Paul Goldberg

Paul Goldberg
University of Wollongong | UOW · School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciencess

Ph.D.

About

389
Publications
133,428
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Introduction
Paul Goldberg is Professorial Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia, Senior Researcher in the Institute of Archaeological Sciences, University of Tübingen, and Emeritus Professor in the Department of Archaeology , Boston University. Paul's research in Geology and Archaeology uses the technique of micromorphology to unravel site formation processes.
Additional affiliations
September 1995 - April 2013
Boston University
September 1991 - June 1995
September 1973 - July 1991
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Education
September 1968 - December 1973
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Geology
September 1965 - June 1968
University of Michigan
Field of study
  • Geology
September 1963 - June 1965
University of Colorado Boulder
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (389)
Chapter
Humans evolved in the dynamic landscapes of Africa under conditions of pronounced climatic, geological and environmental change during the past 7 million years. This book brings together detailed records of the paleontological and archaeological sites in Africa that provide the basic evidence for understanding the environments in which we evolved....
Article
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Ancient DNA recovered from Pleistocene sediments represents a rich resource for the study of past hominin and environmental diversity. However, little is known about how DNA is preserved in sediments and the extent to which it may be translocated between archaeological strata. Here, we investigate DNA preservation in 47 blocks of resin-impregnated...
Article
In 2018, we initiated renewed excavation of the Later Stone Age (LSA) deposits at Wonderwerk Cave. Here we describe the goals and initial results of the first two seasons of excavation, including the first micromorphological description of these deposits. We employed a small-scale excavation technique to emphasize precision recording and limit the...
Preprint
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Over the course of seven decades, field and laboratory investigations at the open-air site of Kostenki 12 (Костёнки 12) on the central East European Plain have revealed an increasingly clear picture of site formation processes and occupation history during 45,000–30,000 cal BP (early Upper Paleolithic [EUP]). Here, we review the interpretation of c...
Article
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Exploring the role of changing climates in human evolution is currently impeded by a scarcity of climatic information at the same temporal scale as the human behaviors documented in archaeological sites. This is mainly caused by high uncertainties in the chronometric dates used to correlate long-term climatic records with archaeological deposits. O...
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The grand abri at La Ferrassie (France) has been a key site for Palaeolithic research since the early part of the 20th century. It became the eponymous site for one variant of Middle Palaeolithic stone tools, and its sequence was used to define stages of the Aurignacian, an early phase of the Upper Palaeolithic. Several Neanderthal remains, includi...
Article
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Mortuary behavior (activities concerning dead conspecifics) is one of many traits that were previously widely considered to have been uniquely human, but on which perspectives have changed markedly in recent years. Theoretical approaches to hominin mortuary activity and its evolution have undergone major revision, and advances in diverse archeologi...
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The open-air site of Shlyakh, located near Volgograd in southern Russia, contains two assemblages of stone artifacts assigned to the Middle Paleolithic. Most of the artifacts are buried in low-energy stream deposits and appear to be in primary context (i.e., they do not exhibit signs of stream transport). The lithic technology reflects an emphasis...
Article
The site of Yuchanyan cave (Hunan Province, China) contains evidence for some of the earliest‐known (ca. 18,000 cal BP) pottery in the world alongside a typical South China Upper Paleolithic cobble tool (chopper) industry. Here we present the results of a micromorphological study of the deposits with particular attention to site formation processes...
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The use of space, both at the landscape and the site level, is considered an important aspect of hominin adaptations that changed through time. At the site level, spatial analyses are typically conducted on deposits thought to have a high degree of temporal resolution. Sites with highly time-averaged deposits are viewed as inferior for these analys...
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Denisova Cave in southern Siberia uniquely contains evidence of occupation by a recently discovered group of archaic hominins, the Denisovans, starting from the middle of the Middle Pleistocene. Artefacts, ancient DNA and a range of animal and plant remains have been recovered from the sedimentary deposits, along with a few fragmentary fossils of D...
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The plant component of Neanderthal subsistence and technology is not well documented, partially due to the preservation constraints of macrobotanical components. Phytoliths, however, are preserved even when other plant remains have decayed and so provide evidence for Neanderthal plant use and the environmental context of archaeological sites. Phyto...
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Excavations at the cave site of Xianrendong (Jiangxi Province, China) recovered the earliest known pottery (20/19,000 cal bp) in the world from a typical South China Upper Paleolithic chopper–chopping tool assemblage together with bone, antler, and shell tools. Here, we present the results of micromorphological and preliminary FTIR analysis of the...
