Archaeology

(Directors, Alison Brooks and David R. Braun). The Stone Age Archaeology Research Group includes diverse interests focused on the evolution of human behavior from a variety of different proxies. Particular research themes include biogeochemistry of ratite shells for geochronology; reconstruction of ancient diets using microfossils recovered from stone tools and dental calculus; three-dimensional analysis of archaeological materials; site formation processes through the computerization of archaeological excavation techniques; geochemical provenance studies of stone age artefacts; the study of the mechanical properties of stone and its effect on artifact manufacture; and technological analysis of stone artefact manufacture across the full time span of human evolution. The lab is focused on primary data collection and the development of new methodologies for the study of ancient hominin behavior. Our lab is particularly fieldwork focused and students acquire primary data on a variety of paleoanthropological localities throughout Africa and Eurasia.

Major Equipment: Full suite of materials for the assessment of amino acid racemization; digital microscopes; NextEngine 3D scanner; Proceq Silverschmidt Rebound hardness tester; VK Meter IV Ultransonic Flaw Detector; Leica 55 Builder Total Station; Trimble Yuma; Trimble Nomad (x2)

Sample Publications:
Brooks, A.S., J. E. Yellen, L. Nevell and G. Hartman (2006) Projectile technologies of the African MSA: implications for modern human origins. IN: E. Hovers and S. Kuhn (Eds.) Transitions before the Transition: Evolution and Stability in the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age New York: Kluwer/Plenum, pp. 233-255.

Braun DR, Harris JWK, Levin NE, McCoy JT, Herries AIR, Bamford MK, Bishop LC, Richmