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Toffolo Michael

GIFIdEx Junior Research Chair

Contact :
Phone : +33 (0)5 57 12 46 81

ORCID page :

Research themes
- Microarchaeology, geoarchaeology, site-formation and post-depositional processes, diagenesis
- Pyrotechnology, foraging strategies and interactions with the environment of modern humans in southern Africa
- Neolithic lime plaster production
- Radiocarbon dating of carbonates in wood ash and lime plaster/mortar
- Calcite-aragonite polymorphism

Present research projects
- "Accurate radiocarbon dating of archaeological lime plaster (PI Michael Toffolo, 2017-2020), funded by IdEx Bordeaux (ANR-10-IDEX-03-02)

- "Geoarchaeology of a Middle Stone age paleo-landscape in the central interior of South Africa : paleoenvironments and foraging practices during the transition to behavioral modernity" (collaborator ; PI Christopher Miller, University of Tübingen, 2018-2021), funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (MI 1748/4-1)

Education and professional appointments
2015-2016 : Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Scientific Archaeology, University of Tübingen (Germany).
2014 : Postdoctoral fellow at the Florisbad Quaternary Research Department, National Museum Bloemfontein (South Africa).
2009-2014 : PhD in Archaeology from Tel Aviv University (Israel), Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations.
2009-2013 : Visiting PhD student at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), Kimmel Center for Archaeological Science.
2006-2009 : MA in Archaeology from University of Padua (Italy), Department of Archaeology.
2008 : Exchange student at Boston University (USA), Department of Archaeology.
2003-2006 : BA in Archaeology from University of Padua (Italy), Department of Archaeology.

Professional memberships
American Chemical Society
European Society for the study of Human Evolution
International Union of the Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences
Paleoanthropology Society
Society for Archaeological Sciences

Associate editor of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences


Peer-reviewed articles

Scherer S., Deckers K., Dietel J., Fuchs M., Henkner J., Höpfer B., Junge A., Kandeler E., Lehndorff E., Leinweber P., Lomax J., Miera J., Poll C., Toffolo M. B., Knopf T., Scholten T., Kühn P. : What’s in a colluvial deposit ? Perspectives from archaeopedology. Accepted for publication in CATENA.

Toffolo M. B. : The significance of aragonite in the interpretation of the microscopic archaeological record. Geoarchaeology : An International Journal 36 (1), 149-169.

Toffolo M. B. : Radiocarbon dating of anthropogenic carbonates : what is the benchmark for sample selection ? Heritage 3, 1416-1432.

Birkenfeld M., Avner U., Bar-Yosef Mayer D. E., Cummings L. S., Natalio F., Neumann F. H., Porat N., Scott L., Simmons T., Toffolo M. B., Kolska Horwitz L. : Hunting in the skies : Dating, paleoenvironment and archaeology at the late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B Nahal Roded 110, Eilat mountains, Israel. Paléorient 46 (1-2), 43-68.

Toffolo M. B., Regev L., Mintz E., Kaplan-Ashiri I., Berna F., Dubernet S., Xin Y., Regev J., Boaretto E. : Structural characterization and thermal decomposition of lime binders allow accurate radiocarbon age determinations of aerial lime plaster. Radiocarbon 62 (3), 633-655.

Toffolo M. B., Ricci G., Chapoulie R., Caneve L., Kaplan-Ashiri I. : Cathodoluminescence and laser-induced fluorescence of calcium carbonate : a review of screening methods for radiocarbon dating of ancient lime mortars. Radiocarbon 62 (3), 545-564.

Toffolo M. B., Ricci G., Caneve L., Kaplan-Ashiri I. : Luminescence reveals variations in local structural order of calcium carbonate polymorphs formed by different mechanisms. Scientific Reports 9, 16170.

Toffolo M. B., Brink J. S., Berna F. : Microstratigraphic reconstruction of formation processes and paleoenvironments at the Early Pleistocene Cornelia-Uitzoek hominin site, Free State Province, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science : Reports 25, 25-39.

Scott L., van Aardt A. C., Brink J. S., Toffolo M. B., Ochando J., Carrión J. S. : Palynology of Middle Stone Age spring deposits in grassland at the Florisbad hominin site, South Africa. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 265, 13-26.

Toffolo M. B., Regev L., Dubernet S., Lefrais Y., Boaretto E. : FTIR-based crystallinity assessment of aragonite–calcite mixtures in archaeological lime binders altered by diagenesis. Minerals 9 (2), 121.

Toffolo M. B., Ritchie M., Sellers I., Morin J., Lyons N., Caldwell M., Albert R. M., Letham B., Berna F. : Combustion features from short-lived intermittent occupation at a 1300-year-old Coast Salish rock shelter, British Columbia : The microstratigraphic data. Journal of Archaeological Science : Reports 23, 646-661.

Toffolo M. B., Martin M. A. S., Master D. M., Boaretto E. : Microarchaeology of a grain silo : insights into stratigraphy, chronology and food storage at Late Bronze Age Ashkelon, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science : Reports 19, 177-188.

Barbieri A., Leven C., Toffolo M. B., Hodgins G. W. L., Kind C. J., Conard N. J., Miller C. E. : Bridging prehistoric caves with buried landscapes in the Swabian Jura (Southwestern Germany). Quaternary International 485, 23-43.

