• POTHIER BOUCHARD G., MENTZERB, S.M., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., HODGKINSD, J., MILLERB, C.E., NEGRINO, F., WOGELIUSG, R., BUCKLEY, M. Portable FTIR for on-site screening of archaeological bone intended for ZooMS collagen fingerprint analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (26)

  • WREN, C. D., ATWATER, C., HILL, K., JANSSEN, M., DE VYNCK, J., MAREAN, C. W. An agent-based approach to weighted decision making in the spatially and temporally variable South African Palaeoscape. SocArXiv.


  • LATOMBE, G., BURKE, A., VRAC, M., LEVAVASSEUR, G., DUMAS, C., KAGEYAMA, M., RAMSTEIN, G., Comparison of spatial downscaling methods of general circulation model results to study climate variability during the Last Glacial Maximum, Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 2563-2579

  • RIEL-SALVATORE, J., NEGRINO, F., Human adaptations to climatic change in Liguria across the Middle–Upper Paleolithic transition. Journal of Quaternary Science 33 (3), 313-322

  • BURKE, A., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., BARTON, C. M. Human response to habitat suitability during the Last Glacial Maximum in Western Europe. Journal of Quaternary Science 33 (3), 335-345

  • WREN, C.D, COSTOPOULOS, A., HAWLEY, M. Settlement choice under conditions of rapid shoreline displacement in Wemindji Cree Territory, subarctic Quebec, Quaternary International.

  • DOYON L., The cultural trajectories of Aurignacian osseous projectile points in Southern Europe: Insights from geometric morphometrics. Quaternary International.


  • BOURGEON, L., BURKE, A., HIGHAM, T., Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada. PLOS ONE, 12(1)

  • BURKE, A., KAGEYAMA, M., LATOMBE, G., FASEL, M., VRAC, M., RAMSTEIN, G., JAMES, P.M.A., Risky business: The impact of climate and climate variability on human population dynamics in Western Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews 164, 217-229.

  • BRADTMÖLLER, M., GRIMM, S., RIEL-SALVATORE, J. (eds.) Adaptative Cycles in Archaeology. Special issue of Quaternary International (Vol. 446), Elsevier, The Netherlands.

  • DOYON, L., La variabilité technologique et morphométrique des pointes de projectile aurignaciennes en matière osseuse : implications cognitives, sociales et environnementales. Résumé de thèse. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française, 114 (4) Lien

  • DRAPEAU, M.S.M., WYNN, J.G., GERAADS, D., DUMOUCHEL, L., CAMPISANO, C.J., R. BOBE, R., Paleontology and geology of the Mursi Formation. In: African Paleoecology and Human Evolution, REYNOLDS, S., BOBE,R. (eds.), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, soumis.

  • GRAVEL-MIGUEL, C., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., MAGGI R., MARTINO G., BARTON, C.M. The Breaking of Ochred Pebble Tools as Part of Funerary Ritual in the Arene Candide Epigravettian Cemetary. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 27, 331-350

  • PENDEA, FI., COSTOPOULOS, A., CHMURA C., WREN C.D., BRACEWELL, J., VANEECKHOUT, S., J OKKONEN, J., HULSE, E., KEELER D., (accepted). Shoreline displacement and human adaptation in Eastern James Bay : a 6000 year perspective. In: MULRENNAN, M., SCOTT, C., SCOTT, K. (eds) Partnerships, Politics and Perspectives : Protected area creation in Wemindji Cree Territory, University of British Columbia Press.

  • RIEL-SALVATORE, J., NEGRINO, F., Lithic technology, mobility and human niche construction in Early Upper Paleolithic Italy. In: ROBINSO, E., SELLET, F., (eds.) Lithic Technological Organization and Paleoenvironmental Change. New York, Springer. Lien


  • BARTON, C.M., RIEL-SALVATORE, J. A Lithic Perspective on Ecological Dynamics in the Upper Pleistocene of Western Eurasia. In: SULLIVAN, A.P., OLSZEWSKI, D.I. (eds.) Archaeological Variability and Interpretation in Global Perspective. Boulder, University of Colorado Press, 25-51. Lien

  • GUIDUCCI, D., BURKE, A., Reading the landscape: Legible environments and hominin dispersals. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, 25(3),133-141.

