Home Page » List of Research Infrastructures » National Research Centre on Human Evolution
CENIEH - National Research Centre on Human Evolution
Paseo Sierra Atapuerca 3 | 09002 Burgos

Alfredo Pérez-González

Average number of national users per year: 100
Average number of European users per year: 5
Average number of international users per year: 3
Main status: Operational from 2009
RI Type: Single-sited

The National Research Centre on Human Evolution (CENIEH - Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana) provides open access for the international scientific community, as well as for other public and private sectors such as industries. The research activities in Human Evolution principally cover Paleoarchaeology (excavations worldwide), Paleoanthropology (hominins), Prehistoric Technology (stone tools), Geochronology (dating) and Curation and Conservation (collections). The centre actively promotes awareness and knowledge transfer to society. CENIEH is responsible for the conservation, restoration, management and recording of archaeological and paleontological collections from Atapuerca and other sites. Its equipment and technology are specialized for earth sciences and geochronology. Other laboratories provide versatile applications in the fields of geology, archeology, geomaterials, heritage conservation, new materials, and dosimetry. Other services are curation, restoration and management of fossil and lithic collections from excavations in archaeological and paleontological sites.

Human evolution, fossil, collection, geochronology, dating, geoarchaeology, paleobiology, paleoanthropology, archaeology, prehistory, conservation, restoration, heritage, material characterisation, paleoclimate, isotope, hominin, hominid, lithic, paleolithic, stone tool, comparative anatomy, spectroscopy

