Campus Box 1114
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
As an Old World prehistorian, my research focuses on two issues: early hominid lifeways, and the beginnings of food-production--focusing on the origins and spread of pastoralism in Africa. I have explored these topics through survey and excavation, principally in the Loita-Mara area of southwestern Kenya , and through zooarchaeological studies of faunas excavated from archaeological sites. I have also undertaken ethnoarchaeological field work designed to investigate factors that affect body part representation in archaeological sites, and alternative pathways to food production among Okiek hunter-gatherers of the western Mau Escarpment, Kenya. I have been involved in a major conservation project at Laetoli, and I am currently conducting interdisciplinary research on the domestication of the donkey with archaeological, morphometric, genetic, behavioral and ethnoarchaeological components. Analyses of human mobility and envivronmental issues are key components of these projects. My research focuses on mobility and social strategies for coping with increasing aridity in Africa during the Holocene and on the role of African pastoralists in the long-term creation and maintenance of African savannas.
African archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, the beginnings of food production and zooarchaeology are research foci for most of my graduate students. Recent students have completed PhDs on domestication of yams and ensete in southwestern Ethiopia (Elizabeth Hildebrand), fauna from Axum, Ethiopia (Chester Cain); Kansyore hunter-gatherers and socio-economic variation in Kenya (Darla Dale); ethnoarchaeoloical research on rodents as indicators of degree of mobility (Lior Weissbrod).
Students at Washington University 's zooarchaeological laboratory are currently working on projects in Kenya, New Mexico and Bolivia. Students have also worked on fauna from sites in Greece and Missouri including Cahokia and prehistoric faunas from Africa and Europe , as well as experimental studies of factors affecting bone breakage and carnivore damage to bone. The zooarchaeology laboratory has worked closely with the palaeothnobotany laboratory, the Department of Art and Archaeology, the University's Tyson Research Center and the St. Louis Zoo.
In press Marshall, F., Grillo, K. and L. Arco. Prehistoric Pastoralists and Social Responses to Climatic Risk in East Africa. In Sustainable Lifeways: Cultural Persistence in an Ever-changing Environment. Chapter Two. N. Miller, K. Moore and K. Ryan Eds. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Series, Penn Press, Philadelphia.
Kimura, B., F. Marshall, S. Chen, S. Rosenbom, P.D. Moehlman, N. Tuross, R. Sabin, J. Peters, B. Barich H. Yohannes, F. Kebede, R. Teclai, R., A. Beja-Pereira, and C. Mulligan. 2010 Ancient DNA from Nubian and Somali wild ass provides insights into African wild ass phylogeny and donkey domestication. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0708.
Marshall, F. and L.Weissbrod. 2009 The consequences of women’s use of donkeys for pastoral flexibility: Maasai ethnoarchaeology In Tracking down the past. Ethnohistory meets archaeozoology. G. Grupe,G. McGlynn and J. Peters., eds. Pp.59-79. Documenta Archaeobiologiae no 7. Rahden/Westf.Germany: Marie Leidorf GmbH.
Alhaique, F. and F. Marshall. 2009 Preliminary report on the Jebel Gharbi fauna from Site SJ-00-56 (2000 and 2002 excavations). Africa LXIV 3-4:498-507. [pdf]
*Rossel, Stine, *Fiona Marshall, Joris Peters, Tom Pilgram, Matthew D. Adams and David O’Connor. 2008 Domestication of the Donkey: New Data on Timing, Processes and Indicators. PNAS 105:3715-3720. * co-first authors.
Marshall, Fiona. 2007 African pastoral perspectives on domestication of the donkey: A first synthesis. In Rethinking Agriculture: Archaeological and Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives. Chapter 18, pp 537 - 594. T.P. Denham and L. Vrydaghs Eds. London , UCL Press. [pdf]
Shahack-Gross, R., Fiona Marshall, Kathleen Ryan, and Steve Weiner. 2004 Reconstruction of Spatial Organization in abandoned Maasai Settlements: Implications for Site Structure in the Pastoral Neolithic of Kenya. Journal of Archaeological Science 31 :1395-1411. [pdf]
Dale, D., Marshall F. and T. Pilgram. 2004 Delayed-Return Hunter-Gatherers in Africa ? Historic Perspectives from the Okiek and Archaeological Perspectives from the Kansyore. In Hunters and Gatherers in Theory and Archaeology. G. Crothers Ed. Chapter 15, pp. 340-375. Center for Archaeological Investigations Occasional Paper 31, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. [pdf]
Shahack-Gross, R., Marshall , F. and S. Weiner. 2003 Geo-Ethnoarchaeology of Pastoral Sites: The Identification of Livestock Enclosures in Abandoned Maasai Settlements. The Journal of Archaeological Science 30:439-459. [pdf]
Marshall, F. and L. Hildebrand. 2002 Cattle before Crops: the Origins and Spread of Food Production in Africa. Journal of World Prehistory 16: 99-143. [pdf]
Marshall, F. 2000 The Origins of Domesticated Animals in Eastern Africa. In The Origins and Development of African Livestock: Archaeology, genetics, linguistics and ethnography. K.C McDonald and R.M. Blench Eds. Chapter 10, pp. 191-221. London : University College London Press.
Ancient Africa: Social Mosaics and Environmental Challenges (L48 3182C)
Bones to Behavior: Undergraduate Research in the Lab. and at the Zoo (L48 3305)
Pathways to Food Production in the Old World (L48 4682)
Out of the Wild: Domestication and Socioeconomic Diversity in Africa (L48 4771)
Zooarchaeology (L48 481)
Hunter-Gatherer Socio-economic Variation (L48 4892)
Pathways to Food Production in the Old World (L48 5341)