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Dana Allan

Research Student

Research Student in the Department of Archaeology


Academic Background

I completed my BSc in Biological Anthropology at the University of Calgary in 2018, with a specialized focus on hominid skeletal material and human evolution. I earned my MSc in Paleoanthropology (Distinction) in 2020 from the University of Southampton, where I focused on burial practices in the Upper Paleolithic of Eastern Europe. This project solidified my interest in the burial practices of the Paleolithic World and led me to pursue my Ph.D.

Alongside my research, I am active in the department as the PGR Mental Health, Disabilities, and Inclusion representative. I also site on the Executive Committee for the University College MCR, helping to plan and execute a range of student engagement events.

My research interests include burial and funerary activities, mourning, the psychological response to death and dying, culture, mythology, spiritualism, and education and public outreach.

Research Topic

Death and Dying at the End of the Paleolithic.

Because of its position at the very end of the Paleolithic in the Near East, the Natufian is increasingly studied in relation to the change involved in ‘Neolithization’. Increasing evidence of sedentism, an increased sense of place, and even an elaboration of identity and community can all be suggested for the Natufian people.

Funerary behavior in the Natufian appears at a size, scale, and intensity unknown in the preceding Paleolithic, and demonstrates a clear cultural shift in attitudes towards death and dying. Through a combination of secondary and primary burial data from sites across the Natufian and in the preceding and succeeding periods, I plan to investigate both the causes and effects of this societal change both for the living and the dead of the Natufian.