Vera Aldeias

Invited Researcher

Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behaviour (ICArEHB)
FCHS, University of Algarve
Campus de Gambelas
8005-139 Faro

  (+351) 289 800 988
  1.35, FCHS 1

Associated researcher 

Department of Human Evolution
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig



Research Interests

I am a geoarchaeologist interested in unravelling past human behavior from its sedimentary signatures. My main interests concern the interaction between past humans and their environment. I focus on two main lines of research: (1) reconstructing the context and site formation processes underlying the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition and emergence of Anatomically Modern Humans; and (2) deciphering behavioral events from anthropogenic sediments, such as Paleolithic fire use, Neandertal funerary behavior, and the construction of shell mounds. I am particularly interested in assessing the “invisible record” embedded in archaeological sediments, and to achieve this I use micromorphological investigations of archaeological deposits.

Short Bio

I have an interdisciplinary academic record with a graduation in Archaeology at the University of Lisbon in 2002, followed by a specialization in Geoarchaeology by the Department of Geology, University of Lisbon. In 2012, I earned a PhD from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the University of Pennsylvania. My postdoctoral research started at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and I am currently an independent group leader at ICArEHB. Both as a field archaeologist and geologist, I have directed excavation projects and work in archaeological contexts in France, Portugal, Bulgaria, Israel, Morocco, Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa.

For my complete CV please click HERE

Key Publications

• Dibble, H.L. , D. Sandgathe, P. Goldberg, S.J.P. McPherron. and V. Aldeias (in press). Were Western European Neandertals Able to Make Fire? Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology.

• Dibble, H.L., V. Aldeias, P. Goldberg, S.J.P. McPherron and D. Sandgathe (2017). How did hominins adapt to ice age Europe without fire? Current Anthropology, Wenner-Gren Symposium: Fire and the Genus Homo, 58(S16): 278-287.  Link

• V. Aldeias (2017). Experimental approaches to archaeological fire features and their behavioral relevance. Current Anthropology, Wenner-Gren Symposium: Fire and the Genus Homo, 58(S16): 191-205.  Link

• Frouin, M., G. Guérin, C. Lahaye, N. Mercier, S. Huot, V. Aldeias, L. Bruxelles, L. Chiotti, H.L. Dibble, P. Goldberg, S. Madelaine, S.J.P. McPherron, D. Sandgathe, T.E. Steele and A. Turq (2017). New luminescence dating results based on polymineral fine grains from the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic site of La Ferrassie (Dordogne, SW France). Quaternary Geochronology, 39: 131-141.  Link

• Guérin, G., M. Frouin, J. Tuquoi, K.J. Thomsen, P. Goldberg, V. Aldeias, C. Lahaye, N. Mercier, P. Guibert, M. Jain,  D. Sandgathe, S.P. McPherron, A. Turq and H.L. Dibble (2017). The complementarity of luminescence dating methods illustrated on the Mousterian sequence of the Roc de Marsal: A series of reindeer-dominated, Quina Mousterian layers dated to MIS 3. Quaternary International, 433 (Part B): 102-115.  Link

•Goldberg, P. and V. Aldeias (2017). Why Does (Archaeological) Micromorphology Have Such Little Traction in (Geo)Archaeology? Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 9(6): 1005-1015.

• Aldeias, V., S. Gur-Arieh, R. Maria, P. Monteiro and P. Cura (2016). Shell we cook it? An experimental approach to the microarchaeological record of shellfish roasting. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences,  Special Issue: Shellmidden Microarchaeology unraveled.  Link

• Aldeias, V., H.L. Dibble, D. Sandgathe, P. Goldberg and S.J.P. McPherron (2016). How heat alters underlying deposits and implications for archaeological fire features: a controlled experiment. Journal of Archaeological Science, 67: 64-79.  Link

• Aldeias, V. and N. Bicho (2016). Embedded Behavior: human activities and the construction of the Mesolithic shellmound of Cabeço da Amoreira (Muge, Portugal). Geoarchaeology, 31: 530-549.

