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Wil Roebroeks receives Gutenberg Research Award

Archaeologist Wil Roebroeks has received the 2021 Gutenberg Research Award from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).

The Gutenberg Research Award is awarded by the university and comes with an endowment of EUR10,000. It is conferred annually by the Gutenberg Research College (GRC), the university’s central strategic instrument to promote cutting-edge research at JGU.

“By granting Wil Roebroeks the 2021 Gutenberg Research Award, we are honoring his extraordinary contributions to paleoanthropology through his field research, his interdisciplinary approach, and his devotion to international collaboration,” said Professor Siegfried Waldvogel, Director of the GRC.

Gutenberg Research Award
Wil Roebroeks, winner of the 2021 Gutenberg Research Award. Photo courtesy of Marc de Haan, Leiden University.

Roebroeks is Professor of Palaeolithic Archaeology at Leiden University. His research focus is on Neanderthals and other, earlier Eurasian hominins. Among other things, he investigates how these primeval humans used fire, managed to subsist, produced stone tools, and even changed the environment around them.

For this, he employs data that he has collected during extensive excavations in countries such as the Netherlands, France, Russia, Germany, and the U.K.

Gutenberg Research Award

“Wil Roebroeks is one the world’s leading researchers in his field. Through his work, he has been able to provide fundamental insights into the earliest human settlement of Europe and Asia,” said Professor Sabine Gaudzinski-Windheuser of the JGU Department of Ancient Studies, who nominated Roebroeks for the Gutenberg Research Award. “Moreover, he is actively involved in promoting the research community in any number of ways.”

From 2011 to 2021, Roebroeks was Vice-President of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution (ESHE) and a member of the advisory boards of various specialist journals and research institutions, including the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM) in Mainz and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI).

He holds a number of honors, including the Spinoza Prize–the most distinguished academic award of the Netherlands–and the Humboldt Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation that is given to outstanding international researchers.

Among the planned events are a public lecture by Roebroeks on May 24 at the RGZM and a workshop with him on May 25 at the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Center and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution in Neuwied.

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