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Unit Coordinator: Dr. Florent Rivals

The members of the Biomarkers Unit are focusing their research on high-resolution analyses about the life history of animal populations from archaeological and paleontological assemblages. These include individual demographic parameters (age, sex), individual dietary patterns, territorial mobility, animal husbandry techniques or hunting strategies. They contribute to provide a better knowledge of human paleoecology, subsistence and social behaviour. The team uses biomarkers to reconstruct the palaeoenvironments in which hominins were living, and their changes through time. The group also studies the interactions between animals and their environment, such as their dietary behaviour, their responses to environmental changes, and the interactions between species.

The Biomarkers research unit works on two different chronological settings:

  • The Pleistocene, to study the dietary traits of the mammals accumulated in archaeological and paleontological sites, to reconstruct the habitats exploited by hominins for their subsistence activities and to establish the seasonality of game procurement.
  • The Holocene, to study life conditions of domestic animals, to reconstruct reproductive, mobility and dietary patterns of herded species and investigate herding management and exploitation of domestics in the past.