Human Origins Leiden

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Scherjon, Fulco

Personal Information:

Position: Staff Scherjon, Fulco
Phone or fax: +31(0)715271681
Location: Room A1.16

One of the most frustrating facets of archaeological data is the scarcity of evidence for even the most basic facts. How many Neandertals were there? How many children did a Neandertal mother raise? How much did a Neandertal ate? And so forth, and so forth. Computer simulation aims to work with this kind of sparse data and tries to fill the void with explicitly implemented hypotheses. I try to address the above stated questions and more through the implementation of HomininSpace 2.0, a modelling and simulation system for comparative analysis of dispersal behaviour of hominin groups in large scale realistic landscapes and over long timescales. Neandertal parameter sets are configured as case study. A rigorous statistical analysis will be included to evaluate the effects of different parameter combinations. This requires autonomous execution, systematic and complete parameter space exploration, and the inclusion of taphonomical factors on archaeological data and evidence of hominin absence. Also projected are a social component including territorial behaviour, genome tracers and a reconstruction of the Mammoth Steppe habitat.

I have a background as a computer scientist, graduated from Delft University of Technology,  Department of Applied Mathematics and Informatics. As such I participate in many research projects where specific computer skills are needed.



  • Aarts JMMJG, Alink GM, Scherjon F, MacDonald K, Smith AC, Nijveen H, Roebroeks W. 2016. Fire Usage and Ancient Hominin Detoxification Genes: Protective Ancestral Variants Dominate While Additional Derived Risk Variants Appear in Modern Humans. PLOS ONE. 11(9): 1-18. [More] 
  • Scherjon F, Bakels C, MacDonald K, Roebroeks W. 2015. Burning the Land: An Ethnographic Study of Off-Site Fire Use by Current and Historically Documented Foragers and Implications for the Interpretation of Past Fire Practices in the Landscape. Current Anthropology. 56(3): 299-326. [More]