Cluster of excellence LaScArBx

Objective: studying the relationship between man and his surroundings from Prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages.

Under the leadership of Valérie Fromentin, Anne Delagnes, Rémy Chapoulie, Jérôme France and Nathalie Fourment.


The research topic of LaScArBx – "The use of the world by ancient societies: space appropriation processes and forms over the long term" – is centered on the notion of "man-made space". The life of past societies is examined from three angles - biological, environmental and cultural - on the scale of several millennia (from Prehistory to sub-contemporary periods).

This study examines the interactions between Mankind and its environment and covers three focuses:

  • Settlements and territories
  • Exploiting, innovating, exchanging
  • Expressions of symbols and the spaces of memory

Study programs

The teams are backed by several Master's programs in Archeology, with a diversity of periods and disciplines which is unprecedented in France and even in Europe. Partnerships with potential employers and the participation of archeology players in the study programs promote the professional integration of young graduates.

Dissemination of knowledge

The research teams strive to disseminate scientific knowledge within society at large, especially within young audiences. To this effect, the Cluster especially relies on the Archéopôle d’Aquitaine – an interpretation and exhibition space – as well as Ausonius publications.

LaScArBx is also engaged in several operations to enhance the heritage value of Aquitaine tourist sites (Bordeaux, Saint- Emilion area, prehistoric sites of the Vézère valley between Montignac and Le Bugue) which play a major role in the regional economy and provide a direct source of income for a large number of shops and SMEs.


Cluster Sciences Archéologiques de Bordeaux

Maison de l’Archéologie

Université Bordeaux Montaigne

8, Esplanade des Antilles

33607 Pessac cedex

Tel : 05 57 12 15 21


29 projects  179 researchers involved 78 publications citing LabEx
47 international academic collaborations over €7M in public/private co-financing 2 IUF nominations and 2 CNRS medals

Wulf Schiefenhövel, Anthropolgy Professor© LaScArBx

I have the pleasure to work with Dr. Marian Vanhaeren, CNRS Researcher at the PACEA laboratory, on a cooperative project within the framework of LaScarBx, dealing with body decoration in several of the many ethnolinguistic groups of Mainland and Island New Guinea as a model to better understand personal ornaments in archeology contexts worldwide, especially of the Aurignacien in Europe. This period is characterized by a spatial and temporal pattern of types of body decoration (“beads“) suggesting that they were ethnic markers and had symbolic function. The same is true for New Guinea. Modelling environmental niches (“ecolinguistic niches“, the PhD work of Nicolas Antunes within our project) can predict the habitat and borders of a small number of ethnic groups, whereas the same environment (e.g. of the central mountain range) usually is home of many such groups. The concept of “cultural pseudospeciation“ and the ethological concept of character enhancement are promising avenues to shed light on the question why humans form culturally coherent groups and subgroups.

Wulf Schiefenhövel, Anthropolgy Professor,
Max Plank Institut for Ornitology (Germany)

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L’archéologie à l’université de Bordeaux : 1re en France et 16e dans le monde

Début 2017, l'université de Bordeaux vient d’être classée au 1er rang français et au 16e rang mondial (3e français et 43e mondial en 2016) dans le domaine de l’archéologie dans le QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017. Ce classement basé sur la reconnaissance académique, la réputation de l'employeur et l'impact de la recherche atteste de la pertinence et de la qualité du programme de recherche  d’excellence en sciences archéologiques mené par l’université de Bordeaux en étroite collaboration avec l’Université de Bordeaux Montagne à travers le LaScArBx. Cette distinction s’explique par la diversité des champs de recherche structurés en trois axes : peuplements et territoires ; exploiter, innover, échanger ; expressions du symbolique et espaces de la mémoire.  La concentration d’infrastructures de pointe explique également ce leadership : une plateforme technologique de paléogénétique ; des équipements de datation et d'analyse des archéomatériaux ; une plateforme technologique 3D de réalité virtuelle.