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Dr David Friesem

Research Interests

My research explores microscopic residues for studying how archaeological sites form due to the interplay between human activity and environmental conditions. In my work, I study archaeological deposits from human habitation sites by applying a multi-proxy geoarchaeological analysis, exploring how humans used natural resources as part of their ecological adaptation and technological development. In addition, I examine how different environments affect the preservation of archaeological materials. My geoarchaeological research covers sites ranging from the Middle Palaeolithic to the Iron Age. As part of my methodology I also integrate laboratory analysis with ethnography. This geo-ethnoarchaeological approach allows me to build a reference collection of microscopic markers associated with specific practices that were recorded through ethnographic work and to follow taphonomic changes by studying recently abandoned sites. Currently I work in Palaeolithic sites in Southwest Asia, Europe and South America where I examine site formation processes and seek for microscopic evidence for evolutionary developments in the form of adaptation to the environment, pyrotechnology and use of space.


Social behaviour ; Archaeological Science ; Taphonomic processes ; Anthropology ; Hunter-Gatherer ; Human Evolution ; Palaeolithic Archaeology