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Karen Ruebens

Post-Doctoral Researcher

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

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 364
fax: 0049 (0) 341 3550 399
e-mail: karen_ruebens@~@eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae
Publications

Research Interests

I am a postdoctoral researcher specialised in Palaeolithic archaeology and lithic analyses aimed at understanding patterns underlying human evolution with specific emphasis on Neanderthal behaviour. My current research focuses on Middle Palaeolithic lithic variability, in particular assessing region-specific trends across Europe to understand the causes, mechanisms and behavioural implications of changes in lithic technology, including across the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition.

I re-joined the Human Evolution department in 2017 with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Career Restart Fellowship. My MSC project ‘TIP-N-POINT’ focuses on reconstructing the technology underlying Middle Palaeolithic hunting events though an assemblage level assessment of the role of point shapes in the Neanderthal tool kit. It is aimed to bridge review and primary assemblage level data across Europe as well as applying a suite of analytical tools, including geometric morphometrics, GIS edge damage mapping and quantitative approaches (incl. generalised linear modelling).

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Record

11/2017-03/2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Career Restart Fellowship
(European Commission)

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Project TIP-N-POINT: Middle Palaeolithic projectile weapon tips: a contextual, technological and quantitative assessment of Neanderthal point technology in Western Europe.
Collaborators: Dr Shannon McPherron
09/2015-10/2017 Parental leave
09/2014-08/2015 DAAD-Leibniz Postdoctoral fellow
MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution, Neuwied, Germany
Project: The Palaeolithic origins of regional cultural variation: Neanderthal culture within a spatio-temporal perspective.
Collaborator: Dr Olaf Jöris
10/2013-07/2014 DAAD Postdoctoral fellow
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA), Leipzig, Germany
Project: Contextualising Late Middle Palaeolithic backed knives: a new perspective on Neanderthal–Modern Human interactions in Western Europe.
Collaborators: Dr Shannon McPherron and Prof. Jean-Jacques Hublin

Education

2013 Ph.D., Palaeolithic Archaeology,
University of Southampton (UK)
Dissertation: From Keilmesser to bout-coupé handaxes: Macro-regional variability in Western European Late Middle Palaeolithic bifacial tools.
Supervisor: Dr John McNabb, Advisor: Dr William Davies Examiners: Prof Clive Gamble and Dr Olaf Jöris
2007 M.A., Archaeology of Human Origins,
University of Southampton (UK)
Dissertation: Bifacial elements in NW Europe during the last glacial cycle (MIS 5d-3)
Supervisor: Dr John McNabb
2005 M.A. and B.A., Archaeology,
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
Dissertation: The Middle Paleolithic Site of Oosthoven (B): a comparative analysis
Supervisor: Prof. Philip Van Peer

Grants and awards

2017 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Career Restart Fellowship (EU Horizon 2020)
€171,460
2014 DAAD-Leibniz: Postdoctoral research fellowship
€24,450
2013 DAAD (German Academic Exchange service): Postdoctoral Grant
€14,000
2013 Prehistoric Society: Research Grant for fieldwork at Oosthoven (Belgium)
£400
2013 Society of Antiquaries: Research Grant for fieldwork at Oosthoven (Belgium)
£2,700
2011 University of Southampton: Humanities PGR research fund for conference travel
£508
2010 Arts and Humanities Research Council: Overseas Study Visit Postgraduate Award
£2,400
2010 Lithic Studies Society: Grant for conference organisation
£500
2007 Arts and Humanities Research Council: part-time non-UK PhD funding
£11,900
2007 Lithic Studies Society: John Wymer Bursary
£250
2005 Rotary Belgium District 1620: MA Grant and study loan
€10,000

Professional Involvement

Board Elected regular board member for the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (ESHE.eu, September 2015-September 2019)
Editor Human Origins Journal, BAR conference volume
Reviewer
  • PLOS ONE
  • Quaternary Science Reviews
  • Journal of Archaeological Science
  • Quaternary International
  • Journal of the Lithics Studies Society
  • Journal of Lithic Studies
  • British Archaeological Report series
  • University of Southampton monograph series

