Susan Allen

Susan E Allen

Associate Professor

Associate Professor, Department Head, NAGPRA Director

Braunstein Hall


A&S Anthropology - 0380

Professional Summary

Affiliate Faculty, Department of Classics
Affiliate Faculty, Environmental Studies
Affiliate Faculty, European Studies

Dr. Allen's current research collaborations investigate the role of agriculture and climate change in the emergence of social inequality in the Aegean (Greece) and Balkans (Albania, Croatia), the transition to agriculture in southern Europe, and the historical and political ecology of Mediterranean wetlands. As part of her research projects on these themes, she also works with archaeobotanical materials to interrogate formation processes that affect assemblage composition and interpretive potential. 

As Co-Director (with Ilir Gjipali, Institute of Archaeology, Tirana) of the Southern Albania Neolithic Archaeological Project (SANAP), she is working toward publication of an edited monograph on their results from surface survey, coring, and excavation at the Early Neolithic site of Vashtëmi and survey and / or coring at several other Early Neolithic sites in the region.

In cooperation with China Shelton (ACOR), she conducts archeobotanical recovery and analysis for the Iklaina Archaeological Project, directed by Michael Cosmopoulos (UMSL), focused on excavation of the Mycenaean site of Iklaina in southwestern Greece. 

In the lab, she has been collaborating with graduate student Martha Wendel (MA 2019) to complete analysis and publication of seed and charcoal remains from two sites in northern Albania excavated as part of the Projekti Arkeologjik i Shkodrës (PASH), directed by Michael Galaty (U. Michigan). 

She was recently awarded funding from the University Research Council to facilitate her collaboration with the Cetina Valley Survey (CeVaS), directed by Helena Tomas (U. Zagreb). Her sub-project within CeVaS focuses on documentation of human-environment landscape dynamics in the valley. 

Dr. Allen encourages potential graduate students, particularly those with interest in palaeoethnobotany, archaeobotany, ethnobotany, or environmental archaeology, to reach out to her directly.


Ph.D.: Boston University (Archaeology)

M.A.: Bryn Mawr College (Aegean Prehistory)

Research and Practice Interests

Topical: Aegean, Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean prehistory; wetlands; origins of agriculture; social complexity; climate change; food systems; sustainable practices. 

Methodological: Palaeoethnobotany, ethnobotany, and environmental archaeology

Geographical: Southeastern Europe, Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, Eastern and Midwestern U.S.

Research Support

2002 -2005 Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research $15,027.00. Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, "A Living Landscape: Palaeoethnobotanical Research at the Bronze and Iron Age Site of Sovjan, Albania." Grant #6987. 06/01/2002 - 12/31/2005. Role:Co-PI.

2006 -2007 Fulbright Foundation. Fulbright Scholar Award (Lecturing / Research), Tirana University, Tirana, Albania Agricultural Origins in the Southeastern Balkans. Institute of Archaeology, Tirana and University of Tirana (Albania). 9/1/2006 - 2/1/2007. Role:PI $15,000

2015 -2015 Charles P. Taft Research Center, University of Cincinnati. $2,750.00. Piecing Together Pots of Early Farmers in Southern Europe, ca. 6,500 B.C. 2/1/15-8/31/15. Role:PI

2009 -2015 National Science Foundation. $191,806.00. Wetlands and the Transition to Agriculture in Europe: The Southern Albania Neolithic Archaeological Project. Grant # BCS-0917960. Role:PI

2018 -2019 Charles P. Taft Research Center. Taft Center Fellowship for AY 2018-19 for "Out of the Mire of the Past: Reviving Cultural Narratives from a Vanished Wetland Landscape in Southern Albania."

2014 -2017 Wenner-Gren Foundation. $23,750.00. "Seeds of Complexity: Archaeobotanical Perspectives on State Formation in Southern Greece." Post PhD Fieldwork Grant and Osmundsen Initiative Grant. Role:PI

05-01-2006 -12-31-2010 Packard Humanities Institute. $22,697.00. Southern Albania Neolithic Archaeological Project: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of the Transition to Agriculture in Southern Albania. Grant # 06-1366. Role:PI

2019 -2020 National Science Foundation "2019 Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany: The Future of Forests." BCS-1915827. Co-PI with David Lentz (PI). 3/01/19 - 02/29/2020 $14,604.00

