Welcome to the Geoarchaeology Working Group!
About Our Group
Our working group employs a range of field and laboratory-based analytical methods to explore how past human societies interacted with geological systems in the past. We conduct these analyses at a range of scales, from the landscape to the microscopic and our research interests cover a wide temporal and geographical range, with projects based on all continents covering time periods from the Lower Paleolithic to historic periods. In particular, our group specializes in investigating the formation history of archaeological sites, with a particular emphasis on anthropogenic deposits, their taphonomy and diagenesis. We are at the forefront of methodological developments in geoarchaeology, particularly in the application of microanalytical techniques, such as µFTIR, µXRF and digitization. By applying these techniques to archaeological deposits, we are able to investigate past human activities and behavior from a novel perspective. Over the past decade our group has been able to contribute to a better understanding of several important research topics, including: the use of fire by early hominins and Paleolithic societies; hunter-gatherer settlement dynamics in response to environmental and landscape change; formation processes of Paleolithic caves; Paleoindian settlement of the Americas; and early animal domestication in the Near East.
Prof. Dr. Christopher Miller
Frau Sonia Varanda
We are also deeply committed to the education and training of the next generation of geoarchaeologists, and offer courses and degree specializations at the bachelor, masters and PhD level. All students, regardless of degree, are fully integrated into the working group and are able to make use of our extensive field and laboratory equipment, as well as our unique collection of micromorphological samples and thin sections.