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Michael Hein

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

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 382
email: michael_hein@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Soil Science
  • Geomorphology
  • Luminescence Dating
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Periglacial Sedimentology
  • Human-Environmental Interactions since the Neolithic
  • Palaeoecology

I am a doctoral student at the Department of Human Evolution. Being trained as a physical geographer, my research interests lie in the fields of soil geography, geomorphology, and (palaeo)landscape ecology. For my thesis, I am trying to figure out how the natural environment during the Weichselian (especially MIS 5 to MIS 3) may have influenced the selection of occupational sites in the Middle Palaeolithic. Thus, in my case studies, I am working on different open-air sites across the European plain and in different geomorphic systems with fluvial, eolian, slope, and lake sediments. With the use of luminescence dating and numerous palaeoenvironmental proxies (grain size, XRF, leaf waxes, pollen) in combination with comprehensive geomorphological and GIS mappings, my aim is to decipher the pull factors for Middle Palaeolithic occupation on a landscape scale. These factors may have been access to raw material, water and nutritional sources, as well as microclimatically or hydrologically favourable locations. In close cooperation with local archaeologists, this could result in predictive models helping to identify the positions of hitherto unknown open-air sites.

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

7/2017-present PhD candidate in Archaeological Science
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology/Leiden University
Project title: Landscapes and palaeoenvironment in the Middle Palaeolithic (MIS 3 to MIS 5), inferred from sedimentological analyses, environmental proxies and luminescence dating on three open air sites of the European Plain
Supervisors: Dr. Tobias Lauer, Dr. Shannon McPherron, Prof. Jean-Jacques Hublin

University Education

11/2013M.Sc. in Physical Geography/Geoecology at the University of Leipzig
Thesis title: Soil and landscape development around the Late Bronze Age hillfort “Zetten” in Central Germany (Thesis grade 1.0)
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Heinrich, Dr. Hans von Suchodoletz
10/2010B.Sc. in Geography at the University of Leipzig
Thesis title: Reconstruction of the palaeosurface and soilscape in the vincinity of the Early Neolithic settlement “Zauschwitz”, Central Germany (Thesis grade 1.1)
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Heinrich, Prof. Dr. Hans-Rudolph Bork

Professional Employment

Self-employed geoscientific consultingfor the University of Jena (Department of Archaeology)
Use of soil and geomorphological mapping for the detection of a deserted medieval village in Lower Franconia
01/2016-06/2017Federal Voluntary Service at the regional environmental NGO Ökolöwe – Umweltbund Leipzig e.V. – Head of Environmental Education
11/2016-12/2016Graduate Research Assistant at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, Leipzig (UFZ)
04/2014-11/2016Associate at the University of Jena (Department of Archaeology) Researcher in the DFG-funded Focus Programme (SPP) 1630
“Harbours from the Roman Imperial Period to Medieval Times. Archaeology and History of regional and supraregional infrastructural systems”
Geomorphological and soil mapping of holocene fluvial terraces at the river Main to localize a river-side harbour at the site of Karlburg/Main.
01/2011-09/2011Student Employee at the Saxonian Heritage Office
Excavations at the open-cast lignite mine of Schleenhain
03/2008-12/2012Research and Teaching Assistant for Professors Jürgen Heinrich and Christoph Zielhofer, Institute of Geography, University of Leipzig
Field work, preparing and holding courses, assistance in the sedimentological laboratory


Since 2010AK Geoarchäologie (German Working Group on Geoarchaeology)
Since 2013AG Boden und Archäologie (German Association on Soils and Archaeology)

Additional Training

11/2018Practical trapped-charge thermo(chrono)metry
(University of Bern)
10-11/2018Use of different biomarkers as a means of palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
(Prof. Roland Zech, University of Jena)
06/2018Optical dating in earth sciences and archaeology
(Dr. Michael Meyer, University of Innsbruck)
03/2014Geophysical Applications in Geology and Hydrology
(UFZ Leipzig)
02/2011Palynology and its Applications in palaeoenvironmental research
(Dr. Heike Schneider, University of Jena)

Field Experience

2006-PresentExtensive field trips, excavations, and research in the following regions
  • Central and Northern Germany
  • Bavaria
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia


Colarossi, D., Fewlass, H., Stahlschmidt, M. C., Presnyakova, D., Matembo, J., Hein, M., Talamo, S., & Archer, W. (2022). A targeted drilling and dating campaign to identify Stone Age archaeological sites before excavation in west coast southern Africa. Quaternary Geochronology, 71: 101314.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Weiss, M., Hein, M., Urban, B., Stahlschmidt, M. C., Heinrich, S., Hilbert, Y. H., Power, R. C., Suchodoletz, H. v., Terberger, T., Böhner, U., Klimscha, F., Veil, S., Breest, K., Schmidt, J., Colarossi, D., Tucci, M., Frechen, M., Tanner, D. C., & Lauer, T. (2022). Neanderthals in changing environments from MIS 5 to early MIS 4 in northern Central Europe – Integrating archaeological, (chrono)stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental evidence at the site of Lichtenberg. Quaternary Science Reviews, 284: 107519.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Suchodoletz, H., Pohle, M., Khosravichenar, A., Ulrich, M., Hein, M., Tinapp, C., Schultz, J., Ballasus, H., Veit, U., Ettel, P., Werther, L., Zielhofer, C., & Werban, U. (2022). The fluvial architecture of buried floodplain sediments of the Weiße Elster River (Germany) revealed by a novel method combination of drill cores with two‐dimensional and spatially resolved geophysical measurements. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 47(4), 955-976.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Weiß, M., Lauer, T., Urban, B., & Hein, M. (2022). Wechselwarm - das Wendland vor 80000 Jahren. Archäologie in Deutschland, 38(1), 24-27.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Hein, M., Urban, B., Tanner, D. C., Buness, A. H., Tucci, M., Hoelzmann, P., Dietel, S., Kaniecki, M., Schultz, J., Kasper, T., Suchodoletz, H., Schwalb, A., Weiss, M., & Lauer, T. (2021). Eemian landscape response to climatic shifts and evidence for northerly Neanderthal occupation at a palaeolake margin in Northern Germany. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 46(14), 2884-2901.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Hein, M., Weiss, M., Otcherednoy, A., & Lauer, T. (2020). Luminescence chronology of the key-Middle Paleolithic site Khotylevo I (Western Russia) - Implications for the timing of occupation, site formation and landscape evolution. Quaternary Science Advances, 2: 100008.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Wunschel, A., Ettel, P., Hein, M., Linzen, S., Roettig, C.-B., Schneider, M., Werther, L. (2018): The waterfront of Karlburg and Salz in the Early and High Middle Ages - interdisciplinary (geo)archaeological and geophysical studies. In: von Carnap-Bornheim, C., Daim, F., Ettel, P., Warnke, U. [Eds.], Harbours as objects of interdisciplinary research - Archaeology + History + Geoscience. RGZM-Tagungen 34. Interdisziplinäre Forschungen zu Häfen von der Römischen Kaiserzeit bis zum Mittelalter 5, 373-402.

Hein, M. (2017): Bodenkundlich-geomorphologische Untersuchungen bei Dornheim/ Unterfranken. Yet unpublished report.

Wunschel, A., Ettel, P., Hein, M., Höfler, V., Linzen, S., Schneider, M., Werther, L (2017): Entwicklung und Topographie des mittelalterlichen Siedlungskomplexes Karlburg am Ufer des Mains. In: S. Kalmring/L. Werther [Eds.]: Häfen im 1. Millenium AD. Standortbedingungen, Entwicklungsmodelle und ökonomische Vernetzung. RGZM-Tagungen 31. Interdisziplinäre Forschungen zu Häfen von der Römischen Kaiserzeit bis zum Mittelalter 4, 81-109.

Ettel, P., Hein, M., Linzen, S., Roettig, C.-B., Schneider, M., Werther, L., Wunschel, A. (2015): Hafen oder Landeplatz - (Geo-)archäologische Prospektion an den früh- und hochmittelalterlichen Zentralorten Karlburg und Salz. In: Das Archäologische Jahr in Bayern 2014, 2015, 101-103.

Ettel, P., Hein, M., Linzen, S., Roettig, C.-B., Schneider, M., Werther, L., Wunschel, A. (2015): Hafen oder Landeplatz? - Untersuchungen zu Einrichtungen der früh- und hochmittelalterlichen Binnenschifffahrt ausgehend von den Fallbeispielen Karlburg und Salz in Unterfranken. In: Th. Schmidts, M. M. Vucetic [Eds.] Häfen im 1. Millenium AD. Bauliche Konzepte, herrschaftliche und religiöse Einflüsse. RGZM Tagungen 22, 203-228.


Schmidt R., Müller, S. , Hein M. , Pomm S., Schneider C., Ostaszewska K., Heinrich J. (2013): Relikte einer Kulturlandschaft oder natürliche Bodenbildungen? – Erste Ergebnisse geochemischer und mikromorphologischer Untersuchungen an fossilen Böden im Lössgebiet der Miechower Hochfläche (Polen). Poster for the conference „Jahrestagung des AK Geoarchäologie“ in Cottbus, 2013

Hein, M., Pomm, S., Schneider C., Schmidt R., Heinrich J. (2012): Feldbodenkundliche und geochemische Hinweise auf (prä)historische Kalkdüngung in der Lösslandschaft Kleinpolens. Poster for the conference „Jahrestagung des AK Geoarchäologie“ in Leipzig, 2012

Hein, M., Tinapp, C., Bork, H.-R., Heinrich, H. (2011): Relief- und Bodenentwicklung im Umfeld des bandkeramischen Fundplatzes Zauschwitz. Poster for the conference „Jahrestagung des AK Geoarchäologie“ in Heidelberg 2011

Schmidt, R., Renger, M., Bullmann, H., Hein, M., Holzheu, M., Grimm, U., Buchwald, S., Geissler, C., Kornemann, I., Splissgart, C., Schneider, H., Tinapp, C. (2011): Geoarchäologischer Geländeworkshop – „Geofakt vs. Artefakt“. Poster for the conference „Jahrestagung des AK Geoarchäologie“ in Heidelberg 2011. 


“Towards the understanding of Middle Palaeolithic landscapes. A case study from a palaeo-lake in Lower Saxony.” Geographic Colloquium at the University of Jena, May 2018.

“Entwicklung und Topographie des mittelalterlichen Siedlungskomplexes Karlburg am Ufer des Mains.“ Together with A. Wunschel at the conference of the DFG-Schwerpunktprogramm 1630 held at Jena University, January 2015.