Lorena Becerra Valdivia has been in Tübingen in Germany sampling material for her MSc dissertation research which is focussing on the Palaeolithic sequence of Iran. Iran is an important location in understanding the movements of early anatomically modern humans into Eurasia. It's a country with a geographic location central to all pertinent migrational areas: Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Unfortunately, due to a long hiatus in archaeological investigation coupled with the generally poor preservation of organic material excavated from archaeological sites in Iran, a clear chronological definition of the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in the region has not yet been fully achieved. Lorena's work is aiming to change this.
We sampled material from Nick Conard and Mohsin Zeidi's excavations at the important site of Ghar-e Boof, in the Zagros Mountains. The material is held in Tübingen at the University there.
Lorena and the sculpture of the famous Vogelherd horse at the Museum Schloss Hohentübingen in Tübingen.
(right) with Nick Conard, Angel, Mohsin Zaidi sampling bone from the Ghar-e Boof site. Dating material from these locations is hard. Bone is not usually well preserved, so we are trying to screen 10s of bones to find those which have a little bit of collagen left, and then hopefully we can obtain a useful series of AMS dates for the sequence. Time will tell if this works.
(left) sampling bones
(right) the Schloss courtyard.