Paul obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Victoria, Canada. In 2015 he graduated (cum laude) from Leiden University with a Master of Science in Material Culture Studies. For his thesis he used modern standardized tests to measure performance properties of re-created Stone Age glues. Paul has work experience from Ostrov Krym Scientific Restoration Laboratory, Kazakhstan and Les Cottés Palaeolithic excavation, France. In the summer of 2015 he was awarded a four year PhD grant from the Netherlands Research School of Archaeology (ARCHON) to continue his work on ancient adhesives.
Paul is currently a PhD candidate in the department of Material Culture Studies. His research involves studying glue used for hafting tools in the European Palaeolithic and is part of a larger project by dr. Geeske Langejans on ancient plant use. Paul is focusing on the material properties of ancient glues by microscopically identifying and chemically analysing the composition of archaeological material and then conducting preservation and performance experiments on replicated adhesives. Chemical studies during the experimental sections will also measure the effects of re-use and post-depositional processes on the bio-markers used for identification. This will aid in more accurate analyses of chemical compositions, and allow the construction of a more detailed adhesive chaîne opératoire. It will provide new insight into many aspects of Palaeolithic life, such as knowledge and use of resources, pyrotechnology, and forward planning, all of which are integral parts of adhesive production, and important aspects in the study of early human behaviour.
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