  • YRAVEDRA, J., JULIEN, M.-A., ALCAREZ-CASTANO, M., ESTACA-GOMEZ, V., ALCOLEA-GONZALEZl, J., DE BALBIN-BEHRMANN, R., LÉCUYER, C., MARCEL, C.H., BURKE, A., Not so deserted…paleoecology and human subsistence in Central Iberia (Guadalajara, Spain) around the Last Glacial Maximum. Quaternary Science Reviews, 140, 21–38.


  • BOURGEON, L. Bluefish Cave II (Yukon Territory, Canada): Taphonomic Study of a Bone Assemblage, PaleoAmerica, 1, 1. 105-108.

  • GERAADS, D., DRAPEAU, M.S.M., BOBE, R., FLEAGLE, J.G. Vulpes mathisoni, sp. nov., a new fox from the Pliocene Mursi Formation of southern Ethiopia and its contribution to the origin of African foxes, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 35(4).

  • GROVE, M, BURKE, A. Environmental variability and hominin dispersal, Journal of Human Evolution, 87, 1-4.


  • BURKE A., LEVAVASSEUR, G., JAMES, P.M.A., GUIDUCCI, D., IZQUIERDO, M.A., BOURGEON, L., KAGEYAMA M., RAMSTEIN, G., VRAC, M., Exploring the impact of climate variability during the Last Glacial Maximum on the pattern of human occupation of Iberia, Journal of Human Evolution, 73, 35‑46.

  • DRAPEAU, M.S.M., BOBE, R., WYNN, C.J., DUMOUCHEL, L., GERRADS, D., The Omo Mursi Formation: A window into the East African Pliocene, Journal of Human Evolution, 75, 64-79

  • WREN, C.D., XUE J.Z., COSTOPOULOS, A., BURKE A., The role of spatial foresight in models of hominin dispersal, Journal of Human Evolution, 69, p. 70‑78.

  • WREN, C.D. Human evolution: Hominin explorers were poor planners, Nature, 507, 7492, 277‑277.


  • BURKE, A., KANDLER, A., GOOD, D., Women Who Know Their Place: Sex-Based Differences in Spatial Abilities and Their Evolutionary Significance, Human Nature, 23, 2, 133‑148. 10.1007/s12110-012-9140-1

  • BURKE, A., Spatial abilities, cognition and the pattern of Neanderthal and modern human dispersals », Quaternary International, 247, 230‑235.


  • XUE, J.Z., COSTOPOULOS, A., GUICHARD, F., Choosing Fitness-Enhancing Innovations Can Be Detrimental under Fluctuating Environments, PLOS ONE, 6, 11,




UISPP Congress XVIIIth, Paris, France

ARRIGHI, S., ROMANDINI, M., AURELI, D., BORTOLINI, E., BOSCATO, P., BOCHIN, F., CREZZINI, J., FIGUS, C., MORONI, A., NEGRINO, F., PERESANI, M., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., RONCHITELLI, A., SPINAPOLICE, E.E.,  BENAZZI, S. Bone artefacts from transitional and Early Upper Palaeolithic techno-complexes in Italy

BURKE, A., WREN, C.D., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., The impact of habitat suitability on cultural transmission during the Last Glacial Maximum in Western Europe.

LURET, M., BURKE, A., BERNALDO DE QUIROS, F., BESSE, M. Subsistence behaviors during the Middle / Upper Paleolithic transition in El Castillo Cave (Cantabria, Spain).

POTHIER BOUCHARD, G., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., NEGRINO, F., BUCKLEY, M.   Zooarchaeological and ZooMS insights into peopling dynamics at Riparo Bombrini.

RIEL-SALVATORE, J. NEGRINO, F., Mobility and human ecology in the Early Upper Paleoltihic of Liguria.

RIEL-SALVATORE, J. NEGRINO, F., Sudden, fast and epochal: The Neanderthal/Anatomically Modern Human Transition in Northwestern Italy.


The Solutrean 3rd International Conference, Faro, Portugal

BURKE, A., WREN, C.D., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., A shattered mirror: the Iberian Peninsula as a fragmented habitat during the Last Glacial Maximum.

