Dr. ir. Frits Heinrich
Dr. ir. Frits Heinrich serves as a BrIAS Academic co-director. He coordinates the BrIAS sub-theme Agriculture and food consumption in North-East Africa (6000 BC – present): 8,000 years of resilience, adaptation and innovation in the face of drought stress and climate change.
Frits is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the research groups Social and Cultural Food Studies (FOST) and Analytical, Environmental & Geo-Chemistry (AMGC) at VUB. He is an ancient agricultural and food historian as well as an ethnoarchaeobotanist. His primary interests are in the biochemical and nutritional properties of ancient and traditional crops and foodstuffs, traditional food preparation processes and premodern agricultural economics. While his focus is on the Roman world, he is also interested in much longer term agricultural developments in Egypt and Sudan.
Frits is currently working on the FWO-funded project Rethinking Roman Nutrition. Assessing the nutritional biochemistry and stable isotope chemistry of archaeobotanical cereals and pulses from Roman Egypt, a project which he instigated and co-wrote and which is providing the first empirical data on the nutritional properties of ancient crops.
Frits also conducts (ethno)archaeobotanical fieldwork in Egypt, Sudan and Jordan and carries out historical farming experiments in the Netherlands.
Keywords: Ancient history / Agricultural history / Food history / Archaeobotany / Nutritional biochemistry and biotechnology