Article
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Although microarchaeological techniques are being increasingly applied to European urban contexts, its integration in classical archaeology projects is far from systematic. In this sense, the archaeological record of Roman cities—because of their vitality, diversity and continuity of occupation—are excellent arenas to develop the direction of these...
Article
Micromorphology uses petrographic thin sections to study undisturbed samples of sediments, soils, and archaeological materials. It allows for the identification of depositional and post‐depositional events and processes of natural and human origin. When used in conjunction with other microanalytical tools (e.g., SEM, FTIR and Raman spectrometry, XR...
Chapter
Prior to excavating Pech IV, we studied Bordes’ collection from his 8 years of excavation at the site.
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The Middle Paleolithic site of Pech de l’Azé IV (Pech IV) is one of the cluster of four Lower and Middle Paleolithic sites located in the Perigord region of southwest France.
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From the outset of the Pech IV project, geoarchaeology played an integral role in the excavations.
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Archaeologist who transformed our understanding of Neanderthals.
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Geoarchaeology, as a significant discipline within archaeology and the geosciences, operates at many different scales and encompasses several analytical methods and techniques, including what we highlight here: (ar- chaeological) soil micromorphology. Communication practices of micromorphological researchers have not evolved significantly or, at le...
Book
Reconstructing Archaeological Sites offers an important text that puts the focus on basic theoretical and practical aspects of depositional processes in an archaeological site. It contains an in-depth discussion on the role of stratigraphy that helps determine how deposits are organised in time and space. The authors — two experts in the field — in...
Chapter
In this chapter we present the fundamental contextual idea of archaeological sites, the deposit. The deposit is the encoded relationship between sediments and the contained artefacts that provide the meaning of the archaeological record. Excavation yields a body of sediment that includes, among other things, objects that were once part of a behavio...
Chapter
Natural processes may occur during the life history of a site, particularly in its open spaces. After their abandonment, sites become part of the geomorphological terrain of the area and geogenic processes contribute significantly to the preservation or destruction of archaeological patterns. The principal aim in this chapter is to provide the read...
Chapter
A brief discussion of the most appropriate methods and the overall field strategies for documenting and sampling these deposits is discussed in this chapter. Guidelines are presented on sampling procedures that include what to collect, how much, where, and what kind of samples.
Chapter
In order to interpret the archaeology of a site correctly, it is a prerequisite to understand how stratigraphy is built and how the strata are formed. In this chapter a thorough analysis of stratigraphy and its essential role in archaeology is presented. General theoretical principles are presented to enable the reader to practice stratigraphy with...
Chapter
Human activities represent the elemental dynamics of transporting and depositing materials through actions such as trampling, digging, dumping, kneading and pugging, sweeping, brushing, discarding, and placing. Some activities produce new materials, such as burning (ashes), or produce new organization of natural sediments, such as earthen structure...
Chapter
This chapter is about what hunters and gatherers do at a site and how they leave their mark in a site or its deposits. Some of the principal depositional aspects of these sites are discussed, including caves and open‐air sites. The most important human activities related to these sites are set within the overall framework of natural geological agen...
Chapter
This chapter describes how natural sedimentary processes and anthropogenic sediments can be combined to lead us to interpretations about how architectural sites form. A review of the main natural processes acting within the realm of these types of sites is presented together with criteria for differentiating them from some anthropogenic activities...
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Archaeological deposits are often complex and illustrative of an intricate interplay between geogenic and anthropogenic inputs and formation processes. Even for those archaeologists—particularly prehistorians—who consider the basic principles of natural stratigraphy to excavate their sites, they nonetheless typically underutilize the observations a...
Article
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Significant variability has been observed in the frequency of fire use over the course of the Late Pleistocene at several Middle Paleolithic sites in southwest France. In particular, Neandertals appear to have used fire more frequently during warm climatic periods and very infrequently during cold periods. After reviewing several lines of evidence...
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The island of Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) contains numerous megalithic structures (e.g., watchtowers, sanctuaries) and private buildings (e.g., domestic spaces, storage areas). Until recently, archaeological research has concentrated on architecture (and associated material remains), but research on the raw materials (source, method of quarry...
Book
This book provides comprehensive information on the materials excavated at Pech de l’Azé IV, both by the original excavator François Bordes in the 1970s, and more recently by the authors and their scientific team. Applying a range of new excavation and analytical techniques, it presents detailed material on the formation of the site, its chronology...
Article
Menorca contains a wealth of archaeological sites dating to the Talayotic period (1st millennium BC) and occupied throughout the late Middle Ages. These sites have been the object of a number of excavations in the past decades. Most excavations have concentrated on revealing the architecture and traditional aspects of the archaeological record. Man...
