ArchaeoMatrix Labs

Archaeological artifacts are embedded in sediments and soils – the archaeological matrix. Understanding how these deposits formed, how they come to rest at a given site but also how they changed since their original formation is the realm of Geoarchaeology. Our team uses geoarchaeological methods to unravel past human behavior from its sedimentary signatures.

Our research facilities are part of the Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and the Evolution of Human Behaviour (ICArEHB) at the University of Algarve (Faro, Portugal).

The archaeomatrix laboratories also include a clean room for sampling of ancient DNA and ancient proteins that is currently under construction – keep posted for more updates on our clean lab facilities.

The MATRIX project

We investigate the microscopic and molecular record of several archaeological contexts yielding late Neandertals and early Anatomically Modern Human occupations throughout Europe.

The MATRIX ERC project proposes an analytical shift from traditional approaches that rely mainly on the study of macroscopic (visible) stone tools and fossils. Instead, the MATRIX project investigates the association between the biological human signals, local paleoclimatic conditions, and the human made material culture and features by analyzing the micro and molecular record preserved in archaeological sediments.

The project seeks to systematically assess the microstratigraphy of archaeological deposits between ~50 to 40 ka BP using undisturbed micromorphology samples. These intact highly contextualized samples are key to establish the integrity of the deposits and will be directly targeted for biomolecule studies on ancient DNA (aDNA), proteins, and lipids while retaining a micro-scale stratigraphic control.

La Griera

La Grande Roche de la Plématrie (Quinçay)

Les Cottés

Cova Gran

Cova Foradada

La Ferrassie

Bacho Kiro

Ortvale Klade

Lapa do Picareiro

El Salt

Where we work