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Enza at workEnza Spinapolice

I am a Palaeolithic archaeologist working in research and field projects in Europe and Africa.

My main interests concern the origin and spread of anatomically modern humans together with Neanderthal behaviour and extinction. I am interested in the relationship between biological and (so called) behavioural modernity. My technological approach includes the reduction sequence analysis and raw material economy. I would like to fit technological lithic analysis into a broader comprehension of hunter gatherers societies.

My actual research concerns the Aterian and its technological characterization. The purpose is to closely examine the Aterian in the context of modern human origins. This mean to interpret local variations in stone tools industries and to define cultural traits that are relevant to this lithic industry. It also means examining the role of local environment in the assessment of the lithic technology. I seek to put in relation the use of tanged points and the occupation of a desert environment to modern behavior and human migrations in recent Pleistocene.

My doctoral thesis provided new insight on the behaviour of the Neanderthals in Western Europe showing a sometime surprising “modernity” in their adaptation to a marginal environment. Neanderthal skills, as outlined by my work, include high predetermination and planning depth.


Department of Human Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig