Petra Vaiglova

Postdoctoral Research Associate of Archaeology

Petra Vaiglova utilizes biomolecular techniques to seek answers to how people adapted to ancient environments, from development of early farming techniques in the Neolithic to construction of large desert towns in the provinces of the Byzantine Empire.

Vaiglova’s work focuses on the interactions of humans, plants and animals in past societies. She specializes in development of new applications of isotopic analyses (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, strontium, sulphur) in archaeology. At Washington University, she is working with Xinyi Liu and researchers from Alex Bradley’s Laboratory for Biogeochemistry on fine-tuning the use of compound specific (amino acid) stable isotopic values to better understand past human and animal dietary behavior, in the context of the spread of ancient domesticates across Eurasia in prehistory. Petra’s previous work focused on the reconstruction of ancient agro-pastoral strategies, and what they tell us about settlement organization, environmental adaptation and cultural choices in Neolithic societies in Greece and Anatolia, and Byzantine settlements in the Negev Desert, Israel.



Current projects

China – ‘Origins and spread of broomcorn and foxtail millet cultivation’, multiple sites, 7th–2nd millennium cal BC (with Xinyi Liu, Michael Franchetti and Alexander Bradley, Washington University in St Louis, USA)

Israel – ‘Crisis on the margins of the Byzantine Empire’, 4th–7th century CE (with Guy Bar-Oz, University of Haifa, Israel; Gideon Hartman, University of Connecticut)

Turkey – ‘Tatıka archaeological project’, 3rd millennium cal BC, Northern Mesopotamia (with Derya Silibolatlaz-Baykara, Yuzuncu Til University; Dr Nihat Bay, Mardin Museum, Turkey)

Greece – ‘Archaeology of Kolomboi, Krania, Platania’, Classical-Hellenistic (with Evi Margaritis, Cyprus Institute of Science, Cyprus)

Israel – ‘Wilson’s Arch archaeological project’, Jerusalem Old Town, Late Roman (with Joe Uziel and the Israeli Antiquities Authority, Israel; Gideon Hartman, University of Connecticut)


Peer-reviewed journal articles

2021 Vaiglova, P., Coleman, J., Diffey, C., Tzevelekidi, V., Fillios, M., Pappa, M., Halstead, P., Valamoti, S.M., Cavanagh, W., Renard, J., Buckley, M., Bogaard, A., “Exploring Diversity in Neolithic Agropastoral Management in Mainland Greece Using Stable Isotope Analysis,” Environmental Archaeology

2020 Vaiglova, P., Hartman, G., Marom, N., Ayalon, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Zilberman, T., Yasur, G., Buckley, M., Bernstein, R., Tepper, Y., Weissbrod, L., Erickson-Gini, T., Bar-Oz, G., "Climate stability and societal decline on the margins of the Byzantine empire in the Negev Desert,” Scientific Reports 10, 1512.

2020 Vaiglova, P., Gardeisen, A., Buckley, M., Cavanagh, W., Renard, J., Lee-thorp, J., Bogaard, A., "Further insight into Neolithic agricultural management at Kouphovouno, southern Greece : expanding the isotopic approach,” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 12–43.

2019 Nitsch, E., A. L. Lamb, T. H. E. Heaton, P. Vaiglova, R. Fraser, G. Hartman, E. Moreno-Jiménez, A. López-Piñeiro, D. Peña-Abades, A. Fairbairn, J. Eriksen, A. Bogaard, “Preservation and interpretation of δ34S values in charred archaeobotanical remains,” Archaeometry 61:161–178.

2018 Vaiglova, P., P. Halstead, M. Pappa, S. Triantaphyllou, S. M. Valamoti, J. Evans, R. Fraser, P. Karkanas, A. Kay, J. Lee-Thorp, A. Bogaard, “Of cattle and feasts: multi-isotope investigation of animal husbandry and communal feasting at Neolithic Makriyalos, northern Greece,” PLOS One.

2017 Schulting, R., P. Vaiglova, R. Crozier, P. Reimer, “Further evidence for seaweed-eating sheep from Neolithic Orkney,” Journal of Archaeological Science 11:463–470.

2014 Vaiglova, P., C. Snoeck, E. Nitsch, A. Bogaard, J. Lee-Thorp, “Impact of contamination and pre-treatment on stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of charred plant remains,” Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 28:2497–2510.

2014 Bogaard, A., E. Henton, J. Evans, K. Twiss, M. Charles, P. Vaiglova, N. Russell, “Locating Land Use at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey: The Implications of 87Sr/86Sr Signatures in Plants and Sheep Tooth Sequences,” Archaeometry 56:860–877.

2014 Vaiglova, P., A. Bogaard, M. Collins, W. Cavanagh, C. Mee, J. Renard, A. Lamb, A. Gardeisen, R. Fraser, “An integrated stable isotope study of plants and animals from Kouphovouno, southern Greece: a new look at Neolithic farming,” Journal of Archaeological Science 42:201–215.

2013 Bogaard, A., R. Fraser, T. Heaton, M. Wallace, P. Vaiglova, M. Charles, G. Jones, R. Evershed, A. Styring, N. Andersen, R.-M. Arbogast, L. Bartosiewicz, A. Gardeisen, M. Kanstrup, U. Maier, E. Marinova, “Crop manuring and intensive land management by Europe’s first farmers,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110:12589–94.

Conference proceedings

2017 Coleman, J. E., E. Karimali, L. Karali, M. Fillios, C. Diffey, P. Vaiglova, A. Bogaard, Y. Joos, E. Angeli, “The environment and interactions of Neolithic Halai,” in: Communities, Landscapes and Interaction in Neolithic Greece: Proceedings of the International Conference, Rethymno, 29-30 May, 2015, edited by A. Sarris, E. Kalogiropoulou, T. Kalayci, L. Karimali. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory, p.96–124.

2017 Cavanagh, W., J. Renard, A. Bogaard, A. Gardeisen, J. Cantuel, P. Vaiglova, C. Diffey, “Farming strategies at Kouphovouno, Lakonia, in the MN–LN periods,” in: Communities, Landscapes and Interaction in Neolithic Greece: Proceedings of the International Conference, Rethymno, 29-30 May, 2015, edited by A. Sarris, E. Kalogiropoulou, T. Kalayci, L. Karimali. Ann Arbor: International Monographs in Prehistory, p.280–290.

2014 Vaiglova, P., F. Rivals, A. Bogaard, R. Fraser, A. Gardeisen, W. Cavanagh, C. Mee, J. Renard, A. Lamb, “Interpreting ancient crop and animal management strategies at Neolithic Kouphovouno, southern Greece: results of integrating crop and animal stable isotopes and dental micro– and mesowear,” in: Physis: l’environnement naturel et la relation homme-milieu dans le monde égéen protohistorique: actes de la 14e Rencontre égéenne internationale, Paris, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), 11–14 décembre 2012, edited by G. Touchais, R. Laffineur, F. Rougemont. Peeters, Leuven, pp. 528-–537.

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