Helina Woldekiros

Helina Woldekiros

Assistant Professor of Archaeology
PhD, Washington University in St. Louis
research interests:
  • Subsistence and Economic Anthropology
  • Bioarchaeology
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Human Osteology
  • Foodways
  • Human–Animal Interactions
  • African Archaeology

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1114
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Helina Woldekiros' work focuses on human adaptations in the Horn of Africa during the beginnings of food production, agricultural diets, pastoralism, and mobile responses to climatic change in extreme ecological/environmental settings.

She uses an integrated ethnoarchaeological, GIS, and archaeological approach and the concept of niche economies to discuss the subsistence and economic organization.

Woldekiros completed her dissertation at Washington University in St. Louis before receiving a Volkswagen postdoctoral fellowship at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. She then returned to WashU, where she served as a postdoctoral associate before joining the anthropology department as assistant professor. In fall 2017, her team unearthed the oldest known physical evidence for the introduction to domesticated chickens to the continent of Africa.

Selected Publications

2011   D’Andrea, Catherine A., Michael P. Richards, Laurence A. Pavlish, Shannon Wood, Andrea Manzo, and Helina S. WoldekirosStable Isotopic Analysis of Human and Animal Diets from Two Pre-Aksumite/Proto-Aksumite Archaeological Sites in Northern Ethiopia. Journal of Archaeological Science 38: 367-374.

2016   Woldekiros, Helina S., and Catherine A. D’AndreaEarliest evidence for domestic chickens (Gallus gallus) in AfricaInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

2017   B. Clarkson, P., Santoro, C., E. Levy, T., Núñez, L., Nielsen, A., Rosen, S., Forster, F., Capriles, J., Khazanov, A., Frachetti, M., Valenzuela, D., G. Standen, V., Cases, B., Pimentel, G., Lecoq, P., Medinacelli, X., Briones, L., Wink, A., Tripcevich, N., Woldekiros, H. A worldwide network for comparative studies on caravans: past, present and future. Journal of Chilean Anthropology 49(3): 297-307.


Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 2011  
The Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 2010
National Science Foundation: Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2009