Toffolo M. B., Ullman M., Caracuta V., Weiner S., Boaretto E. : A 10,400-year-old sunken lime kiln from the Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B at the Nesher-Ramla quarry (el-Khirbe), Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science : Reports 14, 353-364.

Toffolo M. B., Brink J. S., van Huyssteen C., Berna F. : A microstratigraphic reevaluation of the Florisbad spring site, Free State Province (South Africa) : formation processes and paleoenvironment. Geoarchaeology : An International Journal 32 (4), 456-478.

Toffolo M. B., Regev L., Mintz E., Poduska K. M., Shahack-Gross R., Berthold C., Miller C. E., Boaretto E. : Accurate radiocarbon dating of archaeological ash using pyrogenic aragonite. Radiocarbon 59 (1), 231-249.

Xu B., Toffolo M. B., Boaretto E., Poduska K. M. : Assessing local and long-range structural disorder in aggregate-free lime binders. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 55, 8334-8340.

D’Andrea A. C., Fahmy A. G., Perry L., Richards M. P., Darcus L., Toffolo M., Attia E. S. A. E. : Ancient agricultural economy in the Horn of Africa : new evidence from grinding stones and stable isotopes. Atti della Società dei Naturalisti e Matematici di Modena 146 (Supplement), 155-157.

Xu B., Toffolo M. B., Regev L., Boaretto E., Poduska K. M. : Structural differences in archaeologically relevant calcite. Analytical Methods 7, 9304-9309.

Toffolo M. B., Brink J. S., Berna F. : Bone diagenesis at the Florisbad spring site, Free State Province (South Africa) : implications for the taphonomy of the Middle and Late Pleistocene assemblages. Journal of Archaeological Science : Reports 4, 152-163.

Toffolo M. B., Boaretto E. : Nucleation of aragonite upon carbonation of calcium oxide and calcium hydroxide at ambient temperatures and pressures : a new indicator of fire-related human activities. Journal of Archaeological Science 49, 237-248.

Toffolo M. B., Arie E., Martin M. A. S., Boaretto E., Finkelstein I. : Absolute chronology of Megiddo, Israel in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages : high-resolution radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 56 (1), 221-244.

Toffolo M. B., Fantalkin A., Lemos I. S., Felsch R. C. S., Niemeier W.-D., Sanders G. D. R., Finkelstein I., Boaretto E. : Towards an absolute chronology for the Aegean Iron Age : New radiocarbon dates from Lefkandi, Kalapodi and Corinth. PLOS One 8 (12), e83117.

Toffolo M. B., Klein E., Elbaum R., Aja A. J., Master D. M., Boaretto E. : An early Iron Age assemblage of faience beads from Ashkelon, Israel : chemical composition and manufacturing process. Journal of Archaeological Science 40 (10), 3626-3635.

Toffolo M., Maeir A. M., Chadwick, J. R., Boaretto E. : Characterization of contexts for radiocarbon dating : results from the early Iron Age at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel. Radiocarbon 54 (3-4), 371-390.

Finkelstein I., Ben Dor Evian S., Boaretto E., Cabanes D., Cabanes M.-T., Eliyahu-Behar A., Faigenbaum S., Gadot Y., Langgut D., Martin M., Meiri M., Namdar D., Sapir-Hen L., Shahack-Gross R., Shaus A., Sober B., Toffolo M., Yahalom-Mack N., Zapassky L., Weiner S. : Reconstructing Ancient Israel : Integrating Macro- and Micro-archaeology. Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 1 (1), 133-150.

Peer-reviewed book chapters

Toffolo M. B., Berna F. : Infrared Absorption Spectroscopy (IR, FTIR, DRIFT, ATR). In Lopez-Varela S. L. (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. Wiley, 1-4.

Toffolo M. B. : Microarchaeology. In Lopez-Varela S. L. (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. Wiley, 1-4.

Edited peer-reviewed journal issues

Toffolo M. B., Boaretto E., Chapoulie R., Guibert P. (eds.) : Proceedings of the Mortar Dating International Meeting, 25-27 October 2018, Pessac, France. Radiocarbon 62 (3).

Book chapters

In press
Toffolo M. B., Klein E., Elbaum R., Aja A. J., Master D. M., Boaretto E. : An Early Iron Age Assemblage of Faience Beads. In Stager L. E., Master D. M., Aja A. J. (eds.) : Ashkelon 7. The Iron Age I. University Park : Eisenbrauns.

Toffolo M. Studio micromorfologico del focolare. Settore 3. In Saggioro F. (ed.), Nogara. Archeologia e storia di un villaggio medievale (Scavi 2003-2008). Rome : Bretschneider, 101-106.

Piuzzi F., Toffolo M. Analisi degli alzati. In Gelichi S., Piuzzi F., Cianciosi A. (eds.), “Sachuidic presso Forni Superiore”. Ricerche archeologiche in un castello della Carnia. Florence : Edizioni all’Insegna del Giglio, 109-126.

Toffolo M., Berna F. Analisi micromorfologica, FTIR e XRD. In Gelichi S., Piuzzi F., Cianciosi A. (eds.), “Sachuidic presso Forni Superiore”. Ricerche archeologiche in un castello della Carnia. Florence : Edizioni all’Insegna del Giglio, 50-55.