With the archaelogical site of Abric Romaní (Capellades, Barcelona) at the background, the directors of the Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES), Dr. Eudald Carbonell, and Institut Català d’Investigació Química (ICIQ), Dr. Miquel A. Pericàs, signed an agreement on August 29th in which ICIQ commits to performing chemical analysis of the findings from archaelogical excavations. The isolation and identification of organic compounds in the hearths of the Abric Romaní is the first example of this type of collaboration that will lead to a better understanding of the behavior of Neanderthals.
ICIQ’s research support services will extract samples from the hearths and analyze them using mass spectrometry coupled with chromatography, both liquid (HPLC) and gas (GC). In this regard, it is believed that is possible to find organic remains such as waxes, resins, plants’ and animals’ traces among other compounds.
“This collaboration will help us widen our scope on how we approach and study certain scientific problems and the major issues the study of Neanderthals’ society arises’. Our agreement with ICIQ represents the achievement of complementary scientific and technical collaboration with an internationally renowned and prestigious institute” – said Dr. Carbonell.
For his part, Dr. Pericàs said, “IPHES and ICIQ are international references of research in their respective fields. Both institutions, based in Tarragona, share a true interest in being multidisciplinary and dedicated to making a positive impact on society through research. With this collaboration that begins now, ICIQ wants to make its expertise in chemistry and its scientific infrastructure available to IPHES in order to facilitate the gathering of information from molecular materials obtained in various excavations.”
Abric Romaní is one of the world’s most important archaeological excavations from the Neanderthal period with the world’s largest display of Paleolithic hearths. ICIQ and IPHES collaboration will help to deepen the knowledge of the social structure of Neanderthals.
The news have been reported in different media sources: