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Eleanor Kingwell-Banham

Research associate, UCL

My research focuses on identifying the type of cultivation systems used (dry rice, rainfed rice, wet rice) by Neolithic-Early Historic rice farmers. By combining macrobotanical and phytolith data sets I examine differential water availability between sites and intrasite phases. My research largely focuses on sites situated in India and Sri Lanka, however I have also worked on early rice sites from Neolithic China, early agricultural sites from East Africa and Early Historic Hund, Pakistan.

I am interested in combining multiple proxies for human behaviour in order to answer
archaeological problems, recently beginning to explore the potential of starch grains
preserved in tooth calculus to investigate plant use and agricultural systems.

Educational Background
2015: PhD in Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology. Thesis title:'Early rice agriculture in South Asia. Identifying cultivation systems using archaeobotany.'
2009: MSc in Human Palaeoecology (Distinction), Durham University. Dissertation title: 'Palaeobotanical remains from Viđ Kirkjugard, Sandoy, Faroe Islands.'
2008: BSc in Archaeology (First Class Honours), Durham University. Dissertation title: 'Charring experiments on wild food plants.'


  • 2018–present
    NERC Research Associate, UCL