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Research Groups

Several research groups will be involved in the reconstruction of the lives of the individuals from Ieper.


The Historical Research into Urban Transformation Processes (HOST) conducts research on historical interactions between diverse social groups and the way in which they shaped urban dynamics. The focus lies with cities from the middle ages until the long nineteenth century, with special attention to the role of cities as catalysts for processes of economic innovation, social exclusion/integration, and political-institutional change. Health within urban communities is central to understanding the lived experiences of the actors responsible for these processes.

The stable isotope analyses will be carried out at the geochemical laboratories of Analytical, Environmental, and Geo-Chemistry (AMGC, VUB) and at the Geochemistry: Isotopic, Mineral, and Element Tracing Laboratory (G-TIME, ULB).
The AMGC documents the ancient geological and modern anthropogenic changes of the global Earth system using a series of tracers.  These biogeochemical tracers (elemental concentrations and isotopic ratios) are measured on a wide range of “archives” ranging from mineral phases in meteorites to ocean water to decipher variations in environmental parameters. These variations characterize the factors triggering or resulting from (paleo)environmental changes and document at different scales, the short and/or long-term effects of these modifications on the Global Earth System. 

The G-TIME laboratory at the Université Libre de Bruxelles also uses isotopic, mineral and element tracing techniques to investigate a wide range of research themes including cosmochemistry, geodynamics, environmental geochemistry, volcanology and hydrothermal systems.

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The osteological analyses will be conducted at the Anatomical Research and Clinical Studies (ARCS) facilities of the VUB. This research unit seeks to answer many questions posed by clinicians. Several lines of research thus exist within ARCS, such as obesity, medical imaging, lymphology, neurology, morphology, anatomical variations/anomalies and clinical anatomy along with many more. Almost all research within the unit is based on anatomical dissections/interventions and is done in close collaboration with the university hospital.

The Maritime Cultures Research Institute (MARI) is a fundamental research center that explores how people in or close to a maritime environment created particular ‘fluid’ cultures and societies based on connectivity and transience. The center’s predominant geographical focus is Europe. It aims to study, compare and connect the archaeology of the North Sea World to the (Eastern) Mediterranean, from Cyprus to Iceland, from prehistory to modernity, though no hard geographical limit is imposed. As a research center with a focus on the fluidity as well as the transfer of things and thoughts, MARI is an intrinsically interdisciplinary endeavour. Research includes material culture studies, archaeological sciences with particular specialisations in geoarchaeology, bioarchaeology and environmental archaeology, landscape archaeology, underwater archaeology and more.

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