Researcher: Geochronology and Geology.
Michael Toffolo obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeology (2006) and a Master of Arts in Archaeology (2009) from the University of Padua (Italy). He obtained his Ph.D. in Archaeology (2014) from Tel Aviv University, where he carried out his dissertation in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel). He was postdoctoral fellow (2014) at the National Museum Bloemfontein (South Africa), Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow (2015-2016) at the University of Tübingen (Germany), and Junior Research Chair IdEx (2017-2021) at Bordeaux Montaigne University (France).
His work focuses on the evolution of Homo sapiens in southern Africa during the Middle and Late Pleistocene from a geoarchaeological perspective. He directs excavations in South Africa, and his research is aimed at reconstructing site formation processes and paleoenvironments based on the study of the microscopic archaeological record, to understand the dispersal and adaptation strategies of the first H. sapiens in the interior of South Africa. This is the underlying theme of the European project PEOPLE (ERC-StG 101039711, 2022-2027), of which Michael Toffolo is Principal Investigator. In addition, he conducts basic research on the physico-chemical properties of calcium carbonate to develop new analytical methods in the study of prehistoric pyrotechnology.