Regina Gonda



College: College of Humanities
Discipline: Archaeology
Department: Department of Archaeology

I took a long journey (quite literally) until I ended up studying environmental archaeology and archaeobotany at the University of Exeter.

I have graduated in Agricultural Engineering in Environmental Management (BSc.) at the St. István University, Hungary. I mainly focused on soil science and wrote my dissertation about short-term soil forming processes in deposits after the recultivation of opencast mines in Hungary and Germany.

I continued my studies in North-Germany at the Kiel University where I gained a MSc. degree in Environmental Management - Management of Natural Resources. During my studies in Kiel, I worked as a Junior Researcher in the Ecosystem Research and Geoarchaeology Working Group. My research resulted in a dissertation in which I studied pedogenesis in natural and anthropogenic deposits by assessing their magnetic properties.

Besides soil science, my interest turned back to agriculture and mainly to the emergence and technical development of agriculture. I am also very interested in that how people cope with climatic, environmental and social pressure in food production. I found that archaeology can give an answer to many of my questions by looking at and understanding past agricultural regimes, their success or failure all around the world.

My first archaeological experience was to excavate and conduct geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental studies at the Neolithic el-Hemmeh site in the Wadi al Hasa, Jordan, during the summer of 2013.

I joined to the Department of Archaeology at Exeter in 2014 to take part in the Pre-Columbian Amazon-Scale Transformations (PAST) project as a PhD student lead by Prof Jose Iriarte and funded by the European Research Council.

Very recently, I also got the opportunity to join Dr. Gill Juleff and Prof K. Krishnan’s (University of Baroda) “Climate and Culture” UKIERI project to spend a fieldwork season excavating a Harappan site in Gujarat (Indian) at the beginning of 2016.

Research interests:

  • long-term human-environment-climate interactions
  • emergence and development of agriculture
  • environmental archaeology/archaeobotany 
  • interdisciplinary approach of environmental reconstruction
  • soil development and soil erosion in cultural landscapes


Contreras, D. A., Robin, V., Gonda, R., Hodara, R., Dal Corso, M., & Makarewicz, C. (2014). (Before and) After the Flood: A multiproxy approach to past floodplain usage in the middle Wadi el-Hasa, Jordan. Journal of Arid Environments, 110, 30–43. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2014.06.002


Contreras D., Robin V., Gonda R., Dal Corso M., Hodara R., Makarewicz C. (2013) A Multiproxy Approach to Past Floodplain Usage in the Middle Wadi al-Hasa, Jordan; Association for Environmental Archaeology Autumn Conference, 27-29.09.2013, Kiel, Germany

Khamnueva S.V., Gonda R., Mitusov A.V., Bork H.-R. (2013) Quantification of pedogenesis in Holocene palaeosols by derivatives of magnetic susceptibility of buried material. First divisional conference of all commissions and working groups of IUSS Division 1 "Soils in Space and Time", 29.09. - 04.10.2013, Ulm, Germany