Conference Organisation

2017

Session Organiser
‘Connecting Middle Palaeolithic datasets: the interplay of zooarchaeological and lithic data for unravelling Neanderthal behaviour’

Conference: 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Vancouver (Canada)

2014 Session Convener
‘Bifacial tools in the Middle Palaeolithic of western Eurasia: typo-technological variability and spatio-temporal trends’

Conference:XVII World UISPP Congress 2014, Burgos (Spain)
2011 Chair of the Organising Committee
Conference: Unravelling the Palaeolithic: 10 years of research at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins,
University of Southampton
2011 Principal founder of ‘Unravelling the Palaeolithic’conference series
Annual UK conference series aimed at integrating postgraduate and senior researchers travelling between Southampton, Liverpool, Cambridge, Durham and Oxford.
2008, 2009 Chair of the Organising Committee
Conference: PG Research Archaeology Symposium,
University of Southampton   
2008 Session Convener
‘Spoilt For Choice: Uncovering Choice in The Archaeological record’

Conference: Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG),
University of Southampton

Publications

Artikel

Ruebens, K., Smith, G. M., Dogandžić, T., & Steele, T. E. (2020). Connecting Middle Palaeolithic datasets: The interplay of zooarchaeological and lithic data for unravelling Neanderthal behaviour. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, 3, 97-107.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Smith, G. M., Noack, E. S., Behrens, N. M., Ruebens, K., Street, M., Iovita, R., & Gaudzinski-Windheuser, S. (2020). When lithics hit bones: Evaluating the potential of a multifaceted experimental protocol to illuminate Middle Palaeolithic weapon technology. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology, 3, 126-156.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Smith, G. M., Ruebens, K., Gaudzinski-Windheuser, S., & Steele, T. E. (2019). Subsistence strategies throughout the African Middle Pleistocene: Faunal evidence for behavioral change and continuity across the Earlier to Middle Stone Age transition. Journal of Human Evolution, 127, 1-20.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K., Sykes, W., & M., R. (2016). Spatio-temporal variation in late Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthal behaviour: British bout coupé handaxes as a case study. Quaternary International, 411(Part A), 305-326.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K., McPherron, S. P., & Hublin, J.-J. (2015). On the local Mousterian origin of the Châtelperronian: Integrating typo-technological, chronostratigraphic and contextual data. Journal of Human Evolution, 86, 55-91.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2015). [Book review of] Churchill, S.E. -- Thin on the Ground: Neandertal Biology, Archeology and Ecology. PaleoAnthropology, 72-74.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2014). Late Middle Palaeolithic bifacial technologies across northwest Europe: Typo-technological variability and trends. Quaternary International, 350, 130-146.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2013). Regional behaviour among late Neanderthal groups in Western Europe: A comparative assessment of late Middle Palaeolithic bifacial tool variability. Journal of Human Evolution, 65(4), 341-362.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2013). Résumés de thèse: From Keilmesser to Bout Coupé handaxes: Macro-regional variability among Western European late middle palaeolithic bifacial tools. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française, 110(2), 364-365.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K., Romanowska, I., & Bynoe, R. (2011). Unravelling the Palaeolithic: 10 years of research at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins (CAHO, University of Southampton). Lithics: Journal of the Lithics Studies Society, 32, 70-71.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2007). Bifacial elements in continental Northwestern Europe during the last glacial cycle (MIS5d-3): The relationship between Mousterian, Micoquian and ‘Mixed’ Assemblages. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology, 18, 84-103.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2007). John Wymer Bursary 2007: Study of the Middle Palaeolithic assemblage of Sesselfels (Germany). Lithics: Journal of the Lithics Studies Society, 28, 65-67.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2006). A typological dilemma: Micoquian elements in continental Northwestern Europe during the last glacial cycle (MIS 5d–3). Lithics: The Journal of the Lithic Studies Society, 27, 58-73.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2006). The middle palaeolithic ensemble of Oosthoven (Belgium): A techno-typological and comparative analysis. Terra Incognita, 1, 187-199.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Bücher

