Event: Virtual Pizza Talk: Archaeological and Biometric Perspective on the Diversity and Origin of African Chickens

Date & Time

May 19, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Contact Information

Michelle Jacobson



Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Helina WoldekirosPicture of chickens
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Washington University

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Domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus L. 1758) are one of the most valued farm animals in the world today. Chickens are economically and socially significant in Africa. They are often associated with cuisine and identity as well as their ability to generate income for poor rural communities. Despite their importance, little is known about the nature of their introduction and subsequent integration into African economies. In this paper I present archaeological and biometric perspective on the introduction and development of chicken landraces in the Horn of Africa.

Dr. Helina Woldekiros is an assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Woldekiros completed her Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis and her MA at the University of Florida. After completing a postdoctoral research at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, Woldekiros joined the Department of Anthropology at WU in 2015.Woldekiros's research interest includes state formation, the origin of food production, agriculture, pastoralism, salt trade, caravan archaeology, and livestock biodiversity in the Horn of Africa. Her upcoming book entitled "The Boundaries of Ancient Trade" re-conceptualizes state formation in the Horn Africa by looking at not only hierarchical political models but also heterarchical political models. She is also an expert in the domestication and spread of chickens globally.