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      The multiple Eudald Carbonell: the various roles of Catalonia's most popular archaeologist


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          Eudald Carbonell is mainly known for being the co-director of the Atapuerca research project, a hominid site in Northern Spain that boasts the "oldest European". In the course of his career as an archaeologist, he has become a highly visible figure, not least because of his incessant attempts to communicate his ideas to the general public. In these past four decades, Carbonell has taken on a host of diverse roles: scientific but also social and political ones. The political and scientific context of Catalonia and Spain since the early 1970s proves crucial in these activities. Carbonell's claim to belong to a "peripheral" scientific community (be it Catalan or Spanish) is a central element in the construction of these roles. At the same time, Carbonell provides an instructive example of the "medialization" of science, transforming himself from an outsider into a celebrity and ultimately into a commodity.

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          The earliest occupation of Europe: a short chronology

          A reappraisal of the artefactual and chronological evidence for the earliest occupation of Europe — with proper attention to its limitations and its reliability — makes for a short chronology. The first solid traces of hominid activities in this part of the world are around 500,000 years old.
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            Making PCR: A story of biotechnology

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              Short human occupations in the Middle Palaeolithic level I of the Abric Romani rock-shelter (Capellades, Barcelona, Spain).

              This paper presents a multidisciplinary study on the size of the occupied surfaces, provisioning strategies and behaviour planning at the Romani rock-shelter, using the Middle Palaeolithic record of the level i. This level is dated around 46.000 BP through U/Th ages. A behavioural interpretation is proposed, which emphasises the activities and the systemic value of the archaeological artefacts and structures. Occupation patterns are identified on the basis of the accumulations formed by human activities. These archaeological accumulations, consisting of artefacts and hearths, are easily defined visually as spatial units. The relationships between these accumulations, established by means of refitted remains, indicate that differences can be established between: 1) small and medium-sized occupation surfaces; 2) restricted and diversified provisioning strategies. This variability suggests that different modes of occupation are represented in the same archaeological level. The human activities reveal the generalization of fire technology. In almost all sizes of the occupation surfaces, the exploitation of vegetal resources near the Abric Romani marks the threshold of the restricted provisioning strategy. Limited use and fragmented knapping activities are recorded in the lithic assemblage. Faunal remains show differential transport. The exploitation of lithic, faunal and vegetal resources characterizes the diversified provisioning strategy. The small occupation surfaces and restricted provisioning strategies suggest short settlements in the Abric Romani. This shorter occupation model complements the longer diversified provisioning strategy recorded in both small and medium-sized occupied surfaces. The selection of precise elements for transport and the possible deferred consumption in the diversified provision strategy suggest an individual supply. In this respect, Neanderthal occupations in the Romani rock-shelter show a direct relation to: 1) hunting strategic resources; 2) high, linear mobility.

                Author and article information

                Role: ND
                Universidad de Granada (Granada )
                : 33
                : 2
                : 389-416
                [1 ] Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) Spain



                Philosophy of science
                Archaeology,social role,national identity,science and the media,arqueología,papel social,identidad nacional,ciencia y medios de comunicación


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