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Christophe Snoeck

Professor and postdoctoral researcher, ACADEMIC STAFF



Christophe Snoeck combines his multi-disciplinary expertize in the fields of archaeology and geochemistry to answer key archaeological questions. Following a MSc in chemical engineering (Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2010), he obtained a second MSc (2011) and a PhD (2015) in archaeological science from the University of Oxford (UK). He came back to Belgium as a post-doctoral researcher at the VUB in the department of chemistry to work with Prof. Philippe Claeys. In 2017 he obtained a post-doctoral fellowship from both the FWO (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek – Vlaanderen) and the FNRS (Fond de Recherche Scientifique de la Belgique). Since October 2019, he is also a part-time Assistant Research Professor at the Maritime Cultures Research Institute, VUB (10% ZAP).

His innovative isotope research on cremated bone from archaeological contexts made it finally possible to extract information about the geographical origin of cremated individuals. These results were successfully applied to the human cremated bone fragments found at Stonehenge (UK). The results were published in Scientific Reports in 2018 and received immense media attention with news reports in more that hundred national (Radio 2, het Laatste Nieuws, het Nieuwsblad, De Morgen, EOS Wetenschap, Le Soir, etc.) and international (BBC News, The Guardian, CNN News, National Geographic, Current Archaeology, the Washington Post, etc.) journals and media. Following this ground-breaking study, Christophe was invited to present his research to the wider public on La Première, radio-program Les Eclaireurs, on 12 January 2019. In addition, he was nominated as one of the three candidates for the Archaeologist of the Year 2019 Award by the British magazine Current Archaeology.

His experience working with cremated human remains is the backbone of a National EoS project – CRUMBEL (Cremations, Urns and Mobility – Population dynamics in Belgium; of which he is now the scientific coordinator. This project brings together researchers from ULB, VUB, UGent and KIK-IRPA to study more than three thousand years of Belgium history. The results of his research are published in international peer-reviewed papers (35 papers, 12 as first authors – Google h-index 11 and > 385 citations) and often presented to the public via lectures and activities at events such as de Dag van de Wetenschap.


Five main publications


Snoeck C., Ryan S., Pouncett J., Pellegrini M., Claeys Ph., Wainwright A.N., Mattielli N., Lee-Thorp J.A. & Schulting R.J. 2020. Towards a biologically available strontium isotope baseline for Ireland. Science of The Total Environment, 712:136248 (IF = 5.59) –

Snoeck C., Pouncett J., Claeys Ph., Goderis S., Mattielli N., Parker Pearson M., Willis C., Zazzo A., Lee-Thorp J.A. & Schulting R.J. 2018. Strontium isotope analysis on cremated human remains from Stonehenge support links with west Wales. Scientific Reports, 8:10790 (IF = 4.12) –

Fernández-Crespo T., Snoeck C., Ordoño J., de Winter N.J., Czermak A., Lee-Thorp J.A. & Schulting R.J. 2020. Multi-isotope evidence for the emergence of cultural alterity in Late Neolithic Europe. Science Advances, 6(4):eaay2169 (IF = 12.80) –

Pederzani S., Snoeck C., Wacker U. & Britton K. 2020. Anion exchange resin and slow precipitation preclude the need for pretreatments in silver phosphate preparation for oxygen isotope analysis of bioapatites. Chemical Geology, 534:119455 (IF = 3.62) –

Annaert R., Boudin M., Deforce K., Ervynck A., Haneca K., Lentacker A. & Snoeck C. 2020. Anomalous radiocarbon dates from the Early Medieval cremation graves from Broechem (Flanders, Belgium): reservoir or old wood effect? Radiocarbon, 62(2):269–288 (IF = 1.51) –