Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Website Header cropped

Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences

Lembersky Conferences in Human Evolutionary Studies

Last Held: October 23-25, 2017
9:00am to 6:00pm
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Space is limited to 40 attendees!

The Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES) is organizing a meeting to explore new directions in Archaeological Sciences. In this workshop, attendants will have the opportunity to interact with scholars developing new techniques and methods that are producing an authentic revolution in Archaeology.

Registration for the conference is now closed.


Background on the Revolution in Archaeology

Archaeologists and "hard-scientists," including natural and physical sciences, have had a long history of collaboration, starting with the discovery of 14C dating in the 1950's and further developed with the New Archaeology in the 1960's. However, the contributions by the natural and physical sciences were for a long time limited to the discovery of interesting remains that deserved to be further studied. Moreover, despite excavation being the most important stage of any archaeological research, few archaeologists included scientists when planning their projects, during the fieldwork, or in permanent research teams. Only in the past thirty years, has there been a second revolution where these scientific fields have played a more active role during the planning and execution of research projects and fieldwork.

Today, the relationship between archaeology and natural and physical sciences is changing again, and this time at a very quick pace. The boundaries between Archaeology and the so-called "hard sciences" have been blurred and perhaps erased. Nowadays, many archaeologists specialize in botanical, chemical or geological analyses, whereas numerous biologists, chemists and geologists are exclusively dedicated to archaeological research.

In addition, the development of new techniques and the reduction in expenses for scientific equipment have made it possible to collect data and obtain results, of which, only a few years ago, we were only dreaming. Definitely, we are living during exciting times in Archaeological research, and the revolution we are witnessing today is going to mark a turning point in how things are done in Archaeology.

For three days this autumn, an international group of researchers who are leading the development of their own fields will come together at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, to present the latest techniques and methodologies in their own research and to debate the most promising directions in Archaeological Sciences.



We are pleased to announce that the following speakers will be featured at this conference.

Keynote Speaker: Paul Goldberg

Paul Goldberg, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Keynote Speaker

Professor Emeritus of Geoarchaeology and Archaeology, Director (Microstratigraphy Laboratory)
Department of Archaeology
Boston University
(Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Read More About Paul Goldberg

Dr. Goldberg is currently a Professor Emeritus at Boston University, and has worked and published extensively in the field of archaeology. He is a recent Alexander von Humboldt Senior Award recipient (2013) for his significant impact and contributions in archaeology, has served on multiple academic journal editorial boards, and is an Associate Editor to Geoarchaeology. Dr. Goldberg's current research has broad global breadth, employing diverse and innovative methodologies including: the application of micromorphological techniques to Pleistocene caves in France, Israel, Germany, and South Africa; examining Neanderthal hearths and associated pyrotechnology; the geoarchaeology of open-air sites in California; and the use of micromorphology in interpreting anthropogenic deposits from Pleistocene sites in the Old World to 16th century Spanish settlements in Jamaica.

Francesco Berna

Francesco Berna, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Assistant Professor
Department of Archaeology
Simon Fraser University
(Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada)

Read More About Francesco Berna

Dr. Francesco Berna's research includes origins of modern human behavior, archaeology of fire, ancient pyrotechnologies, use of space, and site formation processes. Dr. Berna is a geoarchaeologist and expert of Fourier Transform Infrared microspectroscopy applied to archaeological investigations.

Ellery Frahm

Ellery Frahm, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Director, Yale Initiative for the Study of Ancient Pyrotechnology
Council on Archaeological Studies & Department of Anthropology
Yale University
(New Haven, Connecticut, USA)

Read More About Ellery Frahm

Dr. Ellery Frahm ran a state-of-the-art analytical facility with scanning electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis for nine years before he started to focus on portable techniques in archaeological science. One of his interests is shifting the use of portable XRF, FTIR, and other analytical techniques from the realm of lab coats to muddy boots. His research has primarily focused on the Caucasus and Near East, but other recent projects span from Oregon to Kenya.

Amanda G Henry

Amanda G Henry, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Associate Professor
Department of Archaeology
Leiden University
(Leiden, Netherlands)

Read More About Amanda G Henry

Dr. Amanda G Henry has been developing the use of plant microremains (starch grains and phytoliths) from archaeological contexts as markers of diet. Her research explores the differences in plant food consumption of early and ancient hominin taxa, while including modern behavioral data of foraging groups. Research questions include not only what food is consumed, but what limitations, faculties, and nutrient needs influenced hominin diet and foraging behavior.

