Multidisciplinary Archaeological Research Institute
The Multidisciplinary Archaeological Research Institute (MARI) at the VUB is dedicated to the investigation and understanding of the human past by bringing different disciplines and methods together. Current archaeological research exceeds traditional disciplinary divisions and requires more integrated methodologies. Positioned at the intersection between humanities and natural sciences, MARI seeks a holistic understanding of our past. Merging state-of-the-art field research with innovative laboratory analyses, our research illustrates how humans and the environment have interacted throughout time.
With MARI we aim to examine:
a) lifeways and exploitation of natural resources,
b) the development of settlement - and urban systems,
c) changes in the natural environment (impact of humans, climate and other natural processes) and their effect on societies, and
d) funerary practices, health, demography, diet, mobility, and landscape use of past populations.
By doing so MARI want to trace different episodes of growth, decline, collapse and resilience within human groups and their drivers. Furthermore, MARI aims to contribute to the highly debated topic of human-animal-environment dynamics, which is one of the most pressing issues scientists face today, considering global climate change or societal sustainability. Most of the current high-profile human-environment debates lack an understanding of deep-time developments to which this MARI research can contribute. MARI is internationally recognized for its expertise in the geoarchaeological study of towns, bioarchaeology, integrated phytolith studies and landscape archaeology.