Archaeological Sciences: multidisciplinary approaches for archaeological research and the understanding of the past

Target group

All doctoral research students conducting research on archaeological sciences


All PhD students

Organising Committee

Prof. dr. Guy De Mulder, professor Protohistoric Periods, Department of Archaeology
dr. Thomas Van de Velde, postdoctoral researcher, Department of Archaeology & Department of Organic & Marcomolecular Chemistry (Separation Sciences Group)

Contact person + submit your abstract to:


This course aims to introduce students into the field of Archaeological Sciences, a multidisciplinary research topic covering both the alpha- and beta-sciences. Chemical analysis on archaeological materials has been incorporated in the archaeological field for decades, however, the types of analysis remain limited and a much wider array of techniques remains unknown to students and researchers. Vice versa, we also wish to offer to inform researchers of various chemistry departments to the archaeological possibilities created by their methodologies and expertise. Therefore, this course is being organized remedy these shortcomings and to introduce PhD students of both the archaeological- and chemical sciences to the possibilities of interdisciplinary research.

The course is organised by means of a series of lectures by keynote speakers and additional presentations of both department members and PhD-students. The main focus of these sessions will be the possibilities of scientific analyses on material remains and how these can answer archaeological questions, rather than on technicalities of the (mainly chemical) techniques. There will be seven sessions, each of which focusing on a either a specific technique or material category. We very much encourage that everyone involved in the archaeological sciences not only attends this course, but also contributes by presenting their work. This will help to strengthen ties between various departments within the University, but also internationally. Candidate-speakers may submit an abstract to for incorporation into the programme.

Venue and Programme

From 14:00 till 17:00, zaal Pirenne, campus UFO, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, B-9000 Gent

  • •    Friday February 2, 2018 - Patrick Quinn – Pottery and ceramical analysis
  • •    Wednesday February 21, 2018 - Emanuela Cristiani – Foodstuffs in archaeology
  • •    Wednesday March 14, 2018 - Peter Vandenabeele & Vince Van Thienen - XRF
  • •    Wednesday April 18, 2018 - Cristophe Snoeck – Isotopes in organic materials
  • •    Wednesday May 2, 2018 - Patrick Degryse – Isotopes, inorganic materials, and origins
  • •    Wednesday June 20, 2018 - Adrian Parker – Geomorphology
  • •    To be determined: Ben Stern – Organic chemistry and separation sciences in archaeological research

Registration and information

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 - Dr. Emanuela Cristiani
Dr. Emanuela Cristiani received her PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology in 2010. She relocated to the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge University. Currently, she is associate professor at the Rome Sapienza University where she initiated and coordinates the ERC-funded Hidden-Foods project.

- Prof..dr. Patrick Degryse.
Patrick Degryse is professor at both the University of Leuven (BE) and Leiden  (NL). His research focuses on the industrial exploitation and the use of minerals and ores in Antiquity. Within this framework, his team develops new techniques, based on isotopes, to source archaeological artefacts.

- Prof. dr. Adrian Parker
Adrian Parker is professor in geography at the Oxford Brookes University in the UK. He is running the ‘Human Origins and Palaeoenvironments (HOPE) research group’. He received his PhD at the university of Oxford, focusing on climate change and human interaction in the landscape. His research takes place at the interface between archaeology, geography and geology.

- Dr. Patrick Quinn
Patrick Quinn received his PhD in 1999 at Sheffield University with a specialization in ceramical analysis. He is currently Senior Research Fellow in ceramic petrography at University College London (UCL) Institute of Archaeology. Originally trained in geology, he has more than 20 years of experience in both research- and teachings in the field of ceramical analysis. Additionally to numerous scientific publications, he is the author of ‘Ceramic Petrography’, a reference handbook in ceramical studies.

- Dr. Christophe Snoeck
Cristophe Snoeck is a postdoctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He received his PhD in 2015 at Oxford University with a study on the modification of isotopes in cremated bones. He is focusing on the application and possibilities of isotopes in both bone and teeth specifically for archaeological and paleontological applications.

- Dr. Ben Stern
Ben Stern received in 1992 his PhD at the University of Newcastle with a PhD entitled “Biomineral lipids in living and fossil molluscs”. He relocated to Bradford by means of NERC-funded project bearing the title “New approaches to the study of commodities transported to Egypt in the Late Bronze Age Canaanite amphorae”.  He is currently professor in the Archaeological Sciences at Bradford University. His research is on the interface between archaeology and analytical sciences, specifically employing techniques such as GC-MS, ICP-MS, Isotope-Ratio-MS, and HPLC-MS.

- Prof. dr. Peter Vandenabeele
Peter Vandenabeele received in 2000 his PhD at the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the Ghent University. He became postdoctoral researcher at that same department in the Raman Research Group. In 2007, he also became Research Professor at the Department of Archaeology.

- Dr. Vince Van Thienen
Vince Van Thienen received his PhD in Ghent with a thesis entitled “Social and cultural dynamics in the Low Countries in the Late Roman Empire (AD270-450)”. Immediately after graduation, he relocated to Yale University (USA) by means of a BAEF-scholarship. He is currently postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University for the ‘Civitas Tungrorum’-project.

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

Presence and active participation in all sessions.