Alison Weisskopf

Research Interests

  • Archaeobotany; specialising in phytolith research with focus on the development of agricultural systems: data analysis in phytolith research
  • Environmental archaeology, food pathways, ethnobotany, economic botany
  • Asian Archaeology
  • Diatom analysis

Research Directory

Academic Affiliations

  • Association for Environmental Archaeology
  • International Society for Phytolith Research
  • Society for East Asian Archaeology
  • Society of Ethnobiology
  • Society for Economic Botany
  • Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology


  • Phytolith analyst for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics at Xipo, China: Dr Li Xinwei, Dr Ma Xaolin
  • Phytolith analyst for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and La Trobe University at Huizui: Professor Xingcan Chen, Professor Li Liu
  • Phytolith analyst for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Erlitou and the Erlitou Survey: Professor Xu Hong
  • Phytolith analyst for Peking University at Baligang, China: Dr Qin Ling, Dorian Fuller
  • Phytolith and archaeobotanical analyst for the Bellary District Archaeological Project at Sanganakallu, India: Dorian Fuller
  • Phytolith analyst at Lihou, Guernsey: Tim Schadla-Hall
  • Phytolith analyst in collaboration with Professor Arlene Rosen for the Samara Valley Project at Krasnoe Smarskoe, Russia: Professor David Anthony

Educational Background

  • PhD, University College London (Awarded 2010)Thesis title: Vegetation, agriculture and social change in Neolithic north central China, a phytolith study
  • MSc Palaeoecology of Human Societies, University College London (Distinction, 2005)Thesis title: An investigation of the Neolithic ash mound and settlement at Sanganakallu in the south Deccan, India, using phytoliths and macro-archaeobotanical material
  • BSc Archaeology (Hons), University College London (2003)Dissertation title: A study of the phytoliths from the late Bronze Age site of Krasnoe Smarskoe, Samara Valley, Russia, and the information they provide on agro pastoral economies and environments
  • Weisskopf. A.R., Lee G-A. 2014 “Phytolith identification criteria for foxtail and broomcorn millets: a new approach to calculating crop ratios. Archaeological and Anthropological Science DOI 10.1007/s12520-014-0190-7
  • Weisskopf, A. R.  2014 “Millets, Rice and Farmers: Phytoliths as indicators of agricultural and ecological change in Neolithic and Bronze Age Central China”. BAR, Oxford 
  • Weisskopf, A.R., Fuller, D.Q. 2014 “Apricot,  Prunus armeniaca,  L. Armeniaca vulgaris L.”  in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. C. Smith (general ed.) Springer
  • Weisskopf, A.R., Fuller, D.Q. 2014 “Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench.)” in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. C. Smith (general ed.) Springer
  • Weisskopf, A.R., Fuller, D.Q. 2014 “Citrus Citrus spp. (Rutaceae)” in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. C. Smith (general ed.) Springer
  • Weisskopf, A.R., Fuller, D.Q. 2014 “Peach ( Prunus persica (L) Batsch.)” in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. C. Smith (general ed.) Springer
  • Weisskopf, A.R., Fuller, D.Q. 2014 “Origins and development of Sesame, Sesamum indicum L. [syn. S. orientale L.) Pediliaceae”  in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. C. Smith (general ed.) Springer
  • Fuller, D.Q., Weisskopf, A.R. 2014 “Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Poaceae”) in Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. C. Smith (general ed.) Springer 
  • Weisskopf, A.R., Harvey,E., Kingwell-Banham, E., Kajale,M., Mohanty,R., Fuller. D. 2013 “Archaeobotanical implications of phytolith assemblages from cultivated rice systems, wild rice stands and macro-regional patterns” Journal of Archaeological Science 1-11
  • Fuller, D. Q., van Etten, J., Manning, K., Castillo, C., Kingwell Banham, E., Weisskopf, A.R., Qin, L., Sato, Yo-Ichiro, Hijmans, R.J. (2011). "The contribution of rice agriculture and livestock pastoralism to prehistoric methane levels: An archaeological assessment." Holocene 21(5): 743-759.
  • Fuller, D. Q., Weisskopf, A.R. (2009-2011). "From Domestication to Global Warming." Archaeology International 13-14.
  • Fuller D Q, Sato Y-I, Castillo C, Qin L, Weisskopf A R,  Kingwell-Banham E J, Song J, Ahn S-M, van Etten, J E. 2010 “Consilience of genetics and archaeobotany in the entangled history of rice” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 2, Issue: 2 115-131
  • Liu, L., Field, J., Weisskopf, A.R., Webb, J., Jiang, L., Wang, H., Chen, X. (2010). "The exploitation of acorn and rice in the early Holocene Lower Yangzi River, China." Acta Anthropologica Sinica 29(3): 12-30.
  • Weisskopf, A. R. (2010). “Vegetation, Agriculture and Social Change in late Neolithic China: a phytolith study”. Institute of Archaeology. London, University College London.
  • Edwards, Y. H., Weisskopf, A.R., Hamilton, D. (2010). "Age, taphonomic history and mode of deposition of human skulls in the River Thames." Transactions London and Middlesex Archaeological Society: 35-51.
  • Weisskopf, A.R. (2010). “Agricultural crop choices and social change in the Yellow River Valley North Central China during the late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age”. Food and drink in archaeology 2: Volume 2: University of Nottingham Postgraduate Conference 2008 (Nottingham University: Food and Drink in Archaeology). N. Sykes, Newton, C. Totnes, Prospect books. II: 100-110.
  • Anthony, D. W., Brown, D., Brown, E., Goodman, A., Kokhlov, A., Kosintsev, p., Kuznetsov, P., Mochalov, O., Murphy, E., Peterson, D., Pike-Tay, A., Popova, L., Rosen, A., Russel., N., Weisskopf, A.R. (2005). "The Samara Valley Project: Late Bronze Age Economy and Ritual in the Russian Steppes." Eurasia Antiqua 11: 395-417.
  • Alison Weisskopf  “The phytoliths”, in Early Neolithic Trackways in the Thames Floodplain at Belmarsh, London Borough of Greenwich, D. Hart, M. Bates eds, Final report for submission to the Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, Project No. 3541 Sitecode BWQ09 ASE Report No. 2011056 (In press) D. HART AND M. BATES
  • Weisskopf, A.R., Rosen, A. “Phytoliths from the Krasnosamarskoe settlement and its environment. The Samara Valley Project: A Bronze Age Landscape in the Russian Steppes”. D. B. D. Anthony, A. Khokhlov, P. Kuznetsov, O. Mochalov. American School of Prehistoric Research Publications, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. (in press).

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