Ruebens, K., Romanowska, I., & Bynoe, R. (Eds.). (2012). Unravelling the Palaeolithic: 10 years of research at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins (CAHO, University of Southampton). Oxford: Archaeopress.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Buchkapitel

Pope, M., Scott, B., Shaw, A., Bates, M., Conneller, C., Smith, G. M., Wragg-Sykes, R., Ruebens, K., Cole, J., & Underhill, D. (2012). Quaternary environments and archaeology of Jersey: A new multidisciplinary project looking at the early prehistoric occupation of the English Channel region. In K. Ruebens, I. Romanowska, & R. Bynoe (Eds.), Unravelling the Palaeolithic: Ten years of research at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins (CAHO, University of Southampton) (pp. 27-39). Oxford: Archaeopress.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K., & Di Modica, K. (2011). Les Productions bifaciales du Paléolithique moyen sur le territoire belge: Présentation d’industries entre deux mondes. In M. M. Ulrix-Closset (Ed.), Le Paléolithique moyen en Belgique (pp. 239-260). Liège: ERAUL.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K., & Van Peer, P. (2011). A Middle Palaeolithic site with small bifaces at Oosthoven – Heiende (Northern Belgium). In M. M. Ulrix-Closset (Ed.), Le Paléolithique moyen en Belgique (pp. 353-359). Liège: ERAUL.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Poster

McPherron, S. P., Lenoir, M., Dogandzic, T., Hublin, J.-J., Miller, C., Ruebens, K., Soressi, M., Steele, T. E., Talamo, S., & Turq, T. (2012). New Excavations at the Mousterian of Acheulian Site of Abri Peyrony (France). Poster presented at The 2nd Annual Meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution, Bordeaux, France.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2012). From Keilmesser to Bout-Coupé handaxes: Regional variability in western European late middle palaeolithic bifacial tools. Poster presented at The 2nd Annual Meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution, Bordeaux, France.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Meeting Abstracts

Dogandzic, T., Talamo, S., Dimitrijević, V., Lauer, T., Aldeias, V., Ruebens, K., Latas, A., Daković, G., Flas, D., Dragosavac, S., Plavšić, S., McPherron, S. P., & Mihailović, D. (2017). Middle and Upper Paleolithic in the Balkans: New data from two recently discovered sites in Serbia. In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (PESHE) (6, pp. 54).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2014). Late Middle Palaeolithic bifacial tools in Western Europe: Taxonomic complexities and regional tendencies. In XVII World UISPP Congress 2014: Abstracts (pp. 468-468).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K., & Wragg Sykes, R. M. (2014). Spatio-temporal variation in late Middle Palaeolithic Neanderthal behaviour: Bout coupé handaxes as a case study. In XVII World UISPP Congress 2014: Abstracts (pp. 475-475).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K., McPherron, S. P., & Hublin, J.-J. (2014). A local Mousterian origin for the Châtelperronian? In A. Reid (Ed.), Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution 3 (PESHE 3, 2014) (pp. 146-146).
BibTeX   Endnote   

McPherron, S. P., Lenoir, M., Dogandzic, T., Hublin, J.-J., Miller, C., Ruebens, K., Soressi, M., Steele, T. E., Talamo, S., & Turq, T. (2012). New Excavations at the Mousterian of Acheulian Site of Abri Peyrony (France). In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (pp. 123-123).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Konferenzbände

Cole, J., & Ruebens, K. (Eds.). (2012). Papers from the British Academy ‘Lucy to Language – Archaeology of the Social Brain’ Seminar Series on Visual Display.
Open Access    BibTeX   Endnote   