Book
Applied Soils and Micromorphology in Archaeology provides the most up-to-date information on soil science and its applications in archaeology. Based on more than three decades of investigations and experiments, the volume demonstrates how description protocols and complementary methods (SEM/EDS, microprobe, micro-FTIR, bulk soil chemistry, micro-,...
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The term Concotto refers to fragments or patches of hard heated clay that derive from living surfaces, walls, and ovens. Concotto fragments are found throughout the Italian peninsula and date from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. Current studies express contradictory opinions about whether or not the Concottos on living surfaces represent intentional...
Chapter
Humans have inhabited caves and rock shelters since the Palaeolithic for more than 2 million years. Interestingly, geoarchaeological investigations of cave deposits have not only provided archaeologists important information about site formation and human activities, but they have supplied invaluable palaeoenvironmental, chronological, and geomorph...
Article
We can trace the beginnings of our knowledge of early Upper Paleolithic (Aurignacian) use of fire to the pioneering 1910-1911 excavations at Abri Blanchard undertaken by Louis Didon and Marcel Castanet. At Blanchard, the excavators recognized and described fire structures that correspond in many ways to features excavated more recently in Western a...
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Analyses of archaeological material recovered from several Middle Paleolithic sites in southwest France have provided strong corroborating data on Neanderthal use of fire. Both direct and indirect data show that Neanderthals in this region were frequently and/or intensively using fire during warmer periods, but such evidence declines significantly...
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Everyone agrees that fire has played an important part in the history of the genus Homo. However, because of the sometimes ephemeral and ambiguous nature of the evidence for fire in the Paleolithic record, establishing when and how hominins actively interacted with fire has been difficult. Over the past several decades, multiple techniques have bee...
Article
Geoarchaeological research at Baaz Rockshelter focuses on reconstructing geogenic and anthropogenic formation processes at the site and examining post-depositional alterations of the archaeological record. Baaz is set in a rockshelter at the base of a limestone cliff and its archaeological sequence includes seven layers documenting the repeated use...
Article
Global cooling during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) posed significant challenges to peoples living in northern Eurasia. Using micromorphology, pollen and non-pollen palynomorphs (NPP), and faunal analyses, this study reconstructs the local paleoenvironmental contexts of repeated ephemeral occupations at Shizitan 29 in Shanxi Province, North China,...
Book
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Geoarchaeological research is now commonly undertaken as an integral component of archaeological investigations across much of the world. However, in humid tropical regions there is a relative shortfall of this Earth-Science approach to understanding archaeological records. In these regions, where hot and humid conditions prevail for significant pa...
Chapter
The chronological positions of the technological and typological variants of the Mousterian in southwest France have been the subject of debate for over fifty years. While some relative stratigraphical sequences provide a (regional) pattern, which could be interpreted at least in parts as chronological succession, chronometric dating appears to fal...
Poster
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The site of La Ferrassie (Dordogne, France) is well known for the presence of several (N=7) Neandertal individuals, and here we focus on two adults (LF1 and LF2) discovered by Peyrony and Capitan in the early 20thc [1], and LF8, a child excavated by Delporte in the 1970s [2]. In spite when the LF1 and LF2 discoveries were made, we know that they we...
Poster
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The first evidence of the partial infant Neandertal skeleton La Ferrassie 8 (LF 8) (Grand Abri of La Ferrassie, Dordogne, France) was discovered in 1970, although most of the remains were found in 1973 as part of the 1968–1973 work at the site by H. Delporte. This individual and the other Neandertal children from La Ferrassie were published in the...
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The earliest pottery in East Asia, as is found in several cave sites in southern China, emerges in Upper Paleolithic contexts dating from the Last Glacial Maximum, ∼20 Ka cal BP. The making of simple pottery vessels in Late Pleistocene East Asia also has been noted in eastern Siberia and Japan but not yet in the Central Plains of China. This paper...
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Liang Bua, a karstic cave located on the island of Flores in eastern Indonesia, is best known for yielding the holotype of the diminutive hominin Homo floresiensis from Late Pleistocene sediments. Modern human remains have also been recovered from the Holocene deposits, and abundant archaeological and faunal remains occur throughout the sequence. T...
Article
Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) measurements were made on individual, sand-sized grains of quartz from Middle Palaeolithic deposits at three sites (Pech de l'Azé I, II and IV) located close to one another in the Dordogne region of southwest France. We were able to calculate OSL ages for 69 samples collected from these three sites. These age...