Grant: #R25074 Investigators:Allen, Susan 04-01-2019 -03-31-2020 UC's URC Faculty Research Cost Support Awards Program Cetina Valley Landscape Dyanamics (Cevald) : Long Term Coupled Cultural and Natural Systems Role:PI $7,500.00 Active Level:Internal UC

Grant: #Oct. 2022. FY22 NAGPRA Cons/Docum Grant Investigators:Allen, Susan; Johnston, Cheryl; Weakley, Jacob 10-01-2022 -09-30-2024 Department of the Interior University of Cincinnati NAGPRA Consultation and Documentation Role:PI $100,000 Active

Abbreviated Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

2019. Cosmopoulos, M.C., S.E. Allen, D. Riebe, D. Ruscillo, M. Liston, and C. Shelton. New Accelerator Mass Spectrometry 14C Dates from Iklaina. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 24:888-899.

2019. Allen, S.E. Context and contents: distinguishing variation in archaeobotanical assemblage formation processes at Early Fistikli Höyük, Turkey. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany 28(3): 247-262.

In press. Allen, S.E. "The Floristic Environment of Sovjan." Chapter 4 in Touchais, G., P. Lera, and C. Oberweiler, eds., Sovjan, Volume I: L'Environment. Athens: École française d'Athènes.

2020. Allen, S.E. and K.M. Forste. Archaeobotanical Remains from Mycenaean Tsoungiza. Ch. 14 in Mycenaean Tsoungiza, J.C. Wright and M. Dabney, eds., pp. 1029-1062. Princeton: American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 

2020. Dabney, M.K., S.E. Allen, A. Kugler, A. Papathanasiou, and J.C. Wright. The Neolithic Settlement on Tsoungiza at Ancient Nemea. Hesperia 89: 1-65. 

2018. Allen, S.E. Second Impressions: Expanding the range of cereals from Early Neolithic Franchthi Cave, Greece. Ethnobiology Letters 9(2):189-196. https//

2017Allen, S.E. Cultivating Identities: Landscape Production Among Early Farmers in the Southern Balkans. In M. Gori and M. Ivanova, eds., pp. 213-239. Balkan Dialogues: Negotiating Identity in the Prehistoric Balkans. Routledge.

2013. Allen, S.E. "Archaeobotany." In Galaty, M.L., Z. Tafilica, C.T. Fisher, W.E. Lee, A. Gyucha, R. Schon, Chapter 10, Grunas, pp. 223-227. In Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania. UCLA: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. 2014 SAA Scholarly Book Award Winner.

2013. I. Gjipali and S. Allen. Vashtëmi. Iliria XXXVI (2012): 363-370.

2011. Hansen, Julie M. and Susan E. Allen. "The Palaeoethnobotany of Early Helladic Tsoungiza." in Early Bronze Age Village on Tsoungiza Hill, edited by Daniel Pullen. Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies.

2005. E. Panagopoulou, C. Runnels, P. Murray, S. Allen, K. Mullen, and E. Tourloukis. "The Mesolithic Survey in the Kandia Region (Argolid)." Arkhaiologika Analekta ex Athenon 35-38: 23-36.

2005. C. Runnels, E. Panagopoulou, P. Murray, G. Tsartidou, S. Allen, K. Mullen, and E. Tourloukis.  "A Mesolithic Landscape in Greece: Testing a Site Location Model in Kandia (Argolid)." Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 18: 259-295.

2004. G. Touchais, P. Lera, O. Décavallas, E. Fouache, J. Rénard, S. Allen, and B. Szepertysky. "Travaux menés en collaboration avec L'École française d'Athènes en 2002. Sovjan (Albanie)." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 127(2): 578-609.

2003. S. Pollock, R. Bernbeck, S.E. Allen, A.G. Castro Gessner, S. Kielt Costello, R. Costello, M. Foree, M.Y. Gleba, M. Goodwin, S. Lepinski, C. Nakamura, and S. Niebuhr. "The Biography of an Early Halaf Village." Istanbuler Mitteilungen 53(9-77).

2001. P. Lera, G. Touchais, P. Lera, L. Astruc, O. Décavallas, A. Gardeisen, G. Kourtessi-Phillipakis, J. Rénard, S. Allen, and B. Szepertysky. "Travaux menés en collaboration avec L'École française d'Athènes en 2000. Sovjan (Albanie)." Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 125(2): 716-730.