Carolina Mallol

Carolina Mallol, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Archaeological Micromorphology and Biomarker Research Lab, University Institute of Bio-Organic Antonio González (IUBO)
Universidad de La Laguna, Department of Geography and History
(La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain)

Read More About Carolina Mallol

Dr. Carolina Mallol specializes in micromorphological research particularly in Lower and Middle Palaeolithic site formation processes, with current research focused on Neanderthals and prehistoric fire. Current research projects include microcontextual methodologies, applying different high-resolution archaeometric techniques, and integrating micromorphology and organic chemistry for analyzing organic matter evidence in archaeological fire sites.

Matthias Meyer

Matthias Meyer, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Advanced DNA Sequencing Techniques
(Group Leader)
Department of Evolutionary Genetics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
(Leipzig, Germany)

Read More About Matthias Meyer

The main focus of Dr. Meyer's lab group is the development of techniques and methods to apply molecular biology to ancient biological samples. The lab investigates patterns in ancient DNA degradation and seeks to increase data sample opportunities through accessible genetic material. The lab strives to answer questions about human evolutionary history. The lab aims to facilitate sequence data generation for evolutionary and biomedical studies that require the use of difficult or large numbers of samples, including single cells and biopsy samples.

Gilliane Monnier

Gilliane Monnier, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
University of Minnesota
(Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Read More About Gilliane Monnier

Dr. Gilliane Monnier's research focuses on lithic residue analysis, the characterization and identification of micro-residues preserved on the surfaces of stone tools. She has developed new methods of residue analysis using scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy, which enable the non-destructive analysis of residues in situ. The identification of residues on stone tools provides information on stone tool uses as well as hafting; both of these sources of data shed important light on the tool-design and tool-use behaviors of the humans who manufactured and used them.

Filipe Natalio

Filipe Natalio, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science
Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot 76100

Read More About Filipe Natalio

Dr. Filipe Natalio's research focuses on exploring flint-based stone tools across a multitude of scales – from atomic to centimeter – in combination with fracture mechanics to establish structure-mechanics relations for addressing archaeologically relevant questions such as "quality parameters," (preferential) choice of certain type of flint over other flints, suitability for knapping (with or without heating) and flint's provenance.

Antonio Rosas González

Antonio Rosas González, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Research Professor
Department of Paleobiology
National Museum of Natural Sciences
(Madrid, Spain), CSIC
The Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC)

Read More About Antonio Rosas González

Dr. Antonio Rosas González's research team aims to clarify the evolutionary process and paleobiology of Neanderthals based on the evidence provided by the collection of El Sidrón. The team has used ultrafiltration techniques and increases excavation rigor to reduce genetic cross-contamination of modern human and ancient hominin archaeological materials at El Sidrón.

Viviane Slon

Viviane Slon, Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences Conference Speaker

Department of Evolutionary Genetics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
(Leipzig, Germany)

Read More About Viviane Slon

Viviane Slon's research focuses on establishing an analytical procedure to authenticate DNA fragments and distinguish between mammalian taxa. She works on an approach to enable the large-scale study of mammalian DNA recovered from the sediments of archaeological sites, particularly where no skeletal remains are found.


Presentations and Posters

We encourage submissions from junior and underrepresented researchers and accepted submissions from such researchers which will be preferentially selected for contributed 20-minute contributed talks. Due to limited capacity, please note that we will prioritize presentations over posters, and posters over only assistants.

The Scientific Committee will select poster presentations among all submitted. The criteria for selection will include originality and scientific soundness, resonance of the submission with the rest of the talks in the conference program, and broadening participation from underrepresented groups.

Participation Awards

It is our great pleasure to announce that The Center for Human Evolutionary Studies (CHES) has made available funds to provide support for six postdoc or Ph.D. students to present their research at the "Frontiers in Archaeological Sciences" meeting.

The awards include the registration fees and up to $500 support in travel expenses.