The Iberian Peninsula is assumed to have acted as a glacial refuge for human populations during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), between 19-23 kyrs BP. We examine how a recently
published model of habitat suitability (Burke et al. 2017) can be used to refine our understanding of human population dynamics in the Iberian Peninsula during the LGM. With the help of agent- based models, we examine the repercussions for cultural evolution in the region and for the continuity and evolution of the Solutrean in particular.

Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada

BURKE , A., WREN, C.D., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., The social consequences of climate-driven changes in the spatial distribution of human populations during the Last Glacial Maximum.

POTHIER BOUCHARD, G, BUCKLEY, M., HODGKINS, J., MENTZER, S.M., RIEL-SALVATORE, J. New on-site method to evaluate the quantity and quality of collagen in archaeological faunla assemblages using a portable FTIR and ZOOMS.

Faunal remains play an important role in helping reconstruct Paleolithic hunter-gatherer subsistence and mobility strategies. However, differential bone preservation is an issue in southern European prehistoric sites, which often makes morphological identification impossible. Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) is a new, low-cost method that will improve NISP statistical significance in a replicable way by using diagnostic peptides of the dominant collagen protein as a fingerprint of animal (including hominin) species. It is also a powerful tool to assess collagen preservation for radiocarbon dating. We present a test of a method for evaluating collagen preservation in the field prior to ZooMS analysis. Using a portable Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) equipped with an attenuated total reflectance accessory, we evaluated the relative abundance of collagen and various components of the mineral fraction, in powdered bone fragments, as well as indicators of burning and fossilization. The bones were then analyzed by ZooMS and results compared to ascertain FTIR as a screening technique. This method was tested on assemblages from two Northwestern Italian sites: Riparo Bombrini and Arma Veirana. Both sites document the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition with overlapping dates from distinct environmental contexts (coastal and mountainous hinterland) differing greatly in collagen preservation.

BURKE, A., WREN, C.D., RIEL-SALVATORE, J., The social consequences of climate-driven changes in the spatial distribution of human populations during the Last Glacial Maximum

Risk-reducing strategies allow humans to manage ecological risk while minimizing disruptions. Unpredictable resource fluctuations, i.e., ecological risk, are driven by a combination of climate conditions and climate variability. Under extreme conditions reduction strategies may fail, however, forcing a reorganization of the social and economic structure of affected populations, as well as their technological systems. Risky conditions during the LGM, for example, affected the spatial distribution of populations in Western Europe as well as the ease and frequency of interregional mobility. This will have had an impact on human social networks and cultural exchange. Using predictive modeling, climate simulations and agent-based modeling, we explore how a risk-averse strategy created the spatial patterns observed in the archaeological record and consider their social consequences.

RIEL-SALVATORE, J., NEGRINO, F., PERESANI, M. PARISE, M., HODGKINS, J. Characterizing ephemeral paleolithic occupations at Arna Verana (Liguria, Italy)

This paper presents a description of recently studied assemblages from Middle and Upper Paleolithic levels at the site of Arma Veirana, a large cave located in the mountainous hinterland of Liguria. While one Mousterian level shows an intense occupation, all other levels indicate rather short-lived, low intensity occupations. Beyond technological and typological analyses of these assemblages undertaken to characterize them, we also report preliminary data on raw material procurement patterns from these levels. While the Mousterian suggests predominantly local acquisition, the Upper Paleolithic is comprised mainly of exotic lithotypes. Beyond these results that largely agree with received wisdom about the technology and mobility strategies of the two periods, we also discuss the presence of a distinctive reddish radiolarite in some of the assemblages from both periods. This material has historically been considered exotic, raising a number of questions about how local and exotic materials contributed to the tool kits of foragers during their comparatively ephemeral occupations of the site. Lastly, we tackle the question of what these results mean for our understanding of Ligurian prehistory more broadly, since it has almost exclusively focused on coastal as opposed to inland sites.

