The CENIEH organizes a course on European heritage science infrastructures

This is an international course to take place from July 11 through 15 at the CENIEH laboratories and the sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca, under the auspices of the European project IPERION HS

 From July 11 through 15, coinciding with the Atapuerca excavation campaign, the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) is organizing the first HS Academy Training Camp, an international course under the auspices of the IPERION HS project, on the operation and uses of the specialist European heritage science infrastructures, which will take place at the CENIEH laboratories and at the Atapuerca sites near Burgos. 

In April, Marina Martínez de Pinillos González, coordinator of the IPERION HS project at the CENIEH, together with María Isabel Sarró Moreno, the CENIEH laboratory manager and a member of the IPERION HS infrastructures Helpdesk, used the annual meeting of IPERION HS at the University of Évora (Portugal) to present this course for professionals interested in tackling and pursuing conservation and analysis studies for cultural heritage.

From more than fifty applications received to attend the course, 25 were selected from 17 countries around Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. Participants will be able to discover the very latest tools for characterizing and dating materials, as applied to paleontological and paleoanthropological heritage, through masterclasses and practical cases of fieldwork and laboratory analyses. “This is a unique opportunity to learn from the top experts in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment”, says Martínez de Pinillos.

The platform FIXLAB

The 25 students at the HS Academy Training Camp will have the chance to familiarize themselves with the European infrastructures to which IPERION HS gives access, in this case by means of the platform FIXLAB, which enables use of the very latest fixed research facilities for studying heritage sciences.

The first three calls for FIXLAB have brought three research projects to the CENIEH, which cover the analysis of samples to contextualize and date African and European sites. The objective of one of the projects is to pin down chronologies which could offer support for the hypothesis of Pan-African evolution. With regard to the second project, the aim is to learn more about the valley system of the Upper Middle Rhine, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, offering a valuable first quantitative vision for understanding this area from the Pliocene onward.

The third project, which has brought a team from the CENIEH Geochronology and Geology Program, made up of Alicia Medialdea and Claudia Álvarez, all the way to Dubrovnik cathedral in Croatia, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, was submitted to the IPERION HS platform FIXLAB in 2020. The objective here is to try to determine the chronology of the first settlements in the historic center of Dubrovnik, to understand the different phases of construction of the city from its foundation up to the great earthquake of 1667.

The fourth call for the platform FIXLAB is still pending decision, while the fifth call remains open for applications until the end of September 2022.