People at Fort Hoofddijk

Mark Sier

Dr. M.J. Sier
Paleomagnetic Laboratory

Department of Earth Sciences
Utrecht University 

Budapestlaan 17, 3584 CD Utrecht 
The Netherlands 

Phone +31 30 253 1672
Fax +31 30 243 1677


Often at: CENIEH (Burgos, Spain)

Research of Mark Sier

Climate Impact on Human Evolution: Age Calibration of Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project 

NA =North Awash River Valley, Ethiopia
WT = West Turkana area, Kenya
BT = Baringo Basin/Tugen Hills, Kenya
The large ICDP "Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project" is now in full swing. Our involvement is the dating of several kilometres of cores from the most important Hominin-bearing paleolake deposits of the East African Rift System.

It will involve mainly magnetostratigraphic dating using paleomagnetism, and exploring the possibility of cyclostratigraphic dating using astrochronological  calibration as well as innovative mutiproxy analysis.
The use of multiple tools and the transdisciplinary and international aspects of this project will provide a fruitful ground for the development and testing of new proxies and the refinement of chronostratigraphic methods.

Good results will attract much international attention as they will constitute the longstanding basis of the most extensive paleoclimate archive in relation to hominin evolution.

The project collaborates closely with the VENI project of Jose Joordens of Leiden University
Mark has participated in several excavations including the Pleistocene sites of Dmanisi (Georgia), Atapuerca (Spain) and the Gravettian site of Krub / Kranawetberg (Austria) among others. He has also extensive experience in teaching and commercial excavation / prospection of archaeological sites. His paleomagnetic studies have taken him a.o. to the Neumark site in Germany, and to Tegelen in Holland.

Mark Sier did his PhD at the Faculty of Archaeology, supervised by Wil Roebroeks
(Leiden University) with co-supervision of Mark Dekkers (Utrecht University) and Josep Parés (CENIEH, Burgos, Spain). 

