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Weizmann Institute and Max Planck Society establish a joint center for archaeology and anthropology
Date:1/11/2012

on could have a broader impact, helping to promote peaceful ties in the Middle East.'

Activities in the Center will be performed by two new groups of scientists in Israel and Germany, each numbering approximately 10 scientists and students. In addition to performing their own research, the groups will engage in collaborative activities between the Weizmann Institute and the Max Planck Institute.

The group at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot will mainly follow the research track entitled 'The Timing of Cultural Change.' Its goal: to shed new light on such fascinating aspects of human history as the spread of ideas, the changes in lifestyles, the different rates of development in various parts of the world and the migration of people from one geographical area to another. Traditionally, these questions have been explored by relative dating that is, comparing changes in tools or pottery in different regions. However, absolute dating determining the actual age of objects and strata is needed in order to establish when a particular change occurred and how fast it spread throughout the region. To document the distribution of cultural changes in the last 50,000 years, the scientists will conduct much of the work in the field, performing a scientific analysis of findings at the archaeological site itself, to be followed up by laboratory studies. They will use high-resolution radiocarbon dating, which makes it possible to date specimens with a precision of 20 to 40 years, taking advantage of such advanced techniques as accelerator mass spectrometry (AMSsee below) analysis of radiocarbon content.

The group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig will mainly conduct research along the track entitled 'Physical Anthropology through Bone and Tooth Structure-Function Studies.' Scientists in this group will investigate issues in recent human evolution, particularly those relating to the co-occurrence of Neanderthal and e
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Contact: Yivsam Azgad
news@weizmann.ac.il
972-893-43856
Weizmann Institute of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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