2022S.E. Allen and E. Margariti. “Landscape, Vegetation and Plant Use at the Bonjakët Sanctuary: Macrobotanical Remains from Illyrian Apollonia.” Chapter 6 in Jack L. Davis, Iris Pojani, Vangjel Dimo, and Sharon Stocker, eds., A Sanctuary in the Hora of Illyrian Apollonia: Excavations at the Bonjakët Site (2004-2006), pp. 127-139. Atlanta: Lockwood Press.

2022. C. Pagnoux, V. Bonhomme, L. Bouby, S. Ivorra, S.E. Allen, and S.M. Valamoti. Early viticulture in Neolithic and Bronze Age Greece: Looking for the best traditional morphometric method to distinguish wild and domesticated grape pips. In S.M. Valamoti, A. Dimoula, and M. Ntinou, eds., Cooking with Plants in Ancient Europe and Beyond: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Archaeology of Plant Foods, pp. 57 – 70. Leiden, Sidestone.

2023Susan E. Allen and Martha M. Wendel. Archaeobotanical Remains from Gajtan and Zagorë. In M. Galaty and L. Bejko, eds., Archaeological Investigations in a Northern Albanian Province: Results of the Projekti Arkeologjik i Shkodrës (PASH), Volume 2, pp. 366 – 382. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.

2020 S.E. Allen and K.M. Forste. “Archaeobotanical Remains.” Ch. 14 in J.C. Wright and M.K. Dabney, eds., Mycenaean Tsoungiza, pp. 1029-1062. Princeton: American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 

Book Chapter

In press. Allen, S.E.  "Water Management in Ancient Greece and the Mediterranean." in Water and Humanity, Historical Overview (History of Water and Civilization Book Series), edited by Fekri A. Hassan and Vernon L. Scarborough. Paris: UNESCO.

2018. Galaty, M., L. Bejko, S. Deska, R. Yerkes, S. Allen, and R. Bolus. Landscape Archaeology in Northern Albania: Results of the 2014 Field Season of the Projekti Arkeologjik i Shkodrës (PASH). In Landcape in Southeastern Europe. Studies on Southeastern Europe, Vol. 21. L. Mirošević, G. Zaro, M. Katić and D. Birt, eds., pp. 35-47. Zurich: Verlag. 

2014. Allen, S.E., I. Gjipali, P. Karkanas, A. Gardeisen, G. Piquès, R. Ruka, G. Tsartsidou, and E. Ruzi. New Light on the Early Neolithic Period in Albania: The Southern Albania Neolithic Archaeological Project (SANAP), 2006-2013. Pp. 107-119 in  L. Perzhita, I. Gjipali, G. Hoxha, and B. Muka, eds., Proceedings of the International Congress of Albanian Archaeological Studies. Tirana: Center for Albanian Studies, Institute of Archaeology.

2013. Gjipali, I. and S. Allen. "Investigations on the Early Neolithic Period in Albania: Vashtëmi." In I. Gjipali, L. Perzhita, and B. Muka, eds., Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Albania, pp. 22-25. Tirana: Centre for Albanian Studies, Institute of Archaeology.

2002. Allen, S.E. "Yarmukian Palaeoethnobotany: Preliminary Results." pp. 236 – 246 in Sha’ar Hagolan: Neolithic Art in Context, edited by Y. Garfinkel and M. Miller. Oxford: Oxbow.

Peer Reviewed Conference/Workshop Proceedings

2002.  Allen, S.E. "The Palaeoethnobotany of Sovjan: Preliminary Results." in L’Albanie dans l’Europe Préhistorique du Paléolithique à l’Âge du Fer. Supplements au Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique, edited by J. Rénard and G. Touchais. Athens: École française d’Athènes.


Invited Presentations

2012. Susan E. Allen and Ilir Gjipali (04-20-2012. ) Wetlands and the Transition to Agriculture in Europe: The 2010 Southern Albania Neolithic Archaeological Project (SANAP) Excavations at Vashtëmi. For the Organized Session,"Recent Trends in Albanian Archaeology: A Decade in Review," organized by Sylvia Deskaj. Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, Memphis TN.

2014. Susan E. Allen (05-01-2014. ) Landscape Production and Identity among Early Farmers in the Southern Balkans .“Balkan Dialogues: Spatial Boundaries and Cultural Identities in the Prehistoric Balkans.", Zentrum für Altertumswissenschaften, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, University of Heidelberg.

Susan E. Allen and Kathleen M. Forste (2015. ) On the Periphery of Collapse: An Archaeobotanical View from the Mycenaean Hinterland of Tsoungiza .Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco.

