Beth Velliky PhD Graduand

Congratulations to Beth Velliky for successfully completing her UWA PhD examination with (very) minor revisions! Her thesis is titled "Identifying diachronic changes in ochre behaviours throughout the Upper Palaeolithic (ca. 44-12.5 kya) of Southwestern Germany".

With this examination, Beth completed a Joint/Double-Badged PhD degree between UWA and the University of Tübingen (Germany). She already successfully defended her thesis in a viva at the University of Tübingen on 9 September 2019.


Congratulations also to the supervision team: Martin Porr, Ben Smith and Jo McDonald (all UWA) and Nicholas Conard (University of Tübingen). Also, many thanks to Steven Maras for his support as Social Sciences Graduate Research Coordinator.


Beth is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Bergen SFF Centre for Early Sapiens (SapienCE) (Norway). Her current research focuses on the ochre assemblage from the Middle Stone Age of Blombos Cave, South Africa.


Thesis abstract

This study investigated the selection and use of red ochre, a mineral pigment, from Hohle Fels cave in southwestern Germany, and revealed 27 previously undocumented anthropogenically modified ochre artefacts and 871 non-modified pieces from the Upper Palaeolithic sequence (44-12.5 kya). The diachronic shifts in ochre selection were further investigated using geochemical methods and show that collection strategies were generally local and regional. Distant sources were particularly accessed in the Aurignacian (ca. 44-34 ka). These data, combined with other changes in climate and behaviour, show that ochre played an important role throughout the Upper Palaeolithic for the inhabitants of Hohle Fels.

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Mailing Address:

Centre for Rock Art, Research + Management,

School of Social Sciences,

M257, 32 Stirling Highway, Perth WA 6009

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