Urgeschichte und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie

News from the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology

Colloquium of the Department for Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology

The colloquium of the Department for Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology takes place every Thursday at 11 c.t. in the practice room of the castle.


Marieluise Hahn (Universität Tübingen)

Definition and depictions of Males in the Paleolithic

Kristin Cimmerer (Universität Tübingen)

Investigating bioclimatic dimensions of plant use diversity in the Zagros Mountains


Nora Pfeiffer (Universität Tübingen)

Plant depictions in the Paleolithic art

Viola C. Schmid (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
Moving the Middle Stone Age during Marine Isotope Stage 5 into the spotlight – Preliminary results from Sibhudu Cave,

Bushman Rock Shelter, and Rose Cottage Cave (South Africa)


Reena Perschke (University of Leicester; Gerda Henkel Stiftung)

Heinrich Himmlers Forschungsauftrag zu paläolithischen „Fettvenus“-Figurinen


Elisa Luzi (Universität Tübingen)
Why study small mammals in Holocene sites? The case of the funerary cave of Biniadrís (Menorca, Spain)


Angel Blanco Lapaz (Universität Tübingen)
Yes, the River knows.
Freshwater Landscape Reconstruction from the Bronze Age Site of Borsodivánka (North-Eastern Hungary)


Peyton D. Carroll (University of Connecticut)
A Geochemical Approach to Understanding Human Mobility in Pleistocene Sicily


Alexandros Fotios Karakostis (Universität Tübingen)

Discovering ways to elucidate hominin daily life in the past: Previous research and future directions


Robin Andrews (Universität Tübingen)
Untangling the Transition - Site Formation and Chronology of the Grotte de la Verpillière I á Germolles 

16.11.2023 Michela Leonardi (University of Cambridge)
Evolutionary dynamics in prehistory: adding palaeoclimate to the picture

Antoine Muller (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Computational approaches to reconstructing hominin toolmaking behaviours and skills throughout the Palaeolithic


Jesper Borre Pedersen (Aarhus Universitet)

From individual to culture in the Final Palaeolithic - questioning patterns and processes of dispersal, technological change and regional collapse in the Final Palaeolithic Hamburgian Culture


Olga Palacios (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Predicting the past: Subsistence, organisation, and survival of early agropastoral communities


Rimtautas Dapschauskas (ROCEEH, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences & Humanities, Universität Tübingen)

Ritual as an engine of demographic expansion of Homo sapiens during the Middle Stone Age

26.10.2023 Ewa Dutkiewicz¹, Andrei Bălărie² (1-Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin 2-National Museum of Banat, Timișoara)
Exploring the Myth and Reality of Paleolithic Caves in Western Romania


2023: DGUF Study Prize for Archaeology awarded to Dr. William Daniel Snyder

In May 2023, William Daniel Snyder will be awarded the German Study Prize for Archaeology by the DGUF in Frankfurt / M. for his dissertation "New Experimental Insights into Early Hominin Cultures and Oldowan Technology". Snyder conducted his dissertation in Prehistory and Early History at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen.

Supervised by Claudio Tennie and Nicholas Conard, the work questions the prevailing view in research that the Oldowan technology complex represents the earliest cumulative culture - i.e. a copying of know-how based on specific cognitive mechanisms. The work was carried out as part of the ERC "STONECULT" project (PI Tennie).

The award ceremony will take place after the DGUF general meeting on May 18, 2023, starting at 4:30 pm. The event will be held at the Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt / M.

Celebratory colloquium in honor of the 80th birthday of Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans-Peter Uerpmann on November 4th 2021

CIERA-Meeting Arch. Alsace - Univ. Tübingen 23.5-25.5

The program of the conference can be downloaded here.



Ice Age Cave Art

Archaeologists from Tübingen find 12,000 year old animal depictions in France

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have discovered two caves with prehistoric cave art in the east of France. The carvings and paintings are at least 12,000 years old; they depict a horse and a stag-like animal amongst others. Professor Harald Floss from the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology and his working group managed to date the art with the help of colleagues from Spain.

The researchers from the University of Tübingen have been working in the East of France, especially the southern Bourgogne for more than 20 years. In this region, Neanderthals and modern people most likely met in the middle paleolithic. 

The full article can be found here.


Interview with Nicolas J. Conard

In this podcast, Luke Fannin from the Undergraduate Anthropology Club at Ohio State interviews Dr. Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist at the University of Tubingen in Germany. In the interview, Dr. Conard discusses what drove his early interest in archaeology, how he began to study the relations between modern Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, and how his discoveries of early human symbolic culture - including some of the earliest examples of figurative sculpture and musical instruments - can tell us about the development of our species. You can find the podcast on soundcloud.


Ice age caves are World Heritage Sites

The UNESCO committee has named six caves in the Swabian Jura as World Heritage Sites: Krakau, Vogelherd, Bockstein, Hohlenstein-Stadel, Sirgenstein, Geißenklösterle and Hohle Fels.

Scientists from the University of Tübingen have been researching the caves of the Ach- and Lone valley since the beginning of the 20th century. Among the finds is some of the oldest evidence for art and music: the famous animal figurines from Vogelherd, the Venus from Hohle Fels and a bone flute were crafted more than 40,000 years ago during the last ice age. They constitute a unique insight into human history. 

"We are thrilled about these news: this award honors the decade-long archaeological and palaeontological research done at the University of Tübingen", says principal Professor Bernd Engler. "Once again, it displays the fact that Tübingen is doing remarkable scientific work with international importance."

This award is of outstanding merit, says Nicolas J. Conard, professor at Tübingen for Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology. He oversees the field work in the Swabian Jura since 1996. "The finds from the ice age caves display thee first modern humans' extraordinary creativity. Scientists from Tübingen have analysed these finds and made them accessible for the public. It is an important to us that this region has now been named a World Heritage Site."

"A university and its museum being a central part of a UNESCO-Heritage entry, that's unique in the world", says Professor Ernst Seidl, director of the MUT museum at the university of Tübingen. 

Most of the original finds are displayed at the Museum Alte Kulturen at the Hohentübingen castle; among them many ivory statuettes from Vogelherd and the newest of the finds, a bone flute fragment. 


On April 24th 2017, Stefanie Bealek was awarded the Rudolf-Virchow-Preis der Berliner Gesellschaft für Archäologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte for her master's thesis on teen pregnancies in archaeological/anthropological contexts  (palaeoanthropology): „Teenagerschwangerschaften" – ein modernes Phänomen? Junge Mütter im archäologisch-anthropologischen Kontext“. 

On November 17th 2017, Dr. Sybille Wolf was awarded the Kurt-Bittel-Preises für Süddeutsche Altertumskunde der Stadt Heidenheim. Her dissertation was about mammoth ivory jewellery: "Schmuckstücke - Die Elfenbeinbearbeitung im Schwäbischen Aurignacien".