Current projects

NeoDyn. Migratory dynamics of early farmers in Europe: the possible key role of salt resources in Neolithization (2019-2021)

This multidisciplinary project, now financed by the scientific policy of the University of Paris 1 (2019-2021), intends to continue and further develop the actions and exchanges undertaken for several years on Neolithization issues as part of an active cooperation between our UMR and our national and European partners (Labex DynamiTe-UP1 2017-2018, MSH MAE 2017-2018, ANR Obresoc, Franco-German ANR MK).

NéoSal. The Añana salt works (Álava, Basque country): salt extraction as early as the Neolithic (2021-2024)

Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Excavation Commission), this new project (2021-2024) in the Basque Country (Añana salt pans, Álava) is an extension of our research in Eastern Europe, since once again, it is the oldest evidence of salt production in Europe, dating back to the Neolithic period (second quarter of the fifth millennium BC). These oldest European, and even worldwide, salt farms are central to debates linked to human sedentarism, food practices (human and animal nutrition, food preservation, cheese making, etc.), the development of complex economies (exchange networks, control of resources and production, etc.) and the appearance of unequal societies.

IRP NORth (2020-2023)

The Eastern European model of Neolithization contrasts with that of the West, in terms of modes and chronology. In the central Russian plain, the beginning of the Neolithic is dated between the second half of the 7th and 6th millennia BC, depending on the region considered, and is defined by the emergence of sedentarism and the appearance of ceramic technology. Despite occasional contacts with mixed farming groups, local populations maintained a lifestyle based on hunting, fishing and gathering. It was not until several millennia later that a real production economy was adopted and became widespread in the area (3rd and 2nd millennia BC). Based on the duration and the breakdown of events recorded in the Russian plain, we can follow the history of communities in the process of Neolithization in a very original way.

MEAE Archaeological Mission: 2NOR (2018-2021)

The archaeological mission 2NOR Neolithization of Northwest Russia, supported by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, is a Franco-Russian collaboration between the CNRS (coordinator Y. Maigrot) and the Hermitage Museum (coordinator A. Mazurkevich).

The Michelsberg funerary monuments of Beaurieux and Concevreux

The funerary monument of Beaurieux La Plaine, dated to 4200/4150 BCE, is located about 800 m north of the contemporaneous settlement of Cuiry and was a fundamental discovery for enhancing our knowledge of Michelsberg funerary practices. The lithic material found deposited in the two male tombs is also exceptional, with 20 arrow heads, some of which are decorated, and massive blades.

The Michelsberg lithic industries of the Aisne

The Aisne valley is a very auspicious micro-region for research on the Middle Neolithic since destruction linked to gravel mining has been monitored for more than forty years, over an area of 80 km between Reims and Soissons. My laboratory has excavated numerous sites in this zone, some of which are among the most important Middle Neolithic sites. As a result of extensive excavation of the four enclosures of Bazoches-sur-Vesle, it is one of the key Michelsberg sites. The site of Cuiry-lès-Chaudardes is better known for its LBK remains, and is one of the only open-air Michelsberg sites in the Paris Basin, while that of Beaurieux contains the first Michelsberg funerary monument.

Contribution to the monograph on the Varna Necropolis

Three bilingual (German, English) volumes dedicated to the necropolis of Varna, Das Varna Gräberfeld, will be published by Philipp von Zabern, in the DAI Eurasian Series, edited by V. Slavčev. I am in charge of the lithics, which I comprehensively reviewed after the recent revision of the funerary inventories. The multidisciplinary approach will combine technological and typological data, in connection with raw material supplies and types of production, as well as the functional analysis carried out by M. Gurova. L. Manolakakis in V. Slavčev, Dir. (2020, à paraître)

The lithic industries of Hamangia

The Hamangia culture extends to the south of the Danube Delta, in Romanian and Bulgarian Dobroudja/Dobrodgea along the Black Sea, from the Late Neolithic (Hamangia I-III) to the Late Chalcolithic (Hamangia IV then Varna/KGK). Hamangia lithic productions have never been analysed up until now, and yet are extremely interesting as this culture merges in stage IV with Sava IV to give rise to the 'Varna culture' according to Bulgarian terminology. From a Romanian point of view, it disappears into the syncretism of the KGK cultural complex. I have already studied the Sava (I-IV) and Varna lithic industries in Bulgaria, and it is thus only natural for me to turn to those of Hamangia in Dobrodgea, as part of a programme directed by L. Carozza. This research programme is being developed under the dual aegis of the Danube Delta Mission and the Franco-Romanian LIA (IRP) Geoarchaeology of environmental changes in Lower Danube and Delta, created in 2019.