To apply for an award, you must submit an abstract for an oral communication before August 15. Use the form below to submit your abstract be sure to answer "Yes" to the question that asks if you would like to apply for a participation award. You will be asked to provide some additional information. The results of the awards will be announced by September 1st.

Abstract Submission Instructions

Please use the form below to submit your abstract. If you are submitting a contributed abstract, you must use the abstract template provided. Please save your abstract in PDF format before uploading to the submission form below.

ALL contributed abstracts submitted should be in the abstract template and CANNOT exceed 200 words. Submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines will not be reviewed. After you submit your abstract, the Scientific Committee will review and make final selections. You will receive an email confirming acceptance and the session your oral presentation and/or poster has been assigned to.

All presenters (oral and/or poster) must also register separately for the conference. After submitting your abstract using the form below, you will be given the option to continue with your conference registration.


Conference Details

Registration Fees:

Your registration fee will depend on when you register and your level of participation in the conference (with oral presentation, with poster presentation, or without a presentation). Please see the registration fee schedule below for details.

Registration Date On/Before July 31:

  • With Oral Presentation
    • General Fee: $60
    • Rutgers Students: $35
    • Students from Other Institutions: $50
  • With Poster Presentation
    • General Fee: $75
    • Rutgers Students: $45
    • Students from Other Institutions: $65
  • Without Presentation
    • General Fee: $150
    • Rutgers Students: $60
    • Students from Other Institutions: $100

Registration Date August 1 - August 31:

  • With Oral Presentation
    • General Fee: $90
    • Rutgers Students: $55
    • Students from Other Institutions: $75
  • With Poster Presentation
    • General Fee: $110
    • Rutgers Students: $65
    • Students from Other Institutions: $90
  • Without Presentation
    • General Fee: $225
    • Rutgers Students: $90
    • Students from Other Institutions: $150

Registration Date Sept. 1 - Sept. 30:

  • With Oral Presentation
    • General Fee: $135
    • Rutgers Students: $85
    • Students from Other Institutions: $110
  • With Poster Presentation
    • General Fee: $140
    • Rutgers Students: $85
    • Students from Other Institutions: $120
  • Without Presentation
    • General Fee: $260
    • Rutgers Students: $110
    • Students from Other Institutions: $175

Registration Date On/After Oct. 1:

  • With Oral Presentation
    • General Fee: $200
    • Rutgers Students: $125
    • Students from Other Institutions: $135
  • With Poster Presentation
    • General Fee: $175
    • Rutgers Students: $105
    • Students from Other Institutions: $150
  • Without Presentation
    • General Fee: $285
    • Rutgers Students: $125
    • Students from Other Institutions: $200

Meals: Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Dinners will be on your own.

Location: Alexander Library Lecture Hall, 4th Floor, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Check out some things to do before, during, and after the conference!

Parking: Click to see a map with directions to the assigned parking lot for the event.



Conference Agenda

Monday, October 23

9:00 am: Registration

10:00 am: Welcome from CHES Director

  • Ryne Palmobit, Rutgers University

10:15 am: Keynote Address - Linking Geoarchaeology and Micromorphology: Past, Present, and Future

  • Paul Goldberg, Rutgers University

11:00 am: Coffee Break

11:30 am: Francesco Berna, Boston University

Integrating FTIR micro-spectrometry, petrography and soil micromorphology to study human activities and site formation processes.

12:00 pm: Sarah Hlubik, Rutgers University

Fire evidence at the 1.6 mya open air site of FxJj20 AB, Koobi Fora, Kenya and implications for future fire studies in the Pleistocene. 

12:30 pm: Lunch Break

1:30 pm: Rachel Kulick, University of Toronto

Urban Micromorphology: A Microecological Narrative of a Neopalatial

2:00 pm: Ellery Frahm, Yale University

Faster, Stronger, Smarter: Next-Generation Portable XRF in the Archaeological Sciences

2:30 pm: Alex Brittingham, University of Connecticut

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons as a Proxy for Fire in Archaeological Sediments

3:00 pm: Coffee Break

3:30 pm: Andrew Sillen, University of Cape Town

Strontium isotopic aspects of Paranthropus robustus teeth; implications for habitat, residence, and growth

4:00 pm: John Krigbaum, University of Florida

Stable Isotopes and Canopy Effects: New Perspectives on Space and Time in Tropical Southeast Asia

