On September 26, Dr. Tsenka Tsanova, the first ABF postdoctoral research fellow, started working in the Anthropology Department at The Field Museum. The tenure of her fellowship is one academic year (Fall 2011-Fall 2012). Dr. Tsanova is a native Bulgarian and a Paleolithic archaeologist specializing in prehistoric lithic technology. She obtained her Ph.D. in Prehistory at the University of Bordeaux 1, France, in 2006. She arrived from the Department of Evolution in the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, where she held a postdoctoral fellowship in 2009-2010. Prior to this in 2008, Dr. Tsanova held a postdoctoral fellowship through a Fyssen Foundation Grant at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia.
The name of the project that she will complete during her fellowship is “The Emergence of Cultural Modernity. Middle to Upper Paleolithic Transition in the Eastern Balkans: Neanderthal-Modern Human Cultural Transactions." Her research concerns the emergence of cultural modernity, which presumably appeared with the arrival of the first modern humans in Europe and the extinction of Neanderthal populations about 50,000-35,000 years ago. Dr. Tsanova will examine and validate the context of The Field Museum’s archaeological collections from various areas in Eurasia, which were dated to between 80,000-30,000 years ago. Furthermore, she will characterize the lithic assemblages and isolate the technological elements and economical behaviors of cultural modernity. This new study will be integrated and compared with her previous results from "transitional" collections from the Levant (Ksar Akil), Iranian Zagros mountains (Warwasi and Yafteh), and Eastern Balkans-Bulgaria (Bacho Kiro, Temnata and Kozarnika). Her research will be conducted under the supervision of Dr. William Parkinson, Associate Curator of Eurasian Anthropology in the Anthropology Department.
Tsenka R. Tsanova
ABF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Archaeology
Department of Anthropology
Field Museum of Natural History
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
Tel. (312) 665-7183