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Urban Transitions in the Zanzibar Archipelago

Federica Sulas’s research deals with the responses of people and landscapes to environmental and social change over time, interpreting the impact of such processes on past urban dynamics and system resilience and exploring how this knowledge may inform on present and future challenges.

Her main research, in collaboration with Stephanie Wynne-Jones and other UrbNet researchers, revolves around a new project focusing on early medieval urban transitions in the Zanzibar archipelago. Using a combination of geoarchaeological techniques and contextual archaeological approaches, the team is investigating and comparing settlement stratigraphies at the earliest urban site of Unguja Ukuu and the later stonetown of Tumbatu. This project also provides materials for a second strand of research on the role of water in urban dynamics. The latter is the focus of another research project at Great Zimbabwe in collaboration with I. Pikirayi (University of Pretoria) and others.

Investigators: Assistant Professor Federica Sulas (Aarhus University) and Dr. Stephanie Wynne-Jones (University of York)