Chalcolithic lithic industries of Sultana

My research focuses on the lithic industries of the Chalcolithic sites of Sultana, thanks to new excavations led by C. Lăzăr, and includes training a Romanian student in lithic technology. Autour du grand tell daté du Gumelnița et fouillé en 1924 (Andrieșescu 1924), se trouvent des sites plats et des cimetières couvrant l’ensemble du Chalcolithique : Boian pour l’étape ancienne et Gumelnița pour l’étape récente. Les sites sont installés dans la grande plaine loessique roumaine, sur la rive droite du Moștistea, affluent du Danube, et aujourd’hui au bord du lac artificiel de Moștistea.

iNSTaNT Programme

The aim of this programme (2019-2021) is to carry out a dynamic interpretation of the deconstruction process of LBK culture through the technological analysis of three proxies, pottery, flint tools and macrolithic tools. We focus here on a key region, namely Hainaut in Belgium, which has yielded an abundant series of LBK and "post-LBK" sites.

Underwater survey of the Final Neolithic village of Beau Phare (UNESCO) at Aiguebelette-le-Lac (Savoie).

The Aiguebelette-le-Lac/Beau-Phare site is located in the southern part of the lake, on a projection of the littoral platform forming a narrow peninsula. The station was identified as early as 1863 at a shallow depth, and material was collected until the beginning of the 20th century. As part of monitoring operations led by Y. Billaud (2015-2018) following the listing of the station i on the UNESCO World Heritage List (2011), a sanitary and documentary assessment of the site was carried out in 2016. The synthesis of data from operations conducted by R. Laurent (1971) and A. Marguet (1983 and 1998), combined with a short field mission, vastly enhanced our knowledge of the site.

University archaeological heritage

At the end of the 19th century, after the creation of the chair of archaeology at the Sorbonne in 1876, the first professors worked to create an archaeological instrumentum (or Lehrapparat according to the German model) consisting of a collection of casts and antiques intended for teaching purposes.

Pietragalla (Italy) workcamp-school

The Pietragalla Project is a Franco-German research programme conducted by the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The aim of the Project is the archaeological study and heritage enhancement of the fortified hilltop settlement of Monte Torretta di Pietragalla. Monte Torretta is located in the northern part of ancient Lucania (Basilicata, Italy), a few kilometres from the source of the Bradano River, and is a strategic passageway between the mountainous region of Lucania and the plains of Apulia.

METATE - Volcanic environment and millstone activity from the thirteenth century to the present day on the El Metate massif, Michoacán (Mexico)

The METATE project aims to reconstruct the evolution of a volcanic territory organised around a specific activity: the exploitation of andesite for the production of metates and molcajetes, key tools in traditional Mesoamerican food preparation. The project adopts a resolutely multidisciplinary approach combining paleovolcanism, rock mechanics, geography, archaeology and the anthropology of techniques, in order to shed light on the evolutionary trajectories of this millstone activity located on the slopes of the El Metate volcano (Michoacán, Mexico), at different spatial (from the quarries where the metates were produced to the villages where they were used) and temporal scales (from the thirteenth century to the present). It was initiated in 2018-2019 as a result of SARDYN support of the Labex DYNAMITE and the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Ancient Lucania: archaeology and heritage

Our research team is associated with a long tradition of research on ancient southern Italy in the University of Paris 1, and is currently extending the dynamics of several archaeological operations carried out on sites in Lucania since the 1970s (Moio della Civitella, Laos, Civita di Tricarico, Pietragalla) by a specific investigation of the whole region. Lucania encompasses Basilicata, northern Calabria and southern Campania and appears in written sources through the constitution of the Lucanian ethnos during the 5th century BC.


The HOMES project is part of the Household Archaeology research impetus and aims to model the economic, anthropological and ideal organisation of the first Neolithic farming societies in continental Europe. The striking reproducibility of LBK dwelling types and culture (linear pottery known as LBK pottery, sixth millennium BC) over nearly a millennium and an area of 3000 km throughout continental Europe, provides exceptional archaeological evidence of the European Neolithic. For this reason, it has sparked lively debates within the community of Neolithic scholars for almost 50 years. Various theories have been put forward to understand the structuring of these dwellings, and to assess how this structuring could contribute to our understanding of the social system of these first mixed farming populations, by adopting a migrationist, demographic, economic, ideal or social point of view.

Fracture" project: Promoting the recognition and chemical analysis of wear marks

The Fracture project, developed by R. Gosselin, a research engineer and microwear specialist in the Trajectoires laboratory, aims to improve the interpretation of wear marks by focusing on spectroscopy data.It has led to the filing of a patent for a new spectroscopy imaging system. A prototype tool built around this patent, the microspectro-imager, is currently being developed in partnership with Acmel Industries.

Archaeology of wonder: the excavation of the cinematic settings of a fairy tale (Peau d'âne, Demy 1970)

Since 2012, the archaeologist Olivier Weller, along with a team from the laboratory and archaeology and cinema students, has been excavating one of the sites where Jacques Demy shot several scenes from his film Peau d'âne. What do these remains of the past tell us? Does the comparison between the film and the traces found in the field raise the question of the vanity of archaeological interpretations?