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Department of Archaeology



I’m a Palaeolithic archaeologist with a background in lithic studies. My research has focused on early hominin technological evolution with a special interest in tool design, production, and use. In 2022 I completed my PhD at the University of Mainz, and the Laboratory for Traceology and Controlled Experiments (TraCEr) at MONREPOS, both Germany. Following my PhD, I held a post-doctoral research position at the University of Wrocław.

I joined the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research as Hosted Fellow with a Walter-Benjamin fellowship awarded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. 


My primary research focuses on understanding Middle Palaeolithic technological behaviour.

To investigate stone tool design, production, and use, I follow a methodological approach combining different analyses such as techno-typological analysis, raw material characterisation, qualitative and quantitative use-wear analysis, and experimental replication. My current project is centred around the integration of robotics into experimental archaeology. I am also part of a project investigating the Lower-Middle Palaeolithic transition in Central Europe with excavations taking place in Poland and the Czech Republic. 

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Schunk, L., Cramer, A., Bob, K., Calandra, I., Heinz, G., Jöris, O., Marreiros, J., 2023. Enhancing lithic analysis: Introducing 3D-EdgeAngle as a semi-automated 3D digital method to systematically quantify stone tool edge angle and design. PLOS ONE. 

Wiśniewski, A., Różycka, M., Schunk, L., 2023. In search of a better method to distinguish artefacts from geofacts. Archaeometry. 

Schunk, L., Calandra, I., Bob, K., Gneisinger, W., Marreiros, J., 2023. The role of artificial contact material in experimental use-wear studies: a controlled proxy to understand use-wear formation and fracture mechanics. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Schunk, L., 2022. Understanding Middle Palaeolithic asymmetric stone tool design and use. Functional analysis and controlled experiments to assess Neanderthal technology. Verlag des Römisch- Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz.

Pedergnana, A., Calandra, I., Bob, K., Gneisinger, W., Paixao, E., Schunk, L., Hildebrandt, A., Marreiros, J., 2020. Evaluating the microscopic effect of brushing stone tools as a cleaning procedure. Quaternary International.

Marreiros, J., Calandra, I., Gneisinger, W., Paixao, E., Pedergnana, A., Schunk, L., 2020. Rethinking use-wear analysis and experimentation as applied to the study of past hominin tool use. Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology.

Calandra, I., Schunk, L., Bob, K., Gneisinger, W., Pedergnana, A., Paixao, E., Hildebrandt, A., Marreiros, J., 2019. The effect of numerical aperture on quantitative use-wear studies and its implication on reproducibility. Scientific Reports 9: 6313.

Calandra, I., Schunk, L., Rodriguez, A., Gneisinger, W., Pedergnana, A., Paixao, E., Pereira, T., Iovita, R., Marreiros, J., 2019. Back to the edge: relative coordinate system for use-wear analysis. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. 11, 5937–5948. 00801-y

Job Titles

Walter-Benjamin Hosted Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Material Culture
Human Evolution
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Computational and Quantitative Archaeology
Cultural Evolution

Contact Details

ls2090 [a]
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Downing Street


Person keywords: 
Palaeolithic Archaeology
Lithic technology
Experimental archaeology
Quantitative analyses
Science, Technology and Innovation
Geographical areas: 
Periods of interest: