Radu Iovita

Radu is Leader of the PALAEOSILKROAD team at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at New York University (USA). When he is not in Kazakhstan doing survey, he splits his time between Europe and the United States. His personal website is here. You can also follow him on Twitter (@iovitza).

Dr. María Coto-Sarmiento

Dr. María Coto Sarmiento

Postdoctoral researcher (2020-2022)

Maria is a postdoctoral researcher in Computational Archaeology on the PALAEOSILKROAD project, specialised in studying cultural dynamics in past societies using a combination of Humanities and computational research methods. Her research interests and specialisms include computational archaeology, hominin dispersal, social learning, and experimental archaeology.

Dr. Patrick Cuthbertson

Dr. Patrick Cuthbertson

Postdoctoral researcher (2017-2020)

Patrick Cuthbertson is a postdoctoral researcher in Palaeolithic archaeology on the PALAEOSILKROAD project, responsible for developing the research program and conducting fieldwork. His doctorate at the University of Oxford, entitled ‘Hominins in Lower-Middle Pleistocene Central Asia’,  was a landscape approach using GIS to assess the early occupation of Central Asia. His research interests and specialisms include, the Lower Palaeolithic, hominin dispersal, geomatic survey techniques, lithic analysis, GIS, and experimental archaeology.

Photo of Abay Namen drawing

Dr. Abay Namen

PhD student (defended July 2022)

Abay is an archaeologist with an interest in archaeometry. His Master’s thesis (Erasmus Mundus ARCHMAT, Thessaloniki/Rome/Evora) focused on the  identification of organic residues and petrographical analysis in underwater amphoras from Sicily. 

Aris Varis in the field

Dr. Aristeidis Varis

PhD student (defended July 2022)

Aris is a geoarchaeologist interested in the formation and preservation of archaeological sites. In the framework of his master’s degree, he studied geoarchaeology in University College London and completed a thesis on microstratigraphy in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He received additional training by participating in numerous national and international fieldwork projects throughout Greece. His research interests are summarized on site formation processes, Quaternary environments, multi-scalar and multi-proxy analyses, archaeological theory and fieldwork methodology.

Sonia Varandas

Sonia Varandas


Sonia is in charge of all financial matters and project administration related to  PALAEOSILKROAD.