Projects

COLEVOLUTION

Physical and digital collections for the evolution of knowledge.

EC ERC AdG Tied2Teeth

Recent advances in the biological sciences have revealed how genes control the developmental processes that make our teeth. The Tied2Teeth project builds on the discovery that some of these genes also influence the developmental processes that underlie other parts of our bodies, such as hair texture, mammary glands, and body size. We will be investigating the details of how non-dental traits are interconnected with dental variation, how this varies across humans, and how this has evolved through time.

EC ERC StG DEATHREVOL

Death and mortality is an experience shared by all humans. This is why death plays an important role in almost all cultures around the world. A central part of this shared experience is the presence of funerary rites and practices. However, little is known about when these practices emerged. The EU-funded DEATHREVOL project aims to reach a conclusion on the time of the first emergence of this 'culture of death'. As such, it will conduct classical and innovative taphonomic analyses in addition to researching fossil records concerning samples from the Middle Pleistocene and European Paleolithic periods to find traces of funerary rites. The project's results will reveal important insights regarding various behavioral aspects of these early populations.

EC ERC StG PEOPLE

The PEOPLE project addresses human dispersal and adaptation to changing environments during the Pleistocene in South Africa. Considering that freshwater availability is one key factor in these processes, the project will search for archaeological deposits at rivers, springs, and dry lakes to determine how and when modern humans settled in the interior of the subcontinent.

EC Marie S. Curie ITN PUSHH

PUSHH is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Training Network (ETN), a scientific commitment by the European Union, within the framework of excellence and innovation, to advance in paleoproteomics science. This European project aims to develop a strategic, powerful training platform to equip the next generation of palaeoanthropologists, palaeontologists and archaeologists, with the skills to exploit the latest biomolecular technologies and to significantly advance our knowledge about biological and cultural evolution of humans. One of the most important pillars in the PUSHH project is its multidisciplinary, through the creation of a coherent and powerful training environment, and by promoting collaborative initiatives on different research disciplines with the same common goal. At the same time, the project develops a community of scientists who confidently communicate with each other, combining advanced concepts across highly specialized disciplines from both humanities and experimental sciences.

Foundation Palarq Morocco

The Aïn Beni Mathar-Guefaït region lies in the northwestern extreme of a great physiographic unit of the Maghreb. In the north of this region, the Guefaït 4 site offers an assemblage of large mammals, including elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotamus and, above all, a primitive species of horse, Hipparion. This community of mammals is accompanied by a sizable number of rodents and reptiles, dominated by a giant turtle, which places the site at the start of the Quaternary, with a lake set in a savanna environment.

Foundation Palarq Tighennif (ex. Ternifine), Algeria

This research project proposes to conduct comprehensive paleoanthropological investigations at the Early Stone Age site of Tighennif (ex. Ternifine) (Algeria). Tighennif has yielded the oldest North African hominins associated with faunas and Acheulean stone tools. The Principal Investigator and his team recently launched new research at Tighennif and has discovered in situ fossil bones and Acheulean stone tools, with great potential to investigate H. erectus behavioral patterns and how this hominin species lived in dry/open environment during the Lower-Middle Pleistocene boundary. Our multidisciplinary investigations at Tighennif consist of expanding the excavations in the deposits excavated recently, and to assess the integrity of the site; reconstructing North African paleoecology for understanding the relationship between the environment and H. erectus tool use behavior; characterizing the Acheulean lithic technology; exploring H. erectus subsistence patterns; and firmly dating Tighennif deposits. The proposed research at Tighennif is part of a broader research framework of key Algerian Lower Paleolithic sites for investigating ancestral hominin biological and behavioral evolution in North Africa.

JCYL Proyectos de Investigación TradevoPaleo

This project, dedicated to the Iberian Peninsula Middle Pleistocene, is co-financed by the Junta de Castilla y León and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for a total amount of €264,000 (Ref. CEN154P20). The general objective of the project consists of advancing the study of key sites distributed over the northern half of the Peninsula, compiling new information so that the characteristics of the different technological traditions recorded in this territory during the phase mentioned can be compared. Using a geoarchaeological methodology, work will take place on the technological interpretation and raw materials economy of the lithic industry, taphonomy and functionality of the occupations, paleoenvironment and chronology.

Junta de Andalucía Orce

The objective of “ProjectOrce” is to generate information through archaeopaleontological excavations and archaeopaleontological and geological surveys; analysis of the archaeological, paleontological and geological lines of evidence and the relationships that have arisen between these; preservation and restoration of heritage assets for their proper interpretation and enhancement; and arising out of the foregoing, dissemination of this knowledge.

Leakey Foundation genus Homo evolution

A long-standing assumption is that Africa is birthplace of most hominin species. However, recent studies suggest that during the last two million years, Asia should not be seen as an evolutionary end but as a cradle as well. This project aims to investigate the weight of the Eurasian continent in the reconstruction of the genus Homo story through the analysis of the hominin fossil, with special focus on the largest human fossil dental sample ever compiled. Teeth are ideal due to their ubiquity and strong affinity to genetic relatedness. We will infer the relationships among hominins and contextualise them in an environmental/climatic frame to test evolutionary scenarios.