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photo: Tsenka Tsanova

Tsenka Tsanova is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Human Evolution at the MPI-EVA, in Leipzig. Her research focuses on the lithic industries from the transitional period from Middle to Upper Paleolithic in the Eastern Balkans, specifically in Bulgaria. She obtained her PhD from PACEA-IPGQ, University of Bordeaux 1 in France. Her dissertation contributed to the understanding of Early Upper Paleolithic cultures in South East Europe and established links with the known synchronous facies of the Near East, Central Europe and the northern Mediterranean perimeter.

Her first post-doctoral project, funded by Fissen foundation in Paris, involved the lithic assemblages from the 1960s excavations in the Zagros mountains (Iran) which are housed in the US. These lithic assemblages come from the two major sites in the Central Zagros, the rock shelters of Warwasi and Yafteh Cave. This study aims to contribute to furthering the understanding of the links between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic cultures. Tsenka is further developing the taphonomic, techno-economic and typological approach to the study of lithic assemblages.

Currently she is collecting data from the Late Middle Paleolithic in the Eastern Balkans, working with assemblages from the Bulgarian Paleolithic sites of Samuilitsa II cave in Karlukovo karst area and open-air site of Musselievo from the loess of the Danube. Through this study she hopes to create a regional diachronic comparison between the Late Middle Paleolithic and Early Upper Paleolithic cultures in the Eastern Balkans. Tsenka's research has been published in British Archaeological Reports, ERAUL, Paléo and some Bulgarian archaeological journals.


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