Cindy Nelson-Viljoen (2013 - 2016 Principal’s Career Development AND Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship, University of Edinburgh)

PhD Student Archaeology


At present, I am a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, School of History, Classics and Archaeology investigating seasonal shellfish use during the Later Stone Age of South Africa. My aim is to use stable isotope and sclerochronological analysis to better understand the occupational history of past populations, and the possible seasonal nature of their coastal diet.

I completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pretoria in 2004. Both my Honours (2005) and Master (2009) degrees in Archaeology dealt with animal utilization practices during the South African Iron Age and reflect my longstanding interest in Archaeozoology.

Between 2010-2013 I worked as Research Coordinator and Archaeologist for the Mossel Bay Archaeology Project (MAPCRM cc) under the direction of Prof. Curtis W. Marean. My responsibilities included coordinating research into the Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment, Paleoecology, and Palaeoanthropology (SACP4) studies on sites along the South African coastline, specifically the Western Cape at sites such as Pinnacle Point. Hence sparking my interest in the exploitation of coastal resources and diets of Stone Age inhabitants that lived along the South African coastline during the Middle- to Late Stone Age.

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Newsletter Editor – Archeo + Malacology Group (2016 - current); Archaeomalacology Working group of the International Council of Archaeozoology (downloadable issues in pdf format)

Research summary

Archaeomalacology, Zooarchaeology and Palaeoenvironment reconstruction