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Carla Lancelotti

Carla Lancelotti

Universitat Pompeu Fabra


I graduated in Archaeology at the University of Bologna and, after a Master in Archaeological Science at the University of Milan, I obtained my PhD in Archaeobotany from the University of Cambridge. After the PhD I held sevral postdoctoral contracts, including a MSC cofund contract at Univeristat Pompeu Fabra. In 2014 I co-funded the research group Culture and Socio-Ecological Dynamics, recognised by the Catalan Agency for Management of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) as an excellence group. In 2017 I was awarded a Starting grant project from the ERC to work on the role of drought-tolerant crops on the long-term resilience and adaptation to drylands (RAINDROPS ERC-Stg-2017, 759800). I am currently member of the Institutional Committe for Ethical Review of Projects at Univeristat Pompeu Fabra (CIREP) and part of the Group of Experts on Climate Change (GEC) for the Barcelona City Council. 

Research interests

I am an archaeobotanist and quantitative archaeologist specialised in long-term human ecology of drylands. I combine methods from plant sciences, ethnography and archaeology with statistical analysis, modelling and simulation to study plant-related activities. Specifically, my work addresses the essential role of the so-called secondary resources (e.g., millets as foodstuff, dung as fuel, etc.) for the adaptation and resilience of past and present socio-ecological systems in drylands. I conduct research in South Asia, Europe, Near East, Africa and South America, covering a chronology that span from Early Neolithic to historic periods, with a special focus on South Asian Bronze Age and African late prehistory. I strongly believe in the importance of upholding Responsible Research and Innovation practices, by fully complying with the principles of ethical research, open access, civil society engagement and by incorporating a gender perspective to my work.

Selected publications

– Antó JM, Martí JL, Casals J, Bou-Habib P, Casal P, Fleurbaey M, Frumkin H, Jiménez-Morales M, Jordana J, Lancelotti C, Llavador H, Mélon L, Solé R, Subirada F, & Williams A 2021, ‘The Planetary Wellbeing Initiative: Pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals in Higher Education.‘, Sustainability. 13(6):3372.

– Santiago-Marrero CG, Lancelotti C, Tsoraki C & Madella M 2021, ‘Grinding and Pounding: a microbotanical perspective to plant processing activities at Çatalhöyük‘, PLoS ONE 16(6): e0252312

Lancelotti C & Biagetti S 2021, ‘Mapping Food Production in Hyper-Arid and Arid Saharan Africa in the Holocene—A View from the Present‘, Quaternary, vol. 4, n,. 2, pp. 13

– Bates J, Lancelotti C, Suryanarayan A & Madella M 2021, ‘The challenge of the unique and unprecedented, comment on Agnihorti et al. (2021)‘, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, vol. 39, 103174.

– Biagetti S, Alcaina-Mateos J, Ruiz-Giralt A, Lancelotti C, Groenewald P, Ibañez-Insa J, Gur-Arie S, Morton F & Merlo S 2021, ‘Identifying anthropogenic features at Seoke (Botswana) using pXRF: Expanding the record of southern African Stone Walled Sites‘. PLoS ONE 16(5): e0250776.

Selected research activities

– I participated in 15 conference presentations and delivered 2 invited talks and 1 kenoyte talk at International conferences.

– I am part of the Task Force for the Planetary Wellbeing Initiative of Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

– I am currently supervisiong 6 PhD students.

ICREA Memoir 2021