82, 139-150.
  • Petrie, C.A., Morris, J., Khan, F., Knox, J.R., and Thomas, K.D. (2007). The dynamics of late prehistoric ceramic production and distribution in the Bannu and Gomal Regions, NWFP, Pakistan.  South Asian Studies 23, 75-94.
  • Mannino, MA & Thomas, K.D.  (2007).  New radiocarbon dates for hunter-gatherers and early farmers in Sicily.  Accordia Research Papers 10, 13-34.
  • Mannino, M. A. & Thomas, K. D.  (2007).  Determining the season of collection of inter-tidal gastropods from δ18O analyses of shell carbonates:  modern analogue data and ‘internal analysis’ of data from archaeological shells.  In:  Shell Middens in Atlantic Europe (eds N. Milner, O.E. Craig & G.N. Bailey), pp. 111-122.  Oxford: Oxbow Books.
  • Mannino, MA, Colella, V. & Thomas, K.D.  (2007).  Studio preliminare su collezioni dei siti paleolitici e mesolitici della Sicilia occidentale: nuove indagini e datazioni radiometriche.  Quaderni del Museo Archeologico Regionale “Antonino Salinas”  9 (for 2003), 29-44.
  • Mannino, M. A., Thomas, K. D., Leng, M. J., Piperno, M., Tusa, S. & Tagliacozzo, A.  (2007).  Marine resources in the Mesolithic and Neolithic at the Grotta dell'Uzzo (Sicily):  evidence from isotope analyses of marine shells. Archaeometry 49 (1), 117-133.
  • Mannino,M., Thomas, K., Piperno, M., Tusa, S., Tagliacozzo, A. (2006). Fine-tuning the radiocarbon chronology of the Grotta dell'Uzzo (Trapani) Atti Soc. Preist. Protost. Friulli-V.g., Trieste 15, 17-31
  • Magee, P., Petrie, C., Knox, R., Khan, F., Thomas, K. (2005). The Achaemenid Empire in South Asia and recent excavations in Akra in northwest Pakistan. American Journal of Archaeology 109, 711-741. ISSN: 0002-9114
  • Magge, P., Khan, F., Knox, R., Petrie, C., Thomas, K. (2005). Exploring Irone Age Complexity in the north West Froniter Province, Pakistan. in Jarrige,C., Lefevre,V. (ed.) South Asian Archaeology 2001. Paris: Editions sur les Civilisations, 201-206. ISBN: 2-86538-301-6
  • Thomas, K. (2005). Land molluscs. in Qualmann, K.E., Rees, G.D., Whinney ,R. (ed.) Oram's Arbour. The Iron Age Enclosure at Winchester. Winchester: Winchester Museums Service, 78-79
  • Mannino, MA and Thomas, K.D. (2004). Studio archeozoologico dei reperti faunistici dalla Grotta d’Oriente a Favignana (Trapani). Quaderni del Museo Archeologico Regionale “Antonino Salinas”, 8 (for 2002), 23-54.
  • Mannino, MA and Thomas, K.D. (2004). A site for all seasons? Prehistoric coastal subsistence in northwest Sicily. Archaeology International 2003/2004: 31-34.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R. and Thomas, K.D. (2004). West of the Indus: the chronology of settlement in the protohistoric culture phases, with special reference to the Bannu region. Ancient Pakistan 15 (for 2002), 119-126.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R. and Thomas, K.D. (2004). Stamped terracotta cakes from the Tochi- Gomal phase at Jhandi Babar - a new element. Ancient Pakistan 15 (for 2002), 105-118.
  • Mannino, MA, Spiro, B.F. and Thomas, K.D. (2003). Sampling shells for seasonality: oxygen isotope analysis on shell carbonates of the inter-tidal gastropod Monodonta lineata (da Costa) from populations across its modern range and from a Mesolithic site in southern Britain. Journal of Archaeological Science 30, 667-679.
  • Thomas, K.D. and Mannino, MA (2003). Archeomalacologia della Sicilia nord-occidentale: un programma di ricerca per lo studio dell’ecologia e della sussitenza umana nella preistoria tramite l’analisi dei gusci di molluschi marini da siti archeologici. Quaderni del Museo Archeologico Regionale “Antonino Salinas”, 7 (for 2001): 45-58.
  • Morris, J.C. and Thomas, K.D. (2002). Excavations at the later prehistoric site of Lewan, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 13, 94-100.
  • Thomas, K.D. (2003). Minimising risk? Approaches to pre-Harappan human ecology on the north-west margin of the Greater Indus system. In: Indus Ethnobiology: New perspectives from the field. (eds S.A. Weber & W.R. Belcher), pp. 397-429. Lanham (Maryland): Lexington Books.
  • Knox, J.R., Khan, F., Thomas, K.D. & Magee, P. (2002). Excavations at Akra, Bannu, northern Pakistan. In Taddei, M. and G. de Marco (eds), South Asian Archaeology 1997 Rome: IsIAO, Serie Orientale Roma, XC.