Research Service(s):
Material Characterisation
Experiments with all kinds of materials using the CENIEH laboratories: X-Ray labs (XRD and XRF), Micro-CT, Microscopy (electronical and optical), TGA/DSC, Raman Microscopy and ICP-OES. Heavy Inorganic Isotope analyses: Sr/Sr, REEs. Elemental determinations in geoarchaeological and environmental samples up to ultratrace levels.
Geochronological Analyses
State-of-the-art laboratory facilities with the latest equipment types comply with the minimum requirements needed to apply routine as well as novel / experimental protocols for dating techniques such as Luminescence, Electron Spin Resonance, Archaeomagnetism and Uranium Series, so far.
Sample preparation and handling
Analysis of soils, sediments, fossil and other solid samples.
Collections consultation and study of fossil material and archaeological tools
Access to consultation of the collections' database.
Conservation and restoration of heritage
Preventive and curative conservation and restoration of all kind of materials, especially archaeological remains.
Digital Mapping and 3D analysis services
The activities of this laboratory centre on cartography, spatial reconstruction and the analysis of geological and archaeological elements. Among its products, we may highlight: geological and geomorphological cartography, paleogeographic reconstructions, analysis of spatial patterns, 3D reconstructions, and the morphometric analysis of archaeological sites and objects. Completed in the field and inside caves, these activities can cover temporal sequences, so that the digitalization, reconstruction and analysis of Natural and Cultural Heritage may be approached from a 4D perspective.
Elemental determinations in geoarchaeological and environmental samples up to ultratrace levels. Geological Sample Preparation, (soils, sediments, rocks, etc.), thin sections preparation.
Library and documentation
Documentation search and selection of bibliography related to archaeology, palaeoanthropology and related fields.
X-Ray powder Diffractometer (XRD) PANalytical X´Pert; Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF) PANalytical Axios; Confocal Raman microscope DXR Thermo Fisher; Nicolet 6700 Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer; Simultaneous TGA / DSC SDT-Q600 TA Instruments; TG interface to an FTIR spectrometer; Portable Raman Spectrometer Deltanu Rock Hound and Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Analyzer.
Micro–Computed Tomography
The GE Phoenix v/tome/x s 240 system with two x-ray tubes (nano-focus (up to 180 kV) and micro-focus (up to 240 kV).
MicroCT 80 (Scanco Medical, in disuse).
Mimics Materialise 13.1 post-processing and analysis software.
Optical microscopy: petrographic microscopes and fluorescence polarization (Olympus BX51), stereo (Olympus SZX16 and SZX10) and metallography (Olympus BX51M); Confocal Laser Microscopy Olympus LEXT OLS3000; Morphologi G3; Scanning Electron Microscopy FEI Quanta-600
Cryogenic magnetometer with AF demagnetizer and ARM capabilities (SRM 755-4K, 2G Enterprises).Thermal Demagnetizer model TD48-SC (ASC Scientific). Vibrating sample Magnetometer MicroMag 3900 (Lakeshore) with cryostat and furnace. Kappabridge MFK1-FA (AGICO). Magnetic susceptibility sensors (Bartington). Impulse magnetizer to 5 Tesla (IM-10-30 , ASC). Miscellaneous field equipment (portable drill machines, orienting fixtures, etc.) and saws for sample preparation.
Electron Spin Resonance
X-band and Q-band Bruker Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectrometers (EMXmicro-6/1 and Elexsys 500 models).
Accessories associated to the ESR spectrometer: Programmable goniometer (ER218PG1); High sensitivity resonator; Standard resonator (ER4102ST); Digital Temperature Control Systems to work close to liquid nitrogen or helium temperatures; JEOL Finger Dewar (Insertion type dewar ES-UCD3X, V=150 ml) to work at liquid nitrogen temperature (77K)
Equipment common to OSL and ESR:
Gammacell 1000 Elite-I Cs-137 gamma irradiation source. 2 x Canberra high purity germanium detectors (Extended Range Coaxial -XtRa- and well-type detectors) for high-resolution gamma spectrometry of sediments. Dr Hönle solar simulator (UVACube400 + SOL500). 2 x Canberra in situ field gamma spectrometers with LaBr3: Ce and NaI: Tl probes and InSpector 1000 multi-channel analysers.
Luminescence (OSL)
4 x RISØ TL/OSL readers (Model DA-20 C/D) with automated 48-position multi-grain sample holder/changer system built into a vacuum chamber, incorporated 90Sr/90Y beta irradiation sources (1.48 GBq), heating element with lift mechanism, and EMI 9235QB15 PM tubes with quartz window. In terms of the incorporated Optically Stimulation Luminescence (OSL) light units, 2 readers have combined IR (870 nm) / Blue (470 nm) LEDs, and the other 2 have combined Blue (470 nm) / Green (530 nm) / IR (870 nm) high power LEDs, allowing for BLSL / IRSL / TL measurements.
All 4 RISØ readers have single-grain attachments with dual Green (532 nm) / IR (830 nm) lasers. Additionally, 1 RISØ has a pulsed optical stimulation unit with photon timer attachment; and 2 RISØs have individual violet stimulation laser (405 nm) unit attachments. All 4 readers are lead-shielded.
RISØ low-level Beta 5-sample gas-flow multi-counter system (Model GM-25-5) with lead shielding.
SUERC Portable OSL Reader (Model 2016) with dual IR (880 nm) / Blue (470 nm) LED stimulation, Senstech PMT, a pulsed PSL photon counting board, and re-chargeable battery power supply system.
See ESR for equipment common to OSL and ESR.
Uranium Series
Thermo NEPTUNE Multicollector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer MC-ICP-MS. Thermo ELEMENT XR Extended Range High Resolution Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer HR-ICP-MS. Perkin Optima 5300DV Dual View Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer ICP-OES. NewWave UP-213 Laser Ablation system.
ESI Apex HF with Spiro and Cetac Aridus II membrane desolvator and nebulization systems.
ESI SC-FAST automated advanced sample introduction system.
ESI PC3 and GE Isomist Peltier temperature controlled sample inlet systems.
Conservation and Restoration
Stereo microscopes, copy stand & fluorescent lighting photography equipment, measuring & recording instruments, vacuum & pressure system, water purification system, safety cabinets, fume hoods, extraction cabinet, electric lift table, mechanical and ultrasonic equipment.
Digital Mapping and 3D Analysis
3D Scanners and Topographic Equipment: Ground-based 3D Laser Scanners, 3D Laser Triangulation Scanners, Robotic Total Stations, GNSS (base and rover), Calibrated Digital Camera for Photogrammetry.
Software 3D Modelling and Processing tools: Photogrammetry software, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Teledetection software - Multivariant image analysis, Ground Penetration Radar, Electrical Resistivity Tomography, Drones-RPAS
Peripherals: Large-scale plotter and printer DIN A0+, ScannerDIN A0, Digitizing Table.
Indirect Calorimetry by Master Screen CPX and Oxycon Mobile, Jaeger. Treadmill Ergometer hp-Cosmos, CareFusion. Accelerometry by Armband SenseWear BodyMedia. Bioelectrical Impedance BIA101 Akern. Anthropometry by Stadiometer and Anthropometer Holtain. Softwares JLab, BodyMedia Professional and BodyGram Pro.
Sample Preparation & Thin sections
Chemical fume hoods, microwave digestion system, ultrasonic bath, particle size analyser, calcimeters, magenetic separators, ovens, centrifuges, saws, drills, shakers, millers, balances, mortars, sieves, polishers, etc.
Last updated on: 2016-07-13 at 15:33

Human Evolution Complex
Archaeomagnetism Lab
Microscopy Lab
Conservation & Restoration Lab
High purity Germanium detectors
Gammacell Irradiator
Clean Lab
Luminescence Lab
Uranium Series Lab
Collection for Comparative Anatomy
BioEnergy Lab
Digital Mapping and 3D Analysis
Digital Mapping
3D Analysis of stone tools
Sample Preparation Lab