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Krish Seetah

Bio
I am a zooarchaeologist, whose focus is primarily on colonisation and colonialism. My zooarchaeological research has used butchery analysis (with the benefit of professional and ethnographic actualistic experience) to investigate agency within the human-animal relationship. More recently, I have employed geometric morphometrics (GMM) as a mechanism for identifying and distinguishing animal populations. This approach to studying colonial activity centres on understanding how people manipulate animal bodies, both during life and after death.

Alongside the strictly faunal research is a research interest in technologies associated with animal processing. This has been used to investigate issues of technology, trade and socio-economic attitudes within colonial contexts in the Mediterranean (Venice & Montenegro) and the Baltic (Poland, Latvia & Lithuania).

I am also the Director of the ‘Mauritian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage’ (MACH) project, which studies European Imperialism and colonial activity. This project centres on the movement of peoples and material cultures, specifically within the contexts of slavery and Diaspora. The work of this project has focused on key sites in Mauritius and is based on a systematic programme of excavation and environmental sampling. The underlying aims are to better understand the transition from slavery to indentured labour following abolition, the extent and diversity of trade in the region and the environmental consequences of intense, monoculture, agriculture.
Academic Appointments: 
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Administrative Appointments: 
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University (2012 - Present)
Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Central Lancashire (2010 - 2012)
ERC Research Fellow, Reading University (2011 - 2014)
Associate Fellow, McDonald Institute (2010 - 2014)
Scientific Fellow, Scientific Research Centre, Slovenia (2010 - 2011)
External Consultant, Truth & Justice Commission, Mauritius. (2009 - 2011)
Leverhulme Research Associate, McDonald Institute (2007 - 2010)
Honors and Awards: 
English Heritage Award for Presenting Heritage Research., BA Festival Of Science (2003)
Highly Commended for The Foundation Essay, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (2003)
Professional Organizations: 
Member, Colloquium committee, Anthropology Department, Stanford University (2013 - 2014)
Member, Graduate Admissions committee, Anthropology Department, Stanford University (2013 - 2014)
Member, Graduate Development committee, Anthropology Department, Stanford University (2013 - 2014)
Member, Colloquium committee, Anthropology Department, Stanford University (2012 - 2013)
Member, TA committee, Anthropology Department, Stanford University (2012 - 2013)
Member, Centennial TA Award committee, Anthropology Department, Stanford University (2012 - 2013)
Member, Archaebotany Post-doc Recruitment committee, Archeology Center, Stanford University (2013 - 2013)
Member, Archaeological Science Post-doc Recruitment committee, Archeology Center, Stanford University (2013 - 2013)
Speaker, Archaeology Council Annual Meeting, Archeology Center, Stanford University (2012 - 2012)
Out-of-department University Chair, Ph.D. defense in Classics, Stanford University (2013 - 2013)
Member, Marshall Rhodes candidate selection committee, Stanford University (2012 - 2012)
Reviewer, Graduate Women in Science Fellowship (2013 - 2013)
Reviewer, Reviews in History, Institute for Historical Research (2013 - 2013)
Member, Society of Antiquaries of London
Member, Society for Post Medieval Archaeology (SPMA)
Member, European Association of Archaeologists (EAA)
Member, International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ)
Member, The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
Member, The Society for Medieval Archaeology
Member, Cambridge Philosophical Society (CPS)
Member, Stanford Archaeology Center, Stanford
Member, Center for South Asia, Stanford
Member, The Europe Center, Stanford
Member, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford
Member, Center for African Studies, Stanford
Member, Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Stanford
Education: 
B.Sc., University of Surrey, Biological Sciences (1996)
M.Sc., University of Surrey, Ecology for Sustainable Development (1998)
M.Sc., Bournemouth University, Osteoarchaeology (2002)
Ph.D, University of Cambridge, Archaelogy (2007)
Research & Scholarship
Projects: 
The Mauritian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Project: exploring the impact of colonialism and colonisation in the Indian Ocean, Stanford University
Title: 
The Mauritian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Project: exploring the impact of colonialism and colonisation in the Indian Ocean
Detail: 

Modern Mauritius had its naissance in 1721 when a group of French colonists from Reunion established the first French settlement on the island. Its strategic position made it the focus of successive waves of colonising powers all of whom left their material markers. Despite this, there has been limited examination based on systematic methods-driven archaeology addressing the islands role as a colonial enclave. It was an important trading post between the Spice Islands and Europe and became a long-term colony with European, African and Indo-Chinese influence. As a volcanic island lacking any indigenous population it also presents an exceptional opportunity to establish baseline data detailing specific environmental conditions within the Indian Ocean.