  • Thomas, K.D., (2001), Environmental Archaeology is dead: long live Bioarchaeology, Geoarchaeology and Human Palaeoecology. In: Environmental Archaeology: Meaning and Purpose (ed. U. Albarella), pp. 55-58. Amsterdam: Kluwer.
  • Mannino, MA & Thomas, K.D. (2002). Depletion of a resource? The impact of prehistoric human foraging on intertidal mollusc communities and its significance for human settlement, mobility and dispersal. World Archaeology, 33: 452-474.
  • Thomas, K.D. and Mannino, MA, (2001). Exploitation of invertebrates and use of invertebrate products. In: Handbook of Archaeological Sciences (eds D.R. Brothwell & A.M. Pollard), pp. 423-436. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Mannino, MA and Thomas, K.D. (2001). Intensive Mesolithic exploitation of coastal resources?  Evidence from a shell deposit on the Isle of Portland (southern England) for the impact of human foraging on populations of inter-tidal rocky shore molluscs.  Journal of Archaeological Science 28, 1101-1114.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R., Magee, P. and Thomas, K.D., (2000), Akra: the ancient capital of Bannu. Pp. 202. Monograph published as vol. 23, no. 1 of Journal of Asian Civilizations. Islamabad.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R. and Thomas, K.D., (2000), The Bannu Archaeological Project: archaeological explorations and excavations in Bannu Division, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, 1985-2000. Journal of Asian Civilizations 23 (no. 2), 1-6.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R. and Thomas, K.D., (2000), Settlements and settlement systems in the southwest Gomal Plain in the proto-historic period. Journal of Asian Civilizations
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R. and Thomas, K.D., (2000), Jhandi Babar, a new site in the Gomal Plain, and the Sheri Khan Tarakai culture complex. Journal of Asian Civilizations 23 (no. 2), 25-50.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R. and Thomas, K.D., (2000), The 'Tochi-Gomal phase': an early 3rd millennium BC culture horizon in Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan Divisions, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Journal of Asian Civilizations 23 (no. 2), 51-56.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R., Morris, J.C. and Thomas, K.D., (2000), A preliminary account of archaeological survey and excavations at Lewan (Bannu Division), 2000. Journal of Asian Civilizations 23 (no. 2), 57-104.
  • Khan, F., Knox, J.R., Magee, P., Petrie, C. and Thomas, K.D., (2000), The 2000 season of excavations at Akra by the Bannu Archaeological Project. Journal of Asian Civilizations 23 (no. 2), 105-136.
  • Thomas, K.D., (2000), Archaeology on the North-West Frontier: the Bannu Project, Pakistan. Archaeology International 1999-2000, 39-42.
  • Thomas, K.D. (ed.), (1999), Food technology in its social context: production, processing and storage. World Archaeology 31/1, 166 pp. London: Routledge.
  • Thomas, K.D., (1999), Getting a life: stability and change in social and subsistence systems on the North-west Frontier, Pakistan, in later prehistory. Chapter 16 in: The Prehistory of Food: appetites for change (eds C. Gosden and J.G. Hather), pp. 306-21. London: Routledge.
  • Thomas, K.D. and Mannino, M., (1999), The bioarchaeology of the Culverwell shell midden. In: Excavations at the Culverwell Mesolithic Site, Portland, Dorset (by S. Palmer). Oxford: BAR-287, pp. 94 - 114.
  • Thomas, K. and Mannino, M., (1999), Mesolithic middens and molluscan ecology: a view from southern Britain. Archaeology International 1998/99, pp. 17-19.
  • Khan, F, Knox, J R & Thomas, K, (1997). Technology transfer and culture change: an example from north-west Pakistan, in R & B Allchin (eds). South Asian Archaeology 1995 , 1, 237-251. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH
  • Knox, J R & Thomas, K, (1994). Routes of passage: later prehistoric settlement and exploitation of a frontier region in northwestern Pakistan. Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, No. 31, 89-104
  • Khan, F, Knox, J R & Thomas, K, (1991). Archaeological Explorations and Excavations in Bannu District, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. Occasional Paper of the British Museum No. 80. Pp. 151 + viii. London: British Museum
  • Harris, D R & Thomas, K (eds), (1991). Modelling Ecological Change: Perspectives from Neoecology, Palaeoecology and Environmental Archaeology. 102 pp. London: Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Second Supervisor

  • Liz Henton Changing herding practices in the Anatolian Neolithic landscape (the case-study of Catalhoyuk); the use of oxygen stable isotopes and microwear in sheep teeth to establish increasing control of breeding season, slaughtering schedule, pasturing locality an (principal supervisor Louise Martin)
  • Velissaria Vanna How different was life in a Hellenistic town to 20th century Greek urban life? A biological approach (principal supervisor Simon Hillson)
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