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Early Upper Palaeolithic personal ornaments and behavioural adaptations (EU-BEADS)
Start date: 01 Oct 2015, End date: 30 Sep 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

EU-BEADS investigates symbolically mediated behaviour of Early Upper Palaeolithic modern humans through the study of personal ornaments. Specifically, EU-BEADS will focus on the Levantine region between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago. The goal is a better understanding of variation and standardisation in shell bead production and use, as well as establishing new criteria for identification of anthropic modifications of marine shell beads. To achieve this, EU-BEADS employs a range of state-of-the-art zooarchaeological and taphonomic methodologies in conjunction with newly learned analytical techniques namely finite element analysis, use-wear analysis and GIS. In addition, EU-BEADS aims to develop a new analytical method to improve quantification of human actions in the production of shell beadwork using geometrics morphometrics. The large shell bead collection of Ksar’ Akil (Lebanon) will serve as a case study. The high quality, multidisciplinary research results will contribute significantly to our knowledge of Early Upper Palaeolithic behavioural adaptations and of modern human symbolically mediated behaviours in general.
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