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Contact

Department of Human Evolution

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Deutscher Platz 6
04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (341) 3550 - 350
fax: +49 (0341) 3550 - 399

e-mail: streiber@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de


Helen Fewlass

Doctoral Student

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

phone: 0049 (0) 341 3550 756
fax: 0049 (0) 341 3550 399
e-mail: helen_fewlass@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Research Interests
Curriculum Vitae
Publications

Research Interests

I am an archaeological scientist specialising in radiocarbon dating. I did my PhD in the IMPRS Leipzig School of Human Origins in the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, where I now work as a researcher.

I am interested in the chronology of the expansion of Homo sapiens into and across Europe during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition and the subsequent Upper Palaeolithic. Obtaining direct radiocarbon dates from key fossils and artefacts is essential to establishing a robust, high-resolution chronological framework for this fascinating period of our history. However, very few bones survive from these contexts and many of those remaining are small or fragmentary. With the aim of minimising destructive sampling of precious archaeological bones, such as human remains, my doctoral thesis centred on methods and applications for radiocarbon dating very small amounts of Palaeolithic bone (<100 mg). This involved refining our collagen extraction protocol for very small bone samples alongside extensive testing of the accuracy, precision and reproducibility of the gas ion source of the MICADAS AMS for dating tiny collagen samples containing <100 ug carbon. I am now working on chronological questions at a range of prehistoric sites across Eurasia spanning the Late Middle and Upper Palaeolithic.

Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

2015-Present

Ph.D Candidate

International Max Planck Research School "The Leipzig School of Human Origins"
Department of Human Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany)

Education

2011-2015M.Sci Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
First Class with Honours
University of Bristol, UK
2002-2010St. Albans Girls School, St. Albans
A Levels: Biology (A), Classics (A), Geography (A), Art (A)

Research Experience

2015-present

Doctoral Research, Dept. of Human Evolution (MPI-EVA)
Project title: Refining techniques for 14C dating of small archaeological samples
Supervisors: Dr. Sahra Talamo, Dr. Bernd Kromer, Professor Jean-Jacques Hublin

  • Refining collagen extraction techniques for archaeological bone samples of <100mg
  • Utilising latest developments in AMS techniques with MICADAS gas ion source for radiocarbon dating collagen samples < 100μg C
2014-2015M.Sci research project,
Organic Geochemistry Unit, University of Bristol
Project Title: Of milk and men: subsistence strategies of hunter-gatherers in southern Africa
Supervisor: Dr. Lucy Cramp
  • Extraction and analysis of >100 pot sherds via GC, GC-MS and compound specific isotope ratio mass spectrometry
  • First compound-specific isotopic study of pottery from highland region of Lesotho from the Late Stone Age
2013-2014Undergraduate research project,
Organic Geochemistry Unit, University of Bristol
Project Title: Investigation of the compound-specific stable carbon isotope signatures of fatty acids in pig tissue for use in methods of palaeodietary reconstruction

Supervisor: Dr. Lucy Cramp

  • Part of a larger NERC-funded study examining the influence of terrestrial and marine resource consumption on tissue isotopic compositions
  • Analysis of compound-specific stable carbon isotope signatures of lipids in modern pig tissues raised as part of a large isotopically controlled feeding study for use in palaeodietary reconstruction

Archaeological Field Experience

2012-2014Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire
Annual summer university excavations developing practical excavation and recording techniques, along with extensive post-excavation finds processing
2013Poulton Research Project, Poulton, Chester
Training course for excavation of human burials at Medieval graveyards

Academic Service

2017-presentPhD student Representative
Department of Human Evolution, MPI-EVA
2012-2013Archaeological Sciences Student Representative
University of Bristol

   

Skills and Training

  • Instrumentation: Gas Chromatography (GC), GC-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) and compound-specific-isotope-ratio MS (GC-C-IRMS), Elemental analyser (EA), EA-IRMS
  • Extensive experience with basic laboratory equipment: centrifuge, freeze-dryer and other
  • Lipid extraction from archaeological pottery and modern biological materials
  • Collagen extraction from modern and archaeological bones
  • Scientific report writing
  • Software: Microsoft Office, ISODAT, R, Endnote X7, Origin Pro 

Awards

2016

Student Pecha Kucha Prize 'Size Matters - new frontiers in radiocarbon bone dating'
Annual Meeting of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE)
Sponsored by the Journal of Human Evolution

2015Hancock Memorial Special Prize
Awarded to an undergraduate in Earth Sciences, University of Bristol for a particularly outstanding performance in the field of Archaeology and Geology

     

