Universiteit Leiden

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Leonardo Carmignani


Dr. L. Carmignani
+31 71 527 2727

Dr Leonardo Carmignani is a postdoc researcher in the Neanderthal Legacy research project.

More information about Leonardo Carmignani

Office days

Monday to Thursday


I am a member of the European Society for the study of Human Evolution (ESHE). I have established a wide range of international networks including The Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution - IPHES (Tarragona-Spain), The University of Ferrara (Italy), l’Institute de Paléontologie Humaine - IPH (Paris -France), The University of Nanterre (Paris - France), The University of Siena and Florence (Italy).

My research interests are focused on providing new data to the debates surrounding the potential cultural interaction of our closest extinct relatives, Neanderthals, and modern humans -   addressing questions on transitional cultures, which chronologically follow the Middle Paleolithic occupations in Europe.

I am currently Postdoc for the “Neandertal Legacy project” a fundamental study led to identify the cultural interactions in Europe between 50 to 40,000 years ago. The aim of the project is to differentiate them from potential convergence and independent inventions, and evaluate the physical proximity between hominins with different backgrounds.

The focal point of the of my current research is based on late Neanderthal stone tool production in the Italian peninsula, and their potential contact with incoming anatomically modern humans.

Curriculum vitae

In 2011, I have completed my Ph.D. which explored the final expression of Middle Paleolithic technological behaviour at two Italian sites: Grotta del Cavallo and Grotta Bernardini. Studies of both these sites have provided evidence of innovative technologies (i.e. blade and bladelet productions) appearing just prior to their replacement by the transitional “Uluzzian” industry associated with the arrival of Modern Humans in Europe. The results obtained motivated me to undertake further research concerning blade and bladelet technology within a second international Ph.D. to provide a clearer understanding of Neanderthal blade technology and its variability.

In 2014, the increasing interest towards the technological changes across the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic boundary have driven me to plan - as principal investigator – the excavation project at the site of Grotta Mario Bernardini (Italy). Within the past 10 years, I successfully pioneered and applied a multidisciplinary approach in stone tools combining lithic experimentation, technological analysis and 3D modelling. Over the last three years, I have focused on increasing the resolution of stone tool representation and providing exhaustive 3D virtual visualization of lithic artefacts. In 2019 I have further developed the 3D methodology for archaeological artefacts while working for the University of Leiden 3D SALT/SWAT’s project.

I have wide-ranging experience in international research projects in Ethiopia, France, Spain, and Italy. In September 2020, I was hired as a junior researcher by Professor M.A. Soressi in her IVCI (NWO) project entitled “Neandertal Legacy. Contacts and interactions in Europe 40,000 years ago”.


  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Human Origins

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A1.07


No relevant ancillary activities

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