Archaeological Micromorphology and Biomarker Research Lab, Instituto Universitario de Bio-Orgánica Antonio González (IUBO)
Avenida Astrofísico Francisco Sánchez, 2, 38206, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain

Departamento de Geografía e Historia, Campus de Guajara, Office A1-03

Tel. (34) 922 316 502 (ext 6803)
Fax: (34) 922 318 571

Carolina Mallol

I have carried out micromorphological investigations in different sites contributing to our understanding of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic site formation processes. My current research is focused on the Neanderthal world and prehistoric fire. I am also very interested in two specific methodological issues:

- The dissection of archaeological palimpsests. I would like to find ways to narrow down the temporal scale of observation from which we study the past. I pursue this objective through a microcontextual approach to the study of the archaeological sedimentary record. This consists in applying different high-resolution archaeometric techniques to sediment samples that are microstratigraphically correlated with my micromorphological thin sections and blocks, which provide context. So far, the investigation of archaeological combustion structures, which are high resolution temporal markers, has been a useful tool for dissecting palimpsests.

- The integration of micromorphology and organic chemistry techniques to obtain a picture of past human contexts that takes into account the organic record. I am targeting the black layers of archaeological fires, which are an important sink of well-preserved organic matter.

Carolina Mallol's CV


Master in Archaeology

Universidad de La Laguna - Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Required, 3 credits

Present-day Geoarchaeology seeks to explore the sedimentary record of archaeological sites at different scales of observation and using different analytical techniques. The sedimentary record is an integral part of the archaeological context concealing invaluable chronological, paleoenvironmental and cultural information, as well as imprints of the different processes that may have transformed the archaeological context from the time of its burial to the moment it is excavated. Thus, Geoarchaeology is a powerful branch of Archaeology that provides context (a temporal and spatial framework), allows us to evaluate the integrity of the archaeological record, and contributes behavioral information (from the study of “sedimentary artifacts” such as hearths, living floors, midden deposits…etc.).

In this course, students are introduced to the theory and methods of Geoarchaeology by a combination of literature review, fieldwork outings and practical lab sessions on different techniques including micromorphology, bulk sample sedimentology and geochemistry.

Master in Archaeology

Universidad de La Laguna - Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Elective, 3 credits

The goal of this course is to introduce the method and theory of Archaeometry, an important branch of Archaeology that is providing an increasing volume of useful data to interpret the human past. A lot has changed in this field since its early beginnings as an application of analytical chemistry to solve archaeological problems in the domain of ancient metallurgy and ceramic production. Nowadays, as the equipment and methods used in applied chemistry become more easily accessible, Archaeometry has expanded to explore the world of isotopes, elements and molecules at large, and different ground-breaking techniques from physics and chemistry are implemented in the investigation of archaeological objects and sediments. Paleodietary, paleoenvironmental, paleogenetic and taphonomic aspects of archaeological sites from all time periods are some of the different topics currently explored with archaeometric techniques.

In this course, we review the scientific literature (archaeometric case studies) to provide a general idea of state-of-the-art methods and interesting findings, and complement this theoretical approach with practical sessions in which the students visit instrumental analysis labs to see and handle commonly used equipment used in Archaeometry (GC-MS, ICPMS, SEM, XRD and FTIR).