IPHES massive participation in the most important world congress on Prehistory

A total of 16 sessions are coordinated by the center, which has received 265 communications, more than the 16.5% of the total that fill up the Congress.

Although their contributions are mainly focused in Atapuerca and Orce, IPHES members present almost all the topics covered at this meeting.

The work in China, the archaeology of fuel or the neanderthal behavior observed in the Abric Romani are other issues to highlight

In total, 1,653 communications by 3,032 different authors from the five continents will be presented


From September 1st to 7th the XVII World UISPP Congress (Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques) is celebrated in the city of Burgos, association that brings together thousands of scientists, researchers and academics related to these disciplines around the world. The congress, organized this time by the Fundación Atapuerca has 115 scientific sessions, both of Prehistory and Protohistory, in which 1,653 communications by 3,032 different authors from the five continents are presented. These sessions are presented simultaneously in 24 classrooms of the Law and Economics Faculties of the Burgos University.

In this framework, the IPHES (Institut Català de Paleoecología Humana i Evolució Social) is involved in the organization of sixteen sessions, which has received a total of 265 communication proposals, of which 32 are posters and the rest oral presentations, representing more than the 16.5% of the total Congress communications. Some of them are dedicated to present the current research in archaeopaleontological ensembles led by members of the center, as in the case of Atapuerca and Orce. In general, however, reproduce the thematic offer of the congress itself, as the IPHES is one of the most productive in its field and also in all Quaternary periods research and in much part of the problem. 40 of the 60 members form the institue will attend, between researchers and technical personnel; the latter has also an important role in the organization of the UISPP.

To the two scientific sessions mentioned above must be added a third one dedicated to the regional record issues, about prehistoric archaeology in China. This session is part of the cooperation project with the Pekin Institute of Paleontology that will developed a variety of themes related to technology, cognition, culture and environment.

A group of four sessions will focus on hot issues about the world of human behavior over the time. One of them about the technological changes during the Low and Middle Pleistocene transition will be discussed. A second, perhaps the most original, present the research in archeology of fuels, with an emphasis on social and environmental factors that influence the decisions of human behavior in this area. The third deals with the economic behavior of groups of hunter-gatherer-fishers of coastal resources. Finally, a fourth is dedicated to the neanderthals; the only session of the whole Congress which aims to analyze this species. It will highlight the Abric Romani site (Capellades, Barcelona), one of the most important records of the neanderthal behavior.

The peopling of the continents

Two more sessions are dedicated to assess the macroregional peopling of the continents. One is only related to Europe and the first European settlements, addresses to discuss the assumptions and records recently brought to light. Obviously, it will be complementary to those dedicated to the specific record of Orce and Atapuerca. The second wants to be dedicated in a wide manner to the statistical and virtual models to explain the Pleistocene human dispersals. As in the session of China archeology, this is also part of an international cooperation project with the IPHES, in this case with the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and the Instituto de Investigaciones en Diversidad Cultural y Procesos de Cambio (IIDyPCa), both from Argentina. Obviously, the American record will be specially treated.

Cultural Change

The IPHES also participates in the organization of two sessions that have as research axis the chronostratigraphic models. They are two very different proposals. A biochronological and paleoecological issues of the European Quaternary as a whole, although focusing on the more ancient times. This session will review the reconstruction of biostratigraphic models with the records of anthropic presence while the second will present the chronological and stratigraphical data concerning to the cultural change behind the Middle and Upper Paleolithic transition in western Europe.

During the Congress there will be a single session dedicated to paleoanthropology, and will be coordinated by the members of the Atapuerca Research Team (EIA), among them there is a researcher from IPHES. Being, as we say, the only one dedicated to this discipline, will address diverse topics of current debate, without focusing on a specific issue.

Rock sheters and shepherds

The IPHES is also involved in a single session in the field of recent Prehistory with a discussion on the proposed use of the caves by shepherds communities from the Neolithic. It is intended to define the use patterns of these spaces and, in particular, the methodological issues and archaeological record associated with the pens. Of course, the record of the Mirador cave in Atapuerca will be analyzed.

As a research institute with significant analytical vocation, IPHES organized three sessions on analysis methodologies. One will deal with the study of quartz industries throughout the archaeological record, highlighting common problems and ways to address them. Finally, of the three sessions of the commission on the use-wear traces study, IPHES members are involved in the organization of two of them, one dedicated to the current trends and modernization of this discipline and the other to the wear determination associated to the handles use. Here sickles and projectiles will be particularly discussed. This field of study has been always entirely transverse, so all periods of Prehistory and Protohistory have place.

Opening act and magistral conferences

The opening act for the XVII World UISPP Congress will take place on Monday September 1st at 11 am at the Hospital del Rey auditorium of the Burgos University.

Six major keynotes are expected. One of them, which is on Wednesday September 3th, at 20 hrs at the Auditorio Fórum Evolución, open to general public, is entitled “La evolución humana en las Américas. Paralelismos globales y particularidades desde el último continente colonizado” and imparted by José Luis Lanata, world’s leading authority on prehistoric human migrations”, Director of the Instituto de Investigaciones en Diversidad Cultural y Procesos de Cambio de la Universidad Nacional Río Negro (Argentina) and member of the Red Orígenes impulsed by the IPHES to create synergies with the Latin American centers.


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