Berichte

McPherron, S. P., Lenoir, M., Chiotti, L., Dogandzic, T., Hublin, J.-J., Miller, C., Ruebens, K., Soressi, M., Steele, T. E., Talamo, S., & Turq, T.(2010). Rapport de la campagne de fouilles de 2010 dans le gisement du Haut de Combe-Capelle (Dordogne, France).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Vorträge

Dogandzic, T., Ruebens, K., Lenoir, M., & McPherron, S. P. (2015). Late Mousterian industrial variability in Southwestern France: A case of Abri Peyrony. Talk presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. San Francisco, California. 2015-04-15 - 2015-04-19.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2014). Regional behaviour among late Neanderthal groups in western Europe: A comparative assessment of late Middle Palaeolithic bifacial tool variability. Talk presented at Middle Palaeolithic in North-West Europe: Multidisciplinary Approaches. Namur, Belgium. 2014-03-20 - 2014-03-22.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2013). From Keilmesser to Bout-Coupé handaxes: Regional variability in western European late middle palaeolithic bifacial tools. Talk presented at European Palaeolithic Conference (British Museum). London. 2013-02-21 - 2013-02-23.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2013). From Keilmesser to Bout-Coupé handaxes: Regional variability in western European late middle palaeolithic bifacial tools. Talk presented at Unravelling Human Origins Conference. Cambridge. 2013-01-18 - 2013-01-19.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2012). Late middle palaeolithic bifacial tools in Western Europe: Terminologies, types and territorial trends. Talk presented at 54th annual meeting of the Hugo Obermaier Society. Toulouse, France. 2012-04-10 - 2012-04-14.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2011). Filling in the gaps: Late middle palaeolithic bifacial technologies in the Western European lowlands. Talk presented at Unravelling the Palaeolithic: 10 years of research at the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins (CAHO). Southampton. 2011-01-28 - 2011-01-29.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2010). Crossing Borders. The late Neanderthal world (MIS 5d-3) from a macro-regional perspective. Talk presented at Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium. Southampton. 2010-05-26 - 2010-05-27.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2008). Regionalism in middle palaeolithic handaxes: Adaptation or choice?. Talk presented at Theoretical Archaeology Group, TAG, University of Southampton.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2008). The concept of Palaeolithic cultures: Interpretative problems related to the study of Middle Palaeolithic stone tool industries. Talk presented at Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium. Southampton.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Ruebens, K. (2007). Macro-regional variability in the European Middle Palaeolithic: With specific attention to the low countries. Talk presented at Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium. Southampton.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Hochschulschriften

Ruebens, K. (2012). From Keilmesser to Bout-Coupé handaxes: Macro-regional variability among western European late middle palaeolithic bifacial tools. PhD Thesis, University, Southampton.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Fieldwork Reports

  Ruebens, K.; Smith, G.M.; Van Peer, P. 2014. Contextualising the Middle Palaeolithic assemblage of Oosthoven (northern Belgium)..
  Bates, M.; Pope, M.; Shaw, A.; Scott, B.; Cole, J.; MacPhail, R.; Scaife, R.; Allott, L; Ruebens, K. and Smith, G. 2012. La Cotte de St. Brelade: Report on Characterisation, Sampling and Stabilisation of Exposed Pleistocene Sediments in the Western Ravine NERC URGENCY AWARD NE/J012394/1.
  Pope, M.; Scott, B.; Bates, M.; Conneller, C.; Cole, J.; Shaw, A.; Wragg-Sykes, R.; Smith, G.; Ruebens, K. and Underhill, D. 2011. Quaternary Archaeology and Environments of Jersey: Report 2010.
  McPherron, S.; Lenoir, M.; Chiotti, L.; Dogandžić, T.; Hublin, J-J. ; Miller, C.; Ruebens, K.; Soressi, M.; Steele, T. and Turq, A. 2011. Rapport de la campagne de fouilles de 2010 dans le gisement du haut de Combe-Capelle Dordogne, France).