Mary Prendergast is an associate professor of anthropology at Rice University. She is an archaeologist interested in the history of food and eating, and in the past lifeways of hunter-gatherer-fishers and the earliest livestock herders in sub-Saharan Africa. She co-directs a field project, in collaboration with scholars at the National Museum of Tanzania, University of Florida, and University of Dar es Salaam, that examines social changes associated with the emergence of food production in Eastern Africa. Prendergast also co-directs a project that explores past demographic changes in sub-Saharan Africa through the analysis of human ancient DNA, in collaboration with the Reich Laboratory at Harvard, where she is a scientific associate.
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