4:30 pm: Hylke de Jong, Rutgers University

An 87Sr/86Sr prospectus on halite consumption

Tuesday, October 24

10:00 am: Amanda Henry, Leiden University

Plant microremains as markers of ancient diet and behavior

10:30 am: Justin Nels Carlson, University of Kentucky

  • Middle to Late Holocene (7000-3000 cal. BP) Archaeological Site Formation Processes at Crumps Sink and Changing Land Use Strategies in the Mammoth Cave Plateau and Sinkhole Plain, South-Central Kentucky, USA

11:00 am: Coffee Break

11:30 am: Matthias Meyer, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Archaic human DNA

12:00 pm: Viviane Slon, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Targeted retrieval of mitochondrial DNA from archaeological sediments

12:30 pm: Lunch Break

1:30 pm: Carolina Mallol, Universidad de la Laguna

What is that Black Stuff? Micro-contextual Investigations of Charred Organic Matter in the Archaeological Sedimentary Record

2:00 pm: Lucia Leierer, Universidad de la Laguna

A Coupled Micromorphological and Molecular Study of Combustion Structure Assemblages at the Middle Paleolithic Site of El Salt, Spain

2:30 pm: Rory ConnollyUniversidad de la Laguna

Preliminary Results from a Multiproxy Palaeoenvironmental investigation at a Middle Paleolithic Rock Shelter (Abric del Pastor) in Alicante, Spain

3:00 pm: Coffee Break / Poster Presentation

3:30 pm: Will Wihlborg, Ron Rubinovitz, Fisher Thermo-Scientific

Infrared Spectroscopy in Archaeology: Portable FT-IR systems to Microanalysis. (FTIR hands on, bring your own samples!)

6:30 pm: Reception at the Department of Anthropology

Ruth Adams Building, 131 George Street, 3rd Floor; light food and beverages served

Wednesday, October 25

10:00 am: Dan Cabanes, Rutgers University

High-resolution analyses in Paleolithic contexts: a microarchaeological approach

10:30 am: Kristen Wroth, Boston University

Neanderthal pyrotechnology and plant use at Roc de Marsal: the evidence from phytolith analysis

11:00 am: Coffee Break

11:30 am: Shira Gur-Arieh, Tubingen University

Identifying Dung Spread Floors in A Humid Tropical Environment: A Geo- ethnoarchaeological Case Study from Two Rural Houses in South India

12:00 pm: Antonio Rosas, National Museum of Natural Sciences

Archeo-paleontological fieldwork from landscapes to DNA: The case of El Sidrón

12:30 pm: Lunch Break

1:30 pm: Felipe Natalio, Weizmann Institute of Science

2:00: Josie Mills, University College of London

Tracking the Hunters: Geochemical Profiling of Neanderthal Stone Tools as a means of Reconstructing Migration and Patterns of Landscape Use in the Middle Palaeolithic of La Manche

2:30 pm: Gilliane Monier, University of Minnesota

Lithic Residue Analysis using FTIR Microspectroscopy

3:00 pm: Coffee Break

3:30 pm: Kristie Primeau, SUNY Albany

Soundscapes in the Past: A GIS Approach to Landscape Scale Archaeoacoustics

4:00 pm: Daniel Adler, University of Connecticut

The Challenges and Benefits of Coordinated Field Research in Archaeological Science

4:30 pm: General Discussion & Farewell


Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee for this conference is made up of the following individuals from the Rutgers University Department of Anthropology:


About the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies

NJ Department of Children and Families

The Center for Human Evolutionary Studies is an interdisciplinary research Center dedicated to promoting the discovery, teaching, and public dissemination of knowledge on the origin, evolution, and history of humanity in the broadest sense. Currently, CHES comprises faculty and graduate student members and affiliates across SAS and SEBS. It is the intellectual home to a diverse team of internationally recognized scientists devoted to expanding our understanding of human evolution through research, education, and outreach. Our strengths lie in our multidisciplinary approach to study of human evolution, our distinguished faculty and research associates, and our highly competitive graduate and undergraduate students, including a number of foreign students from countries in which some of our research projects are based. We also enjoy privileged access to some of the world's premier fossil localities for the investigation of the fossilized remains and archaeological traces of our early human ancestors.