• Bicho, N., J. Haws, M. Raja, O. Madime, C. Gonçalves, J. Cascalheira, M. Benedetti, T. Pereira and V. Aldeias (2016) . Middle and Late Stone Age of the Niassa Region, Northern Mozambique. Preliminary results. Quaternary International, 404(Part B): 87-99.  Link

• Guérin, G., M. Frouin, S. Talamo, V. Aldeias, L. Bruxelles, L. Chiotti, H.L. Dibble, P. Goldberg, J.-J. Hublin, M. Jain, C. Lahaye, S. Madelaine, B. Maureille, S.J.P. McPherron, N. Mercier, A.S. Murray, D. Sandgathe, T.E. Steele, K.J. Thomsen and A. Turq (2015). A multi-method luminescence dating of the Palaeolithic sequence of La Ferrassie based on new excavations adjacent to the La Ferrassie 1 and 2 skeletons. Journal of Archaeological Science, 58: 147-166.  Link

• Dibble, H.L., V. Aldeias, P. Goldberg, S.P. McPherron, D. Sandgathe and T.E. Steele (2015). A critical look at evidence from La Chapelle-aux-Saints supporting an intentional Neandertal burial. Journal of Archaeological Science, 53: 649-657.  Link

• Aldeias, V., P. Goldberg, H.L. Dibble and M. El-Hajaraoui (2014). Deciphering Site Formation processes through Soil Micromorphology at Contrebandiers Cave, Morocco. Journal of Human Evolution, 69: 8-30.  Link

• Goldberg, P., V. Aldeias, H.L. Dibble, S. McPherron, D. Sandgathe and A. Turq (2013). Testing the Roc de Marsal “Burial” with Geoarchaeology. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, Special Issue: Geoarchaeology of Ritual Behavior and Sacred Places, 9(6): 1005-1015.  Link

• Dibble, H.L., V. Aldeias, Z. Jacobs, D.I. Olzewski, Z. Rezek, S. Lin, E. Alvarez-Fernandéz, C. Barshay-Szmidt, E. Hallet-Desguez, , D. Reed, K. Reed, D. Richter, T.E. Steele, A. Skinner, B. Blackwell, E. Doronicheva and M. El-Hajaraoui (2013). On the industrial attributions of the Aterian and Mousterian of the Maghreb. Journal of Human Evolution, 64(3): 194-210.  Link

• Dibble, H.L., V. Aldeias, E. Alvarez-Fernandéz, B. Blachwell, E. Hallet-Desguez, Z. Jacobs, P. Goldberg, A. Morala, M.C. Meyer, D.I. Olzewski, K. Reed, D. Reed, T.E. Steele, D. Richter, R.G. Roberts, D. Sandgathe, U. Schurmans, A. Skinner and M. El-Hajraoui (2012). New excavations at the Site of Contrebandiers Cave, Morocco. Paleoanthropology, 145-201.  Link

• Aldeias, V., P. Goldberg, D. Sandgathe, F. Berna, H.L. Dibble, S. McPherron, A. Turq and Z. Rezek (2012). Evidence for Neandertal use of fire at Roc de Marsal (France). Journal of Archaeological Science, 39(7): 2414-2423.  Link

• Jacobs, Z., M. Meyer, R. Roberts, V. Aldeias, H.L. Dibble and M. El-Hajraoui (2011). Single-grain OSL dating at La Grotte des Contrebandiers (‘Smugglers’ Cave’), Morocco: improved Marine Isotope Stage 5 age constraints for the Middle Paleolithic level. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38: 3631-3643.  Link


PI & Geoarchaeologist

• 2017 – Present: Pech de L’Azé IV (France), co-PI
• 2016 – Present: Paleo Primate Project, Gorongosa National Park (Mozambique)
• 2015 – Present: Bacho Kiro Cave (Bulgaria)
• 2015 – Present: Ledi-Geraru, Bokol Dora (Ethiopia)
• 2014 – Present: Montagu Cave (South Africa)
• 2014 – Present: MSA survey in Mozambique
• 2013 – 2014: Boker Tachtit (Israel)
• 2012 – Present: Cabeço da Amoreira (Portugal)
• 2011 – 2015: La Ferrassie (France)
• 2009 – 2011: Roc de Marsal (France)
• 2006 – 2011: Contrebandiers Cave (Morocco)