publicationsPublications of Mark Sier
  • Sier, M.J., Langereis, C.G., Dupont-Nivet, G., Feibel, C.S., Joordens, J.C.A., van der Lubbe, J.H.J.L., Beck, C.C., Olago, D., Cohen, A. (2017). The top of the Olduvai Subchron in a high-resolution magnetostratigraphy from the West Turkana core WTK13, hominin sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP), Quaternary Geochronology, 42, pp. 117-129. 
  • Cohen, A., C. Campisan, R. Arrowsmith, A. Asrat, A. K. Behrensmeyer, A. Deino, C. Feibel, A. Hill, R. Johnson, J. Kingston, H. Lamb, T. Lowenstein, A. Noren, D. Olago, R. B. Owen, R. Potts, K. Reed, R. Renaut, F. Schäbitz, J.-J. Tiercelin, M. H. J. Trauth, R. O. J. Wynn , S. Ivory, C. Brady, J. Rodysill, J. Githiri, J. Russell, V. Foerster, R. Dommain, S. Rucina, D. . Deocampo, A. Billingsley, C. Beck, L. Dullo Garello, D. FearyD., T. Johnson, A. Junginger, M. Karanja, E. Kimburi, A. Mbuthia, T. McCartney, E. McNulty, V. Muiruri, E. Nambiro, D. Njagi, J. Norman, N. Rabideaux, T. Raub, M. Sier, P. Smith, J. Urban, M. Warren, E. Wondiymu, and C. Yost (2016). The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: Inferring the Environmental Context of Human Evolution from Eastern African Rift Lake Deposits, Scientific Drilling,  21, 1-16.   
  • Liu, W., Martinón-Torres, M., Cai, Y., Xing, S., Tong, H., Pei, S., Sier, M.J., Wu, X., Edwards, R.L., Cheng, H., Li, Y., Yang, X., Bermúdez de Castro, J.M., Wu, X. (2015). The earliest unequivocally modern humans in China, Nature, doi:10.1038/nature15696   
  • Sier, M.J., Parés, J.M. Antoine, P., Locht, J.-L. Dekkers, M.J.,  Limondin-Lozouet, N. and Roebroeks, W. (2015). Evidence for the Blake Event recorded at the Eemian archaeological site of Caours, France, Quaternary International, 357, 149-157.   
  • Sier, M.J., Peeters, J., Dekkers, M.J., Parés, J.M., Chang, L., Busschers, F.S., Cohen, K.M., Wallinga, J., Bunnik, F.P.M., Roebroeks, W. (2015). The Blake Event recorded near the Eemian type locality - A diachronic onset of the Eemian in Europe , Quaternary Geochronology, 28, 12-28.  
  • Bermúdez de Castro, J.M., Martinón-Torres, M., Sier, M.J. and Martıín-Francés, L. (2014). On the Variability of the Dmanisi Mandibles, PLOS|one, 9(2), e88212. 
  • Pias-Peleteiro, J.M., Aldrey-Vázquez, J.M., Martinón-Torres and Sier, M.J. (2014). El torvisco (Daphne gnidium L.): un timbó ancestral europeo, Revista de Neurologia, 58, 335-336.   
  • Sier, M.J. (2014). Een late start van het Eemien in Noordwest-Europa ? Geo.brief, 1 2014, 13-15.  
  • Joordens, J.C.A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Feibel, C.S., Spoor, F., Sier, M.J., Van der Lubbe, J.H.J.L., Kellberg Nielsen, T., Knul, M.V., Davies, G.R., Vonhof, H.B. (2013). Improved age control on early Homo fossils from the upper Burgi Member at Koobi Fora, Kenya, Journal of Human Evolution, 65, 731-745  
  • Sier, M. J. and Dekkers, M. J. (2013). Magnetic property analysis as palaeoenvironmental proxy: a case study of the Last Interglacial Middle Palaeolithic site at Neumark-Nord 2 (Germany) In: S. Gaudzinski-Windheuser and W. Roebroeks (Eds.), "Geochronology and Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of Neumark-Nord ", Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Eröffntlichungen des Landesamtes für Denkmalpflege und Archäeologie69, 117-130.   
  • Sier, M.J. (2013). Neandertals in the forest: A palaeomagnetic study of the Eemian interglacial stage deposits from north western and central Europe,  PhD Thesis (Faculty of Achaeology, Leiden University, The Netherlands). 
  • Roebroeks, W., Sier, M.J., Kellberg Nielsen, T., de Loecker, D., Parés, J.M. , Arps, C.E.S. and Mücher, H.J.(2012), Use of red ochre by early Neandertals,  PNAS, 109, 1889-1894.     Suppl. Inf. 
  • Joordens, J.C.A., Vonhof, H.B., Feibel, C.S., Lourens, L.J., Dupont-Nivet, G., van der Lubbe, J.H.J.L., Sier, M.J., Davies, G.R., and Kroon, D., (2011), An astronomically-tuned climate framework for hominins in the Turkana Basin, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 307, 1-8. 
  • Sier, M.J., Roebroeks, W., Bakels, C.C., Dekkers, M.J., Brühl, E., De Loecker, D., Gaudzinski-Windheuse, S., Hesse, N., Jagich, A., Kindler, L., Kuijper, W.J., Laurat, T., Penkman, K.E.H., Richter, D. and van Hinsbergen, D.J.J. (2011). Direct terrestrial-marine correlation demonstrates surprisingly late onset of the last interglacial in Central Europe, Quart. Res., 75, 213-218    Suppl. Inf. 
  • Dupont-Nivet, G., Sier, M., Campisano, C.J., Arrowsmith, J.R., DiMaggio, E.N., Reed, K., Lockwood, C.A., Franke, C. and Hüsing, S. (2008), Magnetostratigraphy of the eastern Hadar Basin (Ledi-Geraru research area, Ethiopia), implications for hominin paleoenvironments, In: Quade, J., and Wynn, J.G. (eds.), The Geology of Early Humans in the Horn of Africa, GSA Special Paper 446, 67-85.