Candice Koopowitz

B.A.: University of Cape Town, 2014


Supervisor: Dr. Francesco Berna


Research Areas: FTIR spectroscopy, Microarchaeology, Stone Age Archaeology, Fire, Geoarchaeology, Chemistry


M.A. Research:

FTIR spectroscopy has played an important role in identification of fire residues in prehistory. In particular, burnt bone is often classified using this technique. I am exploring the effects that variables such as temperature and burning duration may have on the appearance of the FTIR spectrum of burnt bone. Through exploration of the bone chemistry, I aim to understand the thermal alteration of the bone mineral, and therefore induce whether other diagenetic processes would produce similar spectra to that of burnt bone. I applied these results to the site of Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa, to determine if the fauna excavated from the context of 1.78Ma were burnt.


     Journal papers and book chapters:

Chazan, Michael & Horwitz, Liora & Ecker, Michaela & Koopowitz, Candice & Rhodes, Sara & Morris, David & Berna, Francesco. (2017). Renewed excavations at Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa. Evolutionary anthropology. 26. 258-260. 10.1002/evan.21558.

     Conference Presentations:  

C. Koopowitz, M. Ecker, L. Horwitz, M. Chazan and F. Berna. “Investigating Fire in the Early Stone Age at Wonderwerk Cave: Implications for hominin evolution,” Society of Africanist Archaeologists, 24th Biannual Meeting, June 18-21 2018, Toronto, Canada

M. Chazan, L. Kolska-Horwitz, F. Berna, M. Eckers, S. Rhodes, C. Koopowitz & D. Morris. "Renewed excavations at Wonderwerk Cave," Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists 2017, July 4-7 2017, University of Pretoria, South Africa

F. Berna, R. Jacob, L. Kolska-Horwitz, C. Koopowitz and M. Chazan. "Fire and the Genus Homo: new evidence from ESA contexts at Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa," Paleoanthropology Society 2017 Annual Meeting, March 28 and 29 2017, Vancouver BC, Canada



Sawing micromorphology blocks at SFU                                                          

Performing fauna burning experiments at SFU Geoarchaeology lab

Befriending a zebra, Western Cape, South Africa