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Archaeologist Maikel Kuijpers in international media outlets

Maikel Kuijpers is Assistant Professor in European Prehistory at the Leiden University Faculty of Archaeology. Though trained as an archaeologist, his work blurs the boundaries between the history of knowledge, anthropology, sociology, and archaeology. His main research topics are Bronze Age metallurgy, material, culture, craftmanship, and skill.

Last year, Kuijpers wrote a series of articles for the Dutch news site ‘De Correspondent’, which looks at four important but polluting materials on which modern society is built from an archaeological perspective.

Since January, Kuijpers’ collection-based research with former Leiden colleague Cătălin Popa, which explores what is perhaps the earliest form of money used in Prehistoric Central Europe, has been broadcasted globally as the discovery led to a surge of media reports. The scientists suggest bronze rings, ribs and blades were a form of currency some 3500 years ago, because they had a standardised weight. Kuijpers spoke about his research with BBC’s international radio station BBC World Service. Extensive articles discussing the research were also published by the New York Times, the Daily Mail and LiveScience.

Most articles reporting on the research project, however, are in Dutch; Dutch newspapers such as NRC, Trouw and Volkskrant wrote and spoke with Kuijpers about their discovery. Other articles can be read via online news outlet NU.nl, scientific news website Scientias and historical magazine Historia's website. Kuijpers also discussed their research on Dutch National radio (NPO Radio 1) in a Nieuwsweekend broadcast.

Read the original open access research article published in the PLOS ONE journal here. Leiden University also composed an overview of articles about this research project. More on the Economies of Destruction research project can be read here.