2015. Susan E. Allen and China P. Shelton (01-09-2015. ) So Many Samples, So Few Seeds: The Search for Plant Remains at Bronze Age Iklaina .Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Galaty, M., L. Bejko, R. Yerkes, S. Deskaj, S. Allen, and R. Bolus (2016. ) The 2013 Season of the Projekti Arkeologjikë i Shkodrës (PASH), Northern Albania. Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

Allen, Susan E. and China P. Shelton (2016. ) Disturbing Households: Assessing Contextual Integrity with Botanical Remains. For invited session, “Archaeoethnobotany and Household Contexts,” .Society of American Archaeology Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

Allen, S.E. (2017. ) Out of the Mire of the Past: Reviving 'Dead' Ecologies from a Drained Wetland Landscape in Southern Albania .Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference, Lexington, KY.

Allen, S.E. (2017. ) Context and Contents: Interpreting Archaeobotanical Patterns at Fistikli Höyük, Turkey .Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, Vancouver.

Patton, P.E. and S.E. Allen (2017. ) A Forgotten Cultigen? Chenopodium album (L.) (κλοθβιδα) .Symposium of Greek Gastronomy: Known, Forgotten, and Lost Grains, Chania.

C. Pagnoux, V. Bonhomme, S. Ivorra, S. Allen, and S. Valamoti (2023. ) How to distinguish wild and domesticated grape pips: comparison of morphometric methods and insights into early viticulture in Neolithic and Bronze Age Greece .2nd Meeting of the Archaeobotany in Greece Group (MAGG) International Conference, 26-27 January 2023, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

S.E. Allen (2021. ) Long-term Wetland Ethnobiological Knowledge in Southern Albania .Prehistoric Wetland Sites of Southern Europe. Archaeology, Chronology, Climate and Human Ecology, Oeschger Centre for Climate Research, University of Bern,

S.E. Allen (2020. ) The archaeobotany of Mycenaean Greece: progress and prospects .Archaeobotany in Greece meeting, École française d’Athènes .

S.E. Allen and M.M. Wendel (2019. ) Resilience and Adaptation in High Albania: Insights from Late Neolithic to Iron Age Plant Use in the Shkodër Valley .Society for Ethnobiology Annual Meeting, Vancouver.

S.E. Allen (2018. ) Cultivating power: a political ecology of Mycenaean agriculture .Power and Place in the Prehistoric Aegean and Beyond: A Symposium to Honor James C. Wright, Bryn Mawr College.

Poster Presentations

Susan E. Allen (06-19-2013. ) Questions of Seasonality and Sedentism in Halaf Agricultural Settlements .IWGP (International Work Group for Palaeoethnobotany), Thessaloniki. .

Rachelanne Bolus and Susan E. Allen (04-23-2015. ) The Projekti Arkeologjikë i Shkodrës: Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Archaeobotanical Analysis .University Research Council, University of Cincinnati. .

J. Connolly, V. Slotten, L. Niekamp, D. Reale, B. Crowley, and S. Allen (04-14-2015. ) Agriculture at Sovjan, Albania: An Analysis of Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopes. Graduate Research Forum,, University of Cincinnati.. .

Paper Presentations

Susan E. Allen (05-05-2011. ) Voices from a Vanished Wetland Landscape .Columbus, OH.

Kathleen M. Forste and Susan E. Allen (05-06-2011. ) Fireside Stories: Archaeobotanical Investigations of Bronze Age Combustion Features from Sovjan, Albania .Columbus, OH.


archaeology, anthropology, wetlands, Balkans, agriculture, Europe, Aegean, Near East, Middle East, gender, sustainability, climate change, political ecology, social inequality, ethnobotany, archaeobotany

Courses Taught

Archaeological Theory (Sr. Capstone / Grad.)

Archaeootany and Ethnobotany / Archaeological Analysis of Plants (UG / Grad)

Introduction to Anthropology (Freshman Seminar)

Introduction to Archaeology

Great Discoveries in Archaeology

Balkan Peoples / Women, Men, and Children in Balkan Societies (UG / Grad)

European Prehistory (UG / Grad)

People and Wetlands

Origins of Agriculture / Agricultural Analysis (UG / Grad)

Anthropological and Archaeological Approaches to Wetlands

Origins of Civilizations / Analysis of Civilizations (UG / Grad)

Contact Information

Phone: 513-556-5787