Universiteit Leiden

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Femke Reidsma

PhD candidate

F.H. Reidsma MA
+31 71 527 1680


Femke obtained both her BA (European Prehistory & Science-based Archaeology) and research MA (Human Origins) at Leiden University. During her studies she developed a strong interest in human evolution and archaeometry, which come together in her research focus on early fire use. For her RMA thesis, Femke conducted a laboratory-based experimental study testing the influence of pH on the preservation potential and temperature signal of charred bone and wood. In 2012 she was appointed Academy Assistant in the KNAW funded project Cuisine Pétrifié, which aimed at using luminescence techniques to identify potential cooking stones from the Middle Palaeolithic site Neumark-Nord 2/2 (Germany). Upon graduating in 2014, Femke started as a junior researcher with the Leiden Human Origins Group, working on a project focusing on the effect of heat on the physical and chemical properties of bone.


Femke is currently a PhD researcher with the Human Origins Group. Expanding on her RMA thesis, Femke’s research focuses on the geochemical preservation of organic fire traces in the Palaeolithic record. The research lies at the intersection of archaeology, geology and organic chemistry and aims to use laboratory-based experimentation combined with a wide range of analytical techniques in order to better understand 1) how fire affects different organic materials and 2) when and where these fire traces may or may not preserve in the archaeological record. By improving the way fire remains are studied in the Palaeolithic record, the research will provide the fundamental data needed to refine the timeframe of the origins of fire use and contribute to defining it’s role in human evolution. Femke’s laboratory work is carried out with the support of colleagues (and facilities) from the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (Gorlaeus).

PhD candidate

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Human Origins

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A1.16


  • Reidsma F.H. (29 November 2019), Sporen van vuur in de prehistorie - Lezing voor de VVAO Drenthe (Lecture).other
  • Hoesel A. van, Reidsma F.H., Os B.J.H. van, Megens L. & Braadbaart F. (2019), Combusted bone: Physical and chemical changes of bone during laboratory simulated heating under oxidising conditions and their relevance for the study of ancient fire use., Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 28.article in journal: refereed
  • Reidsma F.H. (31 October 2019), How to get rid of a dead body - TERRA / PhD Committee Halloween Symposium (Lecture).other
  • Reidsma F.H. (17 October 2019), Footprints of Fire - Fundamental research into the effect of heat and diagenesis on the physical and chemical properties of bone / Academic workshop on early fire research (London) (Lecture).other
  • Reidsma F.H. (21 September 2019), Sporen van vuur in de prehistorie (Lecture) Nacht van Ontdekkingen Leiden: Nacht van Ontdekkingen Leiden.other
  • Reidsma F.H., Pop E.A.L., Reimann T., Guralnik B., Sohbati R., Versendaal A., Wallinga J., Arps C.E.S., Gaudzinski-Windheuser S. & Roebroeks W. (2019), Fire on the rocks - Establishing prehistoric heating of non-flint rocks through feld-spar luminescence analysis (pIRIR). ESHE 19 9 2019-21 9 2019 [conference poster].other
  • Reidsma F.H. (14 March 2017), Sporen van vuur – tools voor de reconstructie van vuurgebruik aan de hand van houtskool. (Lecture) 5e BAP Voorjaarssymposium: Een Hart van Hout.other
  • Reidsma F.H. (2017), Diagenesis Dissected: A laboratory-based experimental study into the influence of pH exposure on heated bone. ESHE Leiden 2017 21 9 2017-23 9 2017 [conference poster].other
  • Reidsma F.H. (2017), Footprints of Fire: A laboratory-based experimental approach to the study of fire use in the deep past. (flash talk) 10th International Conference on Experimental Archaeology.conference paper
  • Reidsma F. H. (2017), To see the fire through the bones: experimental tools for the reconstruction of past heating conditions. Ethnoarchaeology of Fire Symposium 9 2 2017-11 2 2017 [conference poster].other
  • Reidsma F.H., Hoesel A. van, Os B.J.H. van, Megens L. & Braadbaart F. (2016), Charred bone: Physical and chemical changes during laboratory simulated heating under reducing conditions and its relevance for the study of fire use in archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 10: 282-292.article in journal: refereed
  • Reidsma F.H. (2016), Footprints of Fire | lezing voor "Lionsclub Leiderdorp Rijnlandt". (Lecture).other
  • Reidsma F.H., Pop E.A.L. & Reimann T. (2014), Fire (?) Cracked Rock and Palaeolithic Cooking. Archaeology in Transition Symposium 25 9 2014-26 9 2014 [conference poster].other
  • Reidsma F.H. (2011), Détermination de la température de chauffe de la structure 65.. In: Fromont N. (Ed.) La Trinité-­‐sur-­‐Mer (56), Morbihan, le Mané Roullarde: Occupations Néolithiques et extraction du granite, INRAP: Rapport final d’opération de fouille archéologique.. 169/385.book chapter

No relevant ancillary activities

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