Fulco Scherjon is a guest researcher at the Faculty of Archaeology.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
An overarching theme in my research is the definition and identification of modern human behavior. Who is Homo sapiens and why do we behave as we do? In order to understand parts of this package I focus on key elements from this repertoire, including language, fire use and social dynamics. The main source of information is the archaeological record where important data can be hidden in larger patterns beyond the individual site level. Drawing from a computational background I aim to fill in details that a biased archaeological record cannot provide. As an expert in modelling and simulation I apply this method throughout my research.
A key element in my current research is the Neanderthal distribution in North-western Europe as a case study for modelling and simulating past hominins in a realistic environment. I implemented the HomininSpace modelling and simulation system to explore in detail the rhythms of expansion and retreat of Middle Pleistocene populations. The tool includes highly detailed paleoenvironmental reconstructions and inferred Neandertal demographics and energy requirements. Simulation results are compared against the archaeological record and subjected to rigorous statistical analyses. Machine learning techniques are applied to detect promising model parameter values and avoid research biases.
I aim to innovatively teach digital methods and techniques for analyzing data from the past. But also to show that knowledge of the deep past can help understanding the present and thus influence our future.
I was originally trained as a computer scientist and information analyst at Delft University (Msc). I obtained my research MA (Archaeology, Human Origins) in 2013 modelling pathways into Europe for early modern humans. I completed my PhD research in 2019 on simulating Neanderthal distribution in western Europe. With this multi-disciplinary background I am collaborate with other researchers adding digital skills to a wide range of projects detailing the deep past.
- software ontwikkeling