Publications

Articles

Picin, A., Hajdinjak, M., Nowaczewska, W., Benazzi, S., Urbanowski, M., Marciszak, A., Fewlass, H., Socha, P., Stefaniak, K., Żarski, M., Wiśniewski, A., Hublin, J.-J., Nadachowski, A., & Talamo, S. (2020). New perspectives on Neanderthal dispersal and turnover from Stajnia Cave (Poland). Scientific Reports,10: 14778.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Wacker, L., Kromer, B., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Bard, E., McPherron, S. P., Aldeias, V., Maria, R., Martisius, N. L., Paskulin, L., Rezek, Z., Sinet-Mathiot, V., Sirakova, S., Smith, G. M., Spasov, R., Welker, F., Sirakov, N., Tsanova, T., & Hublin, J.-J. (2020). A¹⁴C chronology for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition at Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. Nature Ecology & Evolution,4, 794-801.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   
Hublin, J.-J., Sirakov, N., Aldeias, V., Bailey, S., Bard, E., Delvigne, V., Endarova, E., Fagault, Y., Fewlass, H., Hajdinjak, M., Kromer, B., Krumov, I., Marreiros, J., Martisius, N. L., Paskulin, L., Sinet-Mathiot, V., Meyer, M., Pääbo, S., Popov, V., Rezek, Z., Sirakova, S., Skinner, M. M., Smith, G. M., Spasov, R., Talamo, S., Tuna, T., Wacker, L., Welker, F., Wilcke, A., Zahariev, N., McPherron, S. P., & Tsanova, T. (2020). Initial Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. Nature,581, 299-302.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   
Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Kromer, B., Bard, E., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Sponheimer, M., Ryder, C., Hublin, J.-J., Perri, A., Sázelová, S., & Svoboda, J. (2019). Direct radiocarbon dates of mid Upper Palaeolithic human remains from Dolní Věstonice II and Pavlov I, Czech Republic. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports,27: 102000.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   
Sponheimer, M., Ryder, C. M., Fewlass, H., Smith, E. K., Pestle, W. J., & Talamo, S. (2019). Saving old bones: A non-destructive method for bone collagen prescreening. Scientific Reports,9(1): 13928.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Fewlass, H., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Hublin, J.-J., Kromer, B., Bard, E., & Talamo, S. (2019). Pretreatment and gaseous radiocarbon dating of 40–100 mg archaeological bone. Scientific Reports,9(1): 5342.
Open Access    DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Kromer, B., Hoffmann, H., Pangrazzi, C., Hublin, J.-J., & Bard, E. (2018). Size matters: Radiocarbon dates of <200 µg ancient collagen samples with AixMICADAS and its gas ion source. Radiocarbon,60(2), 425-439.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Book Chapters

Sirakov, N., Tsanova, T., Hublin, J.-J., Sirakova, S., McPherron, S. P., Talamo, S., Marreiros, J., Smith, G., Fewlass, H., Krumov, I., Spassov, R., Rezek, Ž., Sinet-Mathiot, V., & Zahariev, N. (2017). Reopened Bacho Kiro - new data on Middle/Upper Palaeolithic transition and Early-Middle stages of Upper Palaeolithic. In Archaeological discoveries and excavation from 2016 (pp. 32-36). Sofia: NIAM-BAN.
BibTeX   Endnote   

Meeting Abstracts

Ryder, C. M., Sponheimer, M., Talamo, S., Fewlass, H., Smith, E., & Pestle, W. J. (2019). Near-infrared spectroscopy to predict collagen yield. American Journal of Physical Anthropology,168(S68), 213-213.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   
Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Kromer, B., Bard, E., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Sponheimer, M., Ryder, C., Hublin, J.-J., Perri, A. R., Sazelova, S., & Svoboda, J. (2019). Radiocarbon dating small samples of Gravettian human remains from Dolní Věstonice II and Pavlov I (Czech Republic). In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (PESHE) (8, pp. 59).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Kromer, B., Hublin, J.-J., & Bard, E. (2018). Size matters: New frontiers in dating archaeological bone. In 23rd International Radiocarbon Conference: Book of Abstracts (pp. 202).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Wacker, L., Kromer, B., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Bard, E., Aldeias, V., Isidoro Da Silva Maria, R., Martisius, N. L., McPherron, S. P., Paskulin, L., Rezek, Z., Sinet-Mathiot, V., Sirakov, N., Sirakova, S., Smith, G. M., Spasov, R., Tsanova, T., Welker, F., & Hublin, J.-J. (2018). New high-resolution 14C chronology for Bacho Kiro cave, Bulgaria spanning the Middle to UpperPalaeolithic transition. In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (PESHE) (7, pp. 64).
BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Fewlass, H., Talamo, S., Tuna, T., Fagault, Y., Kromer, B., Hoffmann, H., Pangrazzi, C., Hublin, J.-J., & Bard, E. (2016). Size matters: new frontiers in radiocarbon bone dating. In Proceedings of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (5, pp. 94).
Open Access    BibTeX   Endnote   

Downloads

Others

Fewlass, H., Mitchell, P. J., Casanova, E., & Cramp, L. J. E. (2020). Chemical evidence of dairying by hunter-gatherers in highland Lesotho in the late first millennium ad. Nature Human Behaviour.
DOI    BibTeX   Endnote   

Thesis

Fewlass, H. (2020). Refining techniques for radiocarbon dating small archaeological bone samples. PhD Thesis, Universiteit, Leiden.
BibTeX   Endnote