Karen Ruebens is a postdoctoral researcher funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Prior to coming to Leipzig she completed her PhD at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins (CAHO) at the University of Southampton (UK). Her doctoral research focussed on the complexities of late Middle Palaeolithic bifacial tool variability. She conducted an extensive comparative study of these tools, bridging spatio-temporal and typo-technological data from across Western Europe. This provided new data on the Middle Palaeolithic variability debate and identified patterns of Neanderthal regionality. These results were recently published in Journal of Human Evolution (October 2013).
In her current project she is applying a similar, wider-scale, comparative approach to late Middle Palaeolithic backed knives. Her focus is on the occurrence of this tool type across France throughout the Neanderthal-early modern human replacement period, ca. 45,000-35,000BP. The aim of this cooperative project is to provide a new perspective on the links between the late Mousterian (including the MTA) and the Châtelperronian and Neanderthal-AMH knowledge exchange.
Karen has also participated in several MPI-led fieldwork projects (Jonzac, Abri Peyrony, Jebel Irhoud and Serbia) and is currently setting up her own project in Belgium to contextualise the Late Middle Palaeolithic open-air site of Oosthoven.
Department of Human Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6