Dr. Barbara Eichhorn

Campus Westend, Poelzig-Building
Room Q4, 6.451

Tel.: 069 798-32089
Fax: 069 798-32104
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Goethe University
Institute of Archaeological Sciences
Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60629 Frankfurt am Main

Research interests and methods

Research projects (participation)

Academic career

Selected publications


Research interests

Archaeobotany and vegetation history (main area of interest: Africa)

  • Holocene vegetation and land use history
  • Human and climatic influence on woody vegetation                                                                                                               Current focus: Impact of iron metallurgy; Millets in West and Central Africa


  • botanical macroremain analysis (archaeological wood charcoal, fruits and seeds)
  • botanical microremain analysis (phytoliths)

Regional specialization on West-, Central- and Southwest Africa. Field work in Burkina Faso, Mali, Namibia, Togo.


Research projects (participation)
  • Phytoliths and the late Quaternary vegetation history of West Africa
  • Iron Age human subsistence, environment and climate in the Inner Congo Basin (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
  • Sidérurgie et Environnement au Togo (ANR JCJC SIDERENT)
  • ERC project 'Prehistoric Anatolia'
  • Archéologie du Paysage au Pays Dogon/Mali (APPD)
  • Vegetation History of Ounjougou/Mali
  • Ecological and cultural change in West and Central Africa
  • Special research project 389: Arid Climate and Adaptation in Africa

Academic career

since 2016
Research fellow at DFG-project: Phytoliths and the late Quaternary vegetation history of West Africa

since 2015
Research fellow at DFG-project: Iron Age human subsistence, environment and climate in the Inner Congo Basin (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Research fellow at ANR JCJC-project: Sidérurgie et Environnement au Togo

free-lance research associate

since 2011

associated to ERC-project: 'Prehistoric Anatolia'


Research fellow at DFG/ANR-project: Archéologie du Paysage au Pays Dogon

Research fellow at DFG-project: Vegetation History of Ounjougou/Mali

Research fellow at FOR 510: Ecological and cultural change in West and Central Africa

PhD (Dr), University Cologne, subject: Anthracological analyses to reconstruct the vegetation history of the Kaokoland, Nordwest-Namibia“)

Research assistant at special research project 389 „ACACIA“, University Cologne

Study of biology at Goethe University Frankfurt (diploma: „Segetal vegetation in the Tiébélé region, Burkina Faso.“)


Selected publications

Kay, A., D.Q. Fuller, K. Neumann, B. Eichhorn, A. Höhn, J. Morin-Rivat, L. Champion, V. Linseele, E. Huysecom,  S. Ozainne, L. Lespez, S. Biagetti, M. Madella, U. Salzmann & J.O. Kaplan (2019): Diversification, intensification and specialization. Changing land use in western Africa from 1800 BC to AD 1500. Journal of World Prehistory. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10963-019-09131-2

Humphris, J. & B. Eichhorn (2019): Fuel selection during long-term ancient iron production in Sudan. Azania 54: 33-54. https://doi.org/10.1080/0067270X.2019.1578567

Eichhorn, B. & C. Robion-Brunner (2017): Wood exploitation in a major pre-colonial West African iron production
centre (Bassar, Togo). Quaternary International 458: 158-177. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618216307947

Eichhorn, B. & K. Neumann (2014): Holocene vegetation change and land use at Ounjougou (Mali). In: Stevens, C., Nixon, S., Murray, M.A. & Fuller, D.Q. (eds.), Archaeology of African Plant Use. Walnut Creek, Leftcoast Press: 83-96 (chapter 7).

Eichhorn, B., C. Robion-Brunner, S. Perret & V. Serneels (2013): Fuel for iron – wood exploitation for metallurgy on the Dogon Plateau, Mali. In Humphris, J. und T. Rehren (eds.), The World of Iron. London, Archetype Publications: 435-443.

Neumann, K, M. K. H. Eggert, R. Oslisly, B. Clist, T. Denham, P. de Maret, S. Ozainne, E. Hildebrand, K. Bostoen, U. Salzmann, D. Schwartz, B. Eichhorn, B. Tchiengué & A. Höhn (2012): Comment on “Intensifying Weathering and Land Use in Iron Age Central Africa”. Science 31 August 2012: 1040.

Eichhorn, B., K. Neumann, A. Garnier (2010): Seed phytoliths in West African Commelinaceae and their potential for palaeoecological studies. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 298 (3-4): 300-310.

Vogelsang, R., J. Richter, Z. Jacobs, B. Eichhorn, V. Linseele & R.G. Roberts (2010): New Excavations of Middle Stone Age Deposits at Apollo 11 Rockshelter, Namibia: Stratigraphy, Archaeology, Chronology and Past Environments. Journal of African Archaeology 8 (2): 185-218.

Eichhorn, B. (2004): Anthrakologische Untersuchungen zur Vegetationsgeschichte des Kaokolandes, Nordwest-Namibia. Doktorarbeit, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität zu Köln. URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-11784

Complete publication list