Anna Shoemaker

researcher at Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology

+4618-471 6241
Visiting address:
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H

Postal address:
Box 626
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

ARCC/REAL project webpage

I am an environmental archaeologist with a special interest in late Holocene archaeology in eastern Africa. In my role as post-doctoral researcher with the Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) in eastern Africa project, I am directing archaeological field projects in Tanzania focusing on the last 300 years of human settlement and land use in the western Serengeti/Mara ecosystem.

Keywords: archaeology historical ecology east africa environmental archaeology arcc project adaptation and resilience to climate change

Also available at

My courses


I completed my BA in archaeology at Simon Fraser University in Canada, and my MSc in environmental archaeology at University College London. During my doctoral studies I was a member of the Resilience in East African Landscapes (REAL) project, a European Commission Marie Curie Skłodowska ITN. I re-examined narratives of Amboseli, Kenya having been an ecosystem shaped by narrow and ahistorical models of subsistence-based pastoralism. Inspired by the interdisciplinary approach of historical ecology, I integrated the results of my own archaeological surveys and excavations with archival, paleoenvironmental, linguistic and local knowledge sources dating from the mid-Holocene to the colonial period to demonstrate how the current socio-ecological landscape of Amboseli emerged in response to a multitude of livelihood practices.

My research has always considered cultural signatures that go beyond conventional archaeological approaches and views purportedly ‘natural’ environments as culturally influenced landscapes. I collaborate frequently with ecologists and palaeoecologists in combining varied archaeological, historical and palaeoenvironmental datasets to understand change and continuity in land cover and land use practices. In my role as post-doctoral researcher with the Adaptation & Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) in eastern Africa project (funded by the Swedish Research Council, Sida and Formas), I am continuing to pursue this brand of interdisciplinary research in north-western Tanzania.


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