Vincent Niochet is a PhD candidate in Human Origins funded by an NWO PhD in the Humanities grant.
Monday to Friday
My PhD research intends to connect archaeological data with cultural evolutionary theories, using the case study of the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic in western Europe.
Archaeology provides a unique source of material data documenting human cultural evolution in the deep past. Yet, while anthropological studies suggest cultural evolution is highly influenced by the degree and structure of social connectivity, archaeological signals of social interactions are scarce, and connectivity within and between archaeological cultures is under-researched.
Supervised by Prof. Dr. Soressi and well-informed by anthropological, socio-psychological and ethno-archaeological theories, I investigate manufacturing techniques and cultural transmission mechanisms through a proven chaîne opératoire approach of artefacts, innovative replication experiments and social network analysis inspired by primatology.
In such a manner, my PhD research aims at reconstructing social interactions and networks in western Europe 45,000-35,000 years ago, when Homo sapiens and Neandertals were likely interacting. Shifting the research focus from hominin biological groups to the social ties connecting them will ultimately contribute to assessing the role of inter-group connectivity in shaping humankind’s cultures and diversity.
My university curriculum is fundamentally interdisciplinary. After a double-bachelor in Archaeology and Geography, I obtained a first Master degree in 2018, implementing a territorial approach of medieval building stones in the Rhône valley (France). Then I completed in 2021 a second Master dissertation in the field of Prehistory. It aimed to 1) provide a literature synthesis of the Mesolithic record in the Jura mountains (France and Switzerland), and 2) elaborate a theoretical background inspired by a large range of social sciences for apprehending past hunter-gatherers in a network approach.
Between 2018 and 2021, I worked for the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeology (INRAP). I was involved in the excavation of several archaeological contexts (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Middle and Modern Ages) as a manager, an assistant manager and an excavator. Notably, I managed surveys aimed at identifying the presence of archaeological remains before building projects, and determine their nature and preservation state.
In 2022, I was hired by Prof. Dr. Soressi to study the Proto-Aurignacian and the Early Aurignacian assemblages excavated in the Palaeolithic site of Les Cottés (France).
No relevant ancillary activities