Laura Niven is a postdoctoral fellow in zooarchaeology. Her current research explores the subsistence behavior of Neanderthals by means of faunal remains from two Middle Palaeolithic sites in France: Pech de l’Azé IV and Jonzac. Some of the questions being addressed in both of these projects include how hominins utilized game animals (e.g., taxonomic representation of prey, seasonality of hunting and site occupation, butchering and exploitation of prey); use of animal bone as a fuel source (Pech IV); site use and the relationship between faunal exploitation and other activities at the sites such as stone tool production and reduction.
The fauna from Vogelherd Cave ( Germany) was the topic of her Ph.D. dissertation at the Universität Tübingen. The Vogelherd collection consisted of a wide variety of Pleistocene mammals in association with diverse stone and bone/antler/ivory artefact assemblages from the late Middle and early Upper Palaeolithic.
She has participated in archaeological fieldwork in the western United States, Russia, Germany and France.
Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Department of Human Evolution
Deutscher Platz 6