Who We Are

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Christopher Miller

[reseach interests under construction, we apologize for the inconvenience]



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Research Scientists

Susan M. Mentzer, PhD

I am a geoarchaeologist with a specialization in micromorphological analysis of sediment produced by humans and animals. I have particular interest in the integration of micromorphology with other microanalytical approaches such as micro-FTIR and micro-XRF. I apply this approach to a variety of different types of archaeological sites including Paleolithic and Stone Age caves and rockshelters and Neolithic tells, as well as archaeological and experimental materials, such as plaster and wood ash. I teach topical courses on Anthropogenic Deposits and Site Formation Processes, and methodological courses on Stratigraphy, Archaeological Micromorphology and Microanalytics. Along with many other members of the INA, I work within the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment. I am currently an Associate Editor for the journal Geoarchaeology ...see more

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Aristeidis Varis

Aris is a doctoral researcher in the ERC-funded Paleosilkroad project conducting survey and excavation in South and Eastern Kazakhstan. In the framework of the increasing importance of semi-arid Central Asia for human evolution, the Palaeosilkroad project is aiming to reconstruct human dispersals and adaptations to climatic shifts during the last glacial cycle in Kazakhstan. Aris applies geoarchaeological concepts to elucidate the formation processes of various depositional environments (e.g., loess, caves, springs) in order to ultimately contextualize human occupation data. He is co-surpervised by Dr. Christopher Miller (University of Tübingen) and Dr. Radu Iovita (University of Tübingen/University of New York) ...see more

Dr. Diana Marcazzan

Fire has always been considered a crucial factor in the human evolution and its discovery and control have yielded significant changes in the cultural, behavioral and technological sphere. However, the individuation of combustion tracks is not simple and, given the ambiguous and labile nature of the fireplace, it becomes more complex inside the Paleolithic sites; especially when it must connect the combustion tracks to the human activities. This issue often leads archaeologists to consider the burnt material as indirect evidence of combustion features within sites. Nevertheless, the presence of heat-altered remains is not enough to confirm the use of fire by the human and researchers must exploit other investigative techniques. The goal of this project is to use microcontextual analysis to reconstruct the behavioral strategies adopted and the use of space by prehistoric populations from the Middle to Upper Paleolithic ...see more

Dr. Lucia Leierer

I am a postdoctoral researcher with the main interest in studying combustion features. My research focuses on micro-geoarchaeological approaches to understand past human behavior in relation with their fireplaces. To study these features, I mainly focus on the methods of micromorphology and lipid biomarker analysis. The main time periods I’m interested in is the general Paleolithic in Europe and classical Greece and Rome. 

After studying geoarchaeology in my Bachelors (Trier, Germany) and Masters (Tübingen, Germany) I received my doctorate from the University of La Laguna (Spain), working on Middle Paleolithic combustion features at the site of El Salt (Spain). ...see more

Google Scholar

PhD Students

Daniela Matos

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Sarah Meinekat

Sarah is a PhD candidate in the Geoarchaeology Working Group at the University of Tübingen, supervised by Christopher Miller (University of Tübingen) and Kurt Rademaker (Michigan State University). Her research interests include high altitude hunter-gatherer adaptations and settlement systems. For her PhD project, Sarah is applying a geoarchaeological approach to study the site formation processes of several sites in the Central Andes of Peru, including coastal and high-altitude settings, as part of the PaleoAndes project. ...see more

Scott McLin

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Laboratory Staff

Panagiotis Kritikakis

I currently work as the primary laboratory manager for the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (SHEP) and the Geoarchaeology Working Group in the Institute for Archaeological Sciences (INA) at the University of Tübingen, under Prof. Dr. Christopher Miller. I focus on the creation of micromorphological thin sections in laboratory of soil science and geoecology for projects throughout the world, including a variety of excavations in Africa, South America, and Europe. I am also the lecturer in the Department of Geoarchaeology for the course “Laboratory Techniques in Geoarchaeology and Micromorphology,” providing hands-on, practical training in the creation of micromorphological thin sections to students of all levels. In collaboration with other members of the Geoarchaeology Working Group, I offer certification in these specialized laboratory methods to international researchers, students, and other archaeological professionals ...see more

Other Staff

Sonia Varandas

Secretary for the Institute of Archaeological Sciences (INA)

Office: S523, Hölderlinstraße 12
72074 Tübingen, Germany

Senior Affiliated Researchers

Prof. Dr. Paul Goldberg

Senior Visiting Professor

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Dr. Bertrand Ligouis

Laboratory Director for Organic Petrology

> Organic petrology and coal geology
> Organic petrology applications in archaeology, soil science, and environmental problems
> Coal facies in relation to coal forming environments
> Formation of organic-rich sedimentary rocks
> Thermal history of sedimentary basins

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Master's Students

Aspen Cooper
Ani Hristov

Completed Masters

(dates affiliated) Ada Dinçkal Geology and Micromorphology at Diepkloof Rock Shelter
(dates affiliated) Enrique Fernández-Palacios The Aboriginal Occupation and Stabling Deposits from Belmaco Cave (La Palma, Canary Islands): a Geoarchaeologial and Paleoenvironmental Perspective
(dates affiliated) Johannes Seidler  
(dates affiliated) Muhammad Awais Qarni Geoarchaeological Investigation of Pyrotechnological Installations related to Ceramics

Alumni (expand)

(dates) Dr. Kristen Wroth Postdoctoral Researcher; now a (current position) at (institution)
(dates) Dr. Shira Gur-Arieh Affiliated Researcher; now a (current position) at (institution)
(dates) Dr. Michael Toffolo

Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow; now a Researcher at CENIEH in Burgos, Spain

(dates) Dr. Magnus Haaland Affiliated Researcher; now Manager at the University of Stavanger's Archaeological Museum Collection Department, in Norway
(dates) Dr. Arantzazu Jindriska Postdoctoral Researcher; now a (current position) at (institution)

2014 - 2015

Prof. Dr. Ximena Villagran Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow; now a Professor at the University of São Paulo, Brazil
2014 Dr. David Friesem Teaching Fellow; now on Faculty at the University of Haifa in Israel