Annual Meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society (March 28-29, 2017), Vancouver, Canada

BOURGEON, L., BURKE, A., HIGHAM, T. Archaeological support for the Beringian standstill hypothesis: human occupation of the Bluefish Caves Sites (Yukon territory, Canada) during the Last Glacial Maximum

The Beringian standstill hypothesis suggests that human populations reached Beringia (eastern Siberia, Alaska and the Yukon Territory) during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and persisted there from about 15,000 to 23,000 BP. During this time they were genetically isolated and diverged from East Asian ancestors, before dispersing south of the ice-sheets into North America. This hypothesis is indirectly supported by evidence of a relatively mild climate in Central Beringia and the presence of pre-LGM populations in Western Beringia. Until now, however, the archaeological record has not yielded evidence of a human presence in Beringia during the LGM. Previous to this research, the oldest accepted dates for the human occupation of Alaska and the Yukon Territory do not exceed 14.000 BP. We conducted a rigorous taphonomic analysis of the Bluefish Caves site (northern Yukon Territory) and dated six bone specimens recovered from Caves I and II bearing clear evidence of butchering activity. The dates obtained from the cut-marked bone prove that small groups of people occupied the Bluefish Caves site for brief periods of time on several occasions during and after the LGM. The earliest AMS date obtained indicates a human presence in Eastern Beringia at 24,000 cal BP (19,650 ± 130 14C BP). These results, therefore, support the proposition that a human population existed in Beringia during the LGM. After ca. 16,000 BP, as climatic conditions improved, population size increased and people may have dispersed from Beringia into North and South America following a Pacific coastal route.

DOYON, L., BURKE, A., D’ERRICO, F., KATW KNECHT, H., Exploring technological organization through geometric morphometrics: the case of Aurignacian projectile points made of antler, bone and ivory

Aurignacian projectile points hold a special place in the history of humankind as, for the first time, osseous materials such as antler, bone, and ivory were used to produce hunting armatures at a continental scale. The variability of these “index fossils” has long been studied from a typological and technological perspective. However, the volumetric templates of production that prehistoric artisans considered fit for hunting activities have rarely been studied (see however Albrecht et al., 1972 ; Clément, Leroy-Prost, 1977 ; Knecht, 1991). Our current research uses geometric morphometric analysis, a powerful tool for the quantitative analysis of form, to assess stylistic and functional variation in Aurignacian projectile points. A landmark-based approach was used to analyse 547 projectile points from 51 Aurignacian sites across Europe. Split-based and massive-based points were investigated to highlight their original volumetric template(s), the degree of standardization inherent in the manufacture of these armatures, and the effect of use and resharpening on morphometric variability. Results are used to identify regional trends. The variety of raw material used for the manufacture of massive-based points and their reduced morphological standardisation compared to split-based points suggest that these two types of armatures were produced in different social contexts. Split-based points reflect more broadly shared rules of production, as attested by the consistency in the volumetric templates recorded over and across large regions of Europe. On the contrary, the manufacture of massive-based points appears more expedient (sensu Nelson, 1991) and their volumetric templates more locally clustered.



25th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (Bern, 1-4 Sept.): Beyond paradigms

THEME : Global change and archaeology

Session #317 : Celebrating 25 years (EAA25) of collaboration: how archaeology and the Earth Sciences are coming together to solve real-world problems 

Main organiser: Ariane BURKE (Canada, Université de Montréal)

Co-organisers:        Basil DAVIS (Switzerland, Université de Lausanne)

Julien RIEL-SALVATORE (Canada, Université de Montréal)

Archaeology has always been an interdisciplinary science situated at a cross-roads between the Social and Natural Sciences. In the past, collaborations between archaeologists and natural scientists have focussed on the production of valuable contextual information with which to interpret the archaeological record. Over the past twenty five years archaeological research has become increasingly inter-sectorial, however. Analytical tools drawn from the Earth Sciences (geographic information systems and machine-learning approaches, for example) have been incorporated into archaeological practise as scientists tackle questions relating to human evolution and demography at global, continental and regional scales. Lately, scientists in the Social and Earth Sciences have re-focused their energies towards helping to solve real-world issues, exploring what the archaeological record can tell us about human resilience and considering the implications in a context of global climate change. This session presents research that explores human/environment interactions in the past using methods drawn from ecological sciences and archaeological data, with a view to identifying the ecological tipping points that have affected human systems in the past in the hopes of helping us plan for the future.


83rd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Washington, 11 - 15 April.

