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A zooarchaeological perspective on the first human presence in Belgium

Funded by Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)


The Lower Paleolithic period, spanning approximately 3,3 million to 300,000 years ago, is characterized by the emergence and evolution of early Homo species as well as their use of stone tool technology. Our species' first age of exploration, it showcases early humans' capacity for environmental adaptation and innovation through rudimentary tool-making practices.

Although evidence from the United Kingdom, France and Germany confirm the presence of archaic humans, possibly up to 1 million years ago, evidence from Belgium remains illusive. This FWO-funded doctoral research aims to reassess and analyze faunal remains retrieved from Lower Paleolithic Belgian sites. Employing taxonomic and taphonomic analyses, this project seeks to elucidate aspects regarding human presence, site formation processes, and the prevailing paleoecological and paleoclimatic conditions. Furthermore, isotopic analysis of these remains intends to deepen our understanding of paleoclimate and paleoecology, thereby enhancing our comprehension of the environmental dynamics during this specific epoch.

Research Team

PhD candidate and FWO fellow: Tristan Dedrie

PhD project supervision: Prof. Dr. Isabelle De Groote, Dr. Grégory Abrams, Dr. Kévin Di Modica

Funding: Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)

This project is a collaboration between:

For more information: contact Tristan at

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