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Viola Schmid

Guest Postdoc

Dr. V. Schmid
+31 71 527 2727

Viola Schmid is a Postdoc researcher at the Faculty of Archaeology.

More information about Viola Schmid

Leiden Archaeology Blog

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Viola's main research focusses on the developments of technical systems in hunter-gatherer societies, primarily in South Africa and Europe. She understands stone tools as technical objects with memories and promotes dynamic technological studies. In the South African context, she has published on the technological and techno-economic patterns of human occupations at the key sites Sibudu Cave and Elands Bay Cave.

Viola is involved in the ongoing excavation projects at Bushman Rock Shelter and Heuningneskrans Shelter. Her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Leiden concerns the analysis of lithic artefacts from the new fieldwork at the reference site Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa). She studies particularly the lithic elements originating from layers of the transition from the Middle Stone Age to the Later Stone Age (~40 – 20 000 years ago). Her aim is to highlight the specific underlying chaîne opératoire(s), including raw material procurement strategies, blank production, and tool manufacture, to make inferences about human behaviours, and to reveal dynamics and major shifts in technology. Furthermore, she tackles questions on spatially independent, isolated innovations, on socio-economic adaptations, and on scenario(s) of the appearance of miniaturisation and the origin of the Later Stone Age. 

Curriculum vitae

Viola C. Schmid is a specialist on lithic technology and her main research focus concerns the developments of technical systems in hunter-gatherer societies. She studied pre- and protohistory at the Universities of Vienna and Tübingen. In 2019, she completed an international joint doctoral program between the University of Tübingen and the Paris Nanterre University and obtained her doctorate on the topic "The C-A layers of Sibudu Cave (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) in the light of the MSA lithic technologies in MIS 5" with "magna cum laude".

Schmid was employed as a researcher at the University of Geneva to analyse the lithic artefact assemblage of Toumboura III (Senegal) in 2019. Since 2019 she is an associated researcher at the University of Tübingen and the Paris Nanterre University. From December 2020 to February 2021, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Austrian Archaeological Institute (ÖAI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). From May until August 2021, Schmid worked as a research fellow at the University of Vienna to analyse the Aurignacian lithic artefacts from Willendorf II (Austria). She participated in several excavations in Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Czech Republic, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and most importantly South Africa. 

Guest Postdoc

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Human Origins



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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