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Archaeology (Research): Human Origins

The Human Origins group studies the archaeology of prehistoric hunter-gatherers, from the earliest stone tools in East Africa, 2.6 million years old, to the end of the last ice age.
We focus on Neanderthal behaviour, with the aim of introducing our students to research questions, methods of analysis and theoretical perspectives in Palaeolithic archaeology. Additionally, we will give you the opportunity to examine data and theory from other disciplines such as ethnography, palaeoanthropology and behavioural ecology.
The study of the origin and development of the human niche is interdisciplinary by nature, and you will find that Leiden University accommodates prominent representatives from some of these disciplines.
Our key fieldwork site is currently Les Cottés (France), which has an excellent record of the archaeology of both the last Neanderthals and the earliest modern humans. As a Human Origins student, you are expected to participate in the department’s fieldwork.

Track leader:
Prof. dr. J.W.M. (Wil) Roebroeks