THEME: Mobility as Human-Environment interaction

Chairs: Dario GUIDICCI, Simon PAQUIN and Colin WREN

1:00 Julien Riel-Salvatore —Discussant
1:15 Michelle Drapeau and Jesseca Paquette—Habitat Preferences in Early
Hominins and the Origin of the Human Lineage
1:30 Michael Bisson—Uses and Limitations of the “Sangoan” for Understanding
Hominin Mobility and Dispersals: An Example from Northeastern Zambia
1:45 Simon Paquin and Ariane Burke—Evaluating the Impact of Climatic and
Environmental Conditions on AMH Initial Dispersal into Western Europe
2:00 Genevieve Pothier Bouchard, Fabio Negrino, Julien Riel-Salvatore and Pascale
Tremblay—Zooarchaeological insights into modern human mobility at Riparo
2:15 C. Michael Barton and Julien Riel-Salvatore—You’re Going to Carry That Weight
a Long Time
2:30 Questions and Answers
2:45 Dario Guiducci and Ariane Burke—A GIS Approach to Landscape Legibility and
Its Role in Late Pleistocene Hominin Dispersals
3:00 Luc Doyon—Aurignacian Projectile Points Do Not Represent a Proxy for the
Initial Dispersal of Homo sapiens into Europe: Insights from Geometric
3:15 Colin Wren and Ariane Burke—Landscape Connectivity, Habitat Suitability and
Cultural Transmission during the Last Glacial Maximum in Western Europe
3:30 Rhiannon Stevens, Hazel Reade, Sophy Charlton and Jennifer Tripp—The
UpNorth Project: Environment Context of Late and Final Palaeolithic Dispersals
3:45 Jennifer Bracewell—A GIS Approach to Understanding Post-sedentary Hunter-
Gatherers: A Case from Northern Finland
4:00 Andre Costopoulos—The Impact on Mobility of Regional Variability in Rates of
Environmental Change: An Agent-Based Simulation Approach
4:15 William Davies—Discussant

From underwater villages to underwater caves: paleoenvironmental, geoarchaeological, and paleontological investigations in Cuba"

Wednesday, march 14th, 12hrs, Local C-2059 Pavillon Lionel-Groulx (3150 rue Jean Brillant).

Université de Montréal - Département d’Anthropologie.




This presentation will highlight recent multi-disciplinary research undertaken in Cuba that has sought to explore questions concerning human adaptations and resilience to abrupt environmental change, and the role that humans may have played in the Late Quaternary extinction event in the Caribbean. The talk will first discuss geoarchaeological research at the Los Buchillones site, a coastal Taino settlement occupied from CE 1120 to 1640, and show how people may have coped with rising sea levels and hurricanes. Next, the talk will focus on ongoing research at underwater caves, where the remains of extinct mammals (mainly sloths) have recently been found in close association with high-resolution paleoenvironmental data. The "mega-fauna" in the Caribbean went extinct about 5000 years ago, and this work will help us better understand the relative contributions of rapid climate change and human overhunting to the mass extinction event in this understudied region.

Conferences given by HDRG members during march and april 2017



New research article by HDRG members published in PLOS ONE

Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada


Abstract : The timing of the first entry of humans into North America is still hotly debated within the scientific community. Excavations conducted at Bluefish Caves (Yukon Territory) from 1977 to 1987 yielded a series of radiocarbon dates that led archaeologists to propose that the initial dispersal of human groups into Eastern Beringia (Alaska and the Yukon Territory) occurred during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This hypothesis proved highly controversial in the absence of other sites of similar age and concerns about the stratigraphy and anthropogenic signature of the bone assemblages that yielded the dates. The weight of the available archaeological evidence suggests that the first peopling of North America occurred ca. 14,000 cal BP (calibrated years Before Present), i.e., well after the LGM. Here, we report new AMS radiocarbon dates obtained on cut-marked bone samples identified during a comprehensive taphonomic analysis of the Bluefish Caves fauna. Our results demonstrate that humans occupied the site as early as 24,000 cal BP (19,650 ± 130 14C BP). In addition to proving that Bluefish Caves is the oldest known archaeological site in North America, the results offer archaeological support for the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”, which proposes that a genetically isolated human population persisted in Beringia during the LGM and dispersed from there to North and South America during the post-LGM period.

BOURGEON, L., BURKE, A. & HIGHAM, T. (2017). Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada. PLoS ONE 12 (1) : e0169486. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169486.

Link to the article :