Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology
Department of Geosciences, Applied Mineralogy
University of Tübingen, Germany
Heat treatment of silica rocks chert and silcrete is one of the oldest transformative technologies used to alter the properties of materials. Its first use dates back to the southern African Middle Stone Age (MSA), and several examples are known from the Asian and European Upper Palaeolithic and Australia. The research questions associated with heat treatment are related to its purpose for tool manufacture, the investment in time and resources needed for it or the social and cognitive capacities it requires. Intensive research on these questions has been conducted for almost ten years now. In this presentation I will summarise the most recent progresses and discuss the methodological developments.
Schmidt works at the interface of prehistoric archaeology and mineralogy. Research topics are the spectroscopic signature of minerals, the properties of archaeo-materials, mineralogy and crystallography of raw materials, provenance studies and stone heat treatment. His main focus lies on silica minerals like quartz, opal-CT and moganite, and siliceous rocks like flint, chert and silcrete.
- 2018 - Habilitation in Archaeological sciences and Mineralogy (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, De)
- 2011 - PhD in Mineralogy of archaeo-materials (Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Fr)
- Teaching: Archaeometry; Archaeomaterials; Silica rock geology and mineralogy.