Prof. dr. Wil Roebroeks

  • Palaeolithic
  • Neanderthals
  • Human evolution
  • Hunting

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2387
Faculty / Department: Faculteit Archeologie, Human Origins
Office Address: Van Steenis gebouw
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number A114

Born in 1955, Roebroeks studied history at Nijmegen (MA cum laude 1979) and prehistory at Leiden University (MA 1982). From 1981 to 1984 he worked on a study of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic finds in the Netherlands. In 1983 he was appointed as lecturer at the Institute of Prehistory of Leiden University, where he developed a large-scale interdisciplinary excavation project of the ca. 250,000 year old traces of human occupation in the Belvedere quarry near Maastricht.

In 1989 he defended his PhD thesis (cum laude), for which was awarded the W.A. van Es-prize in 1990. His "Oermensen in Nederland. De Archeologie van de Oude Steentijd" won the Kijk/Wetenschapsweek-prijs for the best Dutch popular science book in 1991. In 1992 he initiated the European Science Foundation network on "The Palaeolithic Occupation of Europe", of which he became scientific secretary, as well as general editor of the series of volumes resulting from this network. In 1993 he was appointed senior lecturer at Leiden University, and in the same year NWO awarded him a PIONIER grant for the project "Changing Views of Ice Age Foragers" (1994-1998).

In 1996 Roebroeks obtained a personal chair for Palaeolithic Archaeology at Leiden University. He was Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Evolution and of Current Anthropology, member of the editorial board of Paléo and of Quaternaire. Since 1999 he is Korrespondierendes Mitglied of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. In 2001 he became a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), and in the same year the Prehistoric Society awarded him the "Europa Prize". In 2007 he was awarded a SPINOZA-prize by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, and in 2010 a Research Prize for foreign scientists from the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (Bonn, Germany).

He has conducted fieldwork in the Netherlands (Maastricht-Belvedere), in England (Boxgrove), France (the Vezere valley), northeastern Russia, Germany (Neumark-Nord 2) and is currently working (with Mike Field) in East Anglia, at the site of Happisburgh 1.
Research Projects


Last Modified: 04-09-2013