Location

Mauritius

Teaching
Courses Taught: 
Academic Year: 
2016-17
Courses: 
Animals and Us
ANTHRO 34, ARCHLGY 34 (Win)
Archaeological Methods
ANTHRO 91A, ARCHLGY 102 (Spr)
Zooarchaeology: An Introduction to Faunal Remains
ANTHRO 119, ANTHRO 219, ARCHLGY 119 (Win)
Independent Study Courses: 
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 451 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 96 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Study in Honors and Senior Papers
ANTHRO 95B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Graduate Internship
ANTHRO 452 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Internship in Anthropology
ANTHRO 97 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Area
ANTHRO 401B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Topic
ANTHRO 401A (Aut, Win, Spr)
Research Apprenticeship
ANTHRO 450 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Research in Anthropology
ANTHRO 95 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Teaching Assistantship
ANTHRO 440 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Academic Year: 
2015-16
Courses: 
Archaeological Methods
ANTHRO 91A, ARCHLGY 102 (Aut)
Independent Study Courses: 
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 451 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 96 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Study in Honors and Senior Papers
ANTHRO 95B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Graduate Internship
ANTHRO 452 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Internship in Anthropology
ANTHRO 97 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Area
ANTHRO 401B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Topic
ANTHRO 401A (Win, Spr)
Research Apprenticeship
ANTHRO 450 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Research in Anthropology
ANTHRO 95 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Teaching Assistantship
ANTHRO 440 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Academic Year: 
2014-15
Courses: 
Animals and Us
ANTHRO 34, ARCHLGY 34 (Aut)
Archaeological Methods
ANTHRO 91A, ARCHLGY 102 (Win)
The Social life of Human Bones
ANTHRO 115, ANTHRO 215 (Win)
Zooarchaeology: An Introduction to Faunal Remains
ANTHRO 119, ANTHRO 219, ARCHLGY 119 (Aut)
Independent Study Courses: 
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 451 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 96 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Study in Honors and Senior Papers
ANTHRO 95B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Graduate Internship
ANTHRO 452 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Internship in Anthropology
ANTHRO 97 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Area
ANTHRO 401B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Topic
ANTHRO 401A (Win, Spr, Sum)
Research Apprenticeship
ANTHRO 450 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Research in Anthropology
ANTHRO 95 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Teaching Assistantship
ANTHRO 440 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Academic Year: 
2013-14
Courses: 
Archaeological Methods
ANTHRO 91A, ARCHLGY 102 (Win)
Human Osteoarchaeology
ANTHRO 103A, ANTHRO 203A (Spr)
Thinking Through Animals
ANTHRO 117, ANTHRO 217 (Win)
Zooarchaeology: An Introduction to Faunal Remains
ANTHRO 119, ANTHRO 219, ARCHLGY 119 (Aut)
Independent Study Courses: 
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 451 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Individual Study
ANTHRO 96 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Directed Study in Honors and Senior Papers
ANTHRO 95B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Graduate Internship
ANTHRO 452 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Internship in Anthropology
ANTHRO 97 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Area
ANTHRO 401B (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Qualifying Examination: Topic
ANTHRO 401A (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Research Apprenticeship
ANTHRO 450 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Research in Anthropology
ANTHRO 95 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Teaching Assistantship
ANTHRO 440 (Aut, Win, Spr, Sum)
Advisees: 
Publications
The archaeology of Mauritius ANTIQUITY Seetah, K. 2015; 89 (346): 922-939
How many specimens do I need? Sampling error in geometric morphometrics: testing the sensitivity of means and variances in simple randomized selection experiments ZOOMORPHOLOGY Cardini, A., Seetah, K., Barker, G. 2015; 134 (2): 149-163
Objects past, objects present: Materials, resistance and memory from the Le Morne Old Cemetery, Mauritius JOURNAL OF SOCIAL ARCHAEOLOGY Seetah, K. 2015; 15 (2): 233-253
Survival at the Frontier of Holy War: Political Expansion, Crusading, Environmental Exploitation and the Medieval Colonizing Settlement at Biala Gora, North Poland EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY Sawicki, Z., Pluskowski, A., Brown, A., Badura, M., Makowiecki, D., Shillito, L., Zabilska-Kunek, M., Seetah, K. 2015; 18 (2): 282-311
'The Minister will tell the nation': the role of the media for archaeology in Mauritius WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY Seetah, K. 2015; 47 (2): 285-298
Biala Gora: the forgotten colony in the medieval Pomeranian-Prussian borderlands ANTIQUITY Pluskowski, A., Sawicki, Z., Shillito, L., Badura, M., Makowiecki, D., Zabilska-Kunek, M., Seetah, K., Brown, A. 2014; 88 (341): 863-882
Multiple Ethnic Origins of Mitochondrial DNA Lineages for the Population of Mauritius PLOS ONE Fregel, R., Seetah, K., Betancor, E., Suarez, N. M., Calaon, D., Caval, S., Janoo, A., Pestano, J. 2014; 9 (3)

Abstract

This article reports on the first genetic assessment of the contemporary Mauritian population. Small island nodes such as Mauritius played a critical role in historic globalization processes and revealing high-resolution details of labour sourcing is crucial in order to better understand early-modern diaspora events. Mauritius is a particularly interesting case given detailed historic accounts attesting to European (Dutch, French and British), African and Asian points of origin. Ninety-seven samples were analysed for mitochondrial DNA to begin unravelling the complex dynamics of the island's modern population. In corroboration with general demographic information, the majority of maternal lineages were derived from South Asia (58.76%), with Malagasy (16.60%), East/Southeast Asian (11.34%) and Sub-Saharan African (10.21%) also making significant contributions. This study pinpoints specific regional origins for the South Asian genetic contribution, showing a greater influence on the contemporary population from northern and southeast India. Moreover, the analysis of lineages related to the slave trade demonstrated that Madagascar and East Asia were the main centres of origin, with less influence from West Africa.

View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0093294

View details for Web of Science ID 000333677500105

View details for PubMedID 24676463

A geometric morphometric re-evaluation of the use of dental form to explore differences in horse (Equus caballus) populations and its potential zooarchaeological application JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE Seetah, K., Cucchi, T., Dobney, K., Barker, G. 2014; 41: 904-910
Geometric morphometrics and environmental archaeology The Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology Seetah, K. edited by Smith, C. Springer Press, Berlin. 2014: 3029-3036
New technology or adaptation at the frontier? Butchery as a signifier of cultural transitions in the medieval Eastern Baltic Life at the Frontier: The Ecological Signatures of Human Colonisation in the North Seetah, K., Pluskowski, A., Makowiecki, D., Daugnora, L. edited by Pluskowski, A. Klaipeda. 2014: 59-77
A. Animal Encounters: Human and Animal Interaction in Britain from the Norman Conquest to World War One. Reviews in History MacGregor, A. 2013; 1448
Animal Encounters: Human and Animal Interaction in Britain from the Norman Conquest to World War Once Reviews in History Seetah, K. 2013; 1448
Genetic stability in the Icelandic horse breed ANIMAL GENETICS Campana, M. G., Stock, F., Barrett, E., Benecke, N., BARKER, G. W., Seetah, K., Bower, M. A. 2012; 43 (4): 447-449

Abstract

Despite the Icelandic horse enjoying great popularity worldwide, the breed's gene pool is small. This is because of a millennium of isolation on Iceland, population crashes caused by natural disasters and selective breeding. Populations with small effective population sizes are considered to be more at risk of selection pressures such as disease and environmental change. By analysing historic and modern mitochondrial DNA sequences and nuclear coat colour genes, we examined real-time population dynamics in the Icelandic horse over the last 150 years. Despite the small gene pool of this breed, we found that the effective population size and genetic profile of the Icelandic horse have remained stable over the studied time period.

View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2011.02266.x

View details for Web of Science ID 000306122200011

View details for PubMedID 22497715

Can morphospace shed light on cave bear spatial-temporal variation? Population dynamics of Ursus spelaeus from Romualdova pecina and Vindija, (Croatia) JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE Seetah, T. K., Cardini, A., Miracle, P. T. 2012; 39 (2): 500-510
The juvenile cohort from Le Morne cemetery: a snapshot of early life and death after abolition. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology Appleby, J., Sheetah, K., Calaon, D., Caval, S., Janoo, A., Teelock, V. 2012

View details for DOI 10.1002/oa.2259

Bones for Tools – Tools for Bones McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Monographs Series edited by Sheetah, K., Gravina, B. University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 2012
Archaeological Insights into the “Indentured Experience”: the case of Trianon Barracks Angage: explorations into the history, society and culture of indentured immigrants and their descendants in Mauritius. Calaon, D., Čaval, ., Morales-Matoes, J., Seetah, K. edited by Teelock, V. Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund, Port Louis. 2012: 121-138
Combining stones and bones, defining form and function, inferring lives and roles Bones for Tools – Tools for Bones Gravina, B., Rabbett, R., Seetah, K. edited by Seetah, K., Gravina, B. University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 2012: 1-10
The Mauritian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Project: exploring the impact of colonialism and colonization in the Indian Ocean. Antiquity. Seetah, K., Balbo, A., Calaon, D., Čaval, S., Farr, H., Pluskowski, A., Appleby, J., Durand, C., Lightfoot, E., Morales, J., Moreno, E. 2011; 85: 330
Port Louis - Geofizikalna raziskava 2010 Arheologija v letu 2010; arheologija za javnost Mušič, B., Seetah, K., Mori, M., Medarič, I. 2011: 36-37
Potential Osteoarchaeological Evidence for Riding and the Military Use of Horses at Malbork Castle, Poland INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY Pluskowski, A., Seetah, K., Maltby, M. 2010; 20 (3): 335-343

View details for DOI 10.1002/oa.1048

View details for Web of Science ID 000279031600007

Researching the everyday lives of Indentured Labourers: archaeological work at Trianon Barracks Newsletter: Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund Seetah, K. 2010; 8: 11
Religion, legislation, and meat: the politics of food and its implications for the butchers of London Bestial Mirrors: Using Animals to Construct Human Identities in Medieval Europe. Vias Seetah, K. edited by Pluskowski, A. G., Kunst, G. K., Kucera, K., Bietak, M., Hein, I. Vienna. 2010: 110-115
Archaeological approaches to the cultural construction of islands. SHIMA, The International Journal for Island Cultures Dawson, H., Grima, R., Pluskowski, A., Seetah, K. 2010; 4 (1): 1-2
Excavations at the medieval fortress in Feldioara / Marienburg, 2007 Materiale Şi Cercetări Arheologice (serie nouă). Pluskowski, A., Ioniţă, A., Seetah, K. 2010; 6: 173-184
“Our Struggle”: colonial legacies on an island paradise SHIMA, The International Journal for Island Cultures Seetah, K. 2010; 4 (1): 99-112
Animal Bones from an Industrial Quarter at Malbork, Poland: Towards an Ecology of a Castle Built in Prussia by the Teutonic Order Crusades Maltyby, M., Pluskkowski, A., Seetah, K. 2009; 8: 191-213
The animal bones from UTS 8a at Stari Bar, Montenegro A town through the ages. The 2006-2007 Project in Stari Bar Seetah, K. edited by Gelichi, S. All'Insegna del Giglio, Florence. 2008: 88-98
Modern analogy, cultural theory and experimental replication: a merging point at the cutting edge of archaeology WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY Seetah, K. 2008; 40 (1): 135-150
The animal bones from Sacuidic Castle. Richerche nel Castello di Sacuidic (Forni di Sopra – Udine) Pluskowski, A., Seetah, K. edited by Gelichi, S., Piuzzi, F. All'Insegna del Giglio, Florence. 2008: 84-88
The Middle Ages on the block: Animals, Guilds and meat in medieval Britain Breaking and Shaping Beastly Bodies: Animals as Material Culture in the Middle Ages Seetah, K. edited by Pliskowski, A. Oxbow, Oxford. 2007: 18-31
A zooarchaeological contribution to biological anthropology Proceeding of the 6th Annual BABAO Conference Seetah, K. edited by Robson-Brown, K., Roberts, A. Oxford. 2007: 72-80
The animal bones from the 2004 excavations at Stari Bar, Montenegro Stari Bar. The Archaeology of a deserted town Seetah, K., Pluskowski, A. edited by Gelichi, S. All'Insegna del Giglio, Florence. 2006: 97-111
Multidisciplinary approach to Romano-British cattle butchery Integrating Zooarchaeology Seetah, K. edited by Maltby, M. Oxbow, Oxford. 2006: 111-118
Rhythms of Life Archaeological Review of Cambridge (ARC) Seetah, K. 2006; 22 (1): 150-152
Colonisation, Migration and Marginal Areas Archaeological Review of Cambridge (ARC) Seetah, K. 2005; 20 (1): 149-151
Butchery as a tool for understanding the changing views of animals Just Skin and Bones? New Perspectives on Human-Animal Relations in the Historic Past Seetah, K. edited by Pluskowki, A. Oxford. 2005: 1-8
Meat in history – the butchery trade in the Romano-British Period International Journal of Food History Seetah, K. 2004; 2 (2): 19-35
Field notes Archaeology Seetah, K. 2003; 56 (4): 72