Dr. Isabell Schmidt


Dissertation Title

Solutrean Points of the Iberian Peninsula – Tool making and using behavior of hunter-gatherers during the Last Glacial Maximum.

Supervisor:  Prof. Dr. Gerd-Christian Weniger


Archaeological research has developed numerous approaches to trace past human behaviour and its ability to adapt to different or changing environmental and social conditions. Although differences and changes are generally perceived on very broad temporal and spatial scales in prehistory, methods applied to archaeological remains frequently operate on local, momentary scales.

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The present study of a specific type of lithic tools – the so-called Solutrean points, deriving from Iberian sites dated to the Last Glacial Maximum – intends to bridge the gap by using the conceptual framework of risk and cost in the study of lithic technological organisation. It explores technological strategies applied during individual life-histories of functionally similar, but typologically distinct tools. The results obtained by a multistranded set of analytical methods are summarised into point-type profiles and subsequently compared within and between environmentally distinct regions.

This comparative approach allows identifying adaptive strategies within the processes of making, using and reusing these specific tools that clearly distinguish functionally similar tools from northern and southern Iberia. The study shows that identification of technological strategies, considering contextual information, opens up new perspectives on cultural developments and adaptive strategies of hunter-gatherers during the Upper Solutrean.



2009–2013: PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne. Dissertation fellowship of the German National Academic Foundation.

2008: Magister in Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne.

Thesis title: “Technologische Analyse des Middle-Stone-Age-Inventars von Etemba 14 (Erongo/Namibia)”.

2002–2008:  Prehistoric Archaeology, Art History, Medieval and Modern History, University of Cologne.

2006: RSA: Archaeology, Historical Studies, University of Cape Town.

2000–2002:  Medieval History, Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology, University of Paderborn.


Field Work

09/2012: Archaeological field work at La Güelga, Spain.

10/2011: Archaeological field work at Rio Secco Cave, Italy.

09/2010: Archaeological field work at Rio Secco Cave, Italy.

01/2009: Archaeological field work at Cueva Morín, Spain.


PhD related research in Spain / Portugal

05–06/2010: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid / Museu de Prehistòria de València, València

02–03/2010: Arkeologi Museoa, Bilbao / Centro de Conservación e Investigación de Gipuzkoa, San Sebastian / Museo de Altamira, Santillana del Mar / Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca / Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid / Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Lissabon

11–12/2009: Museo di Preistoria e Archeologia della Cantabria, Santander

09–10/2009: Museo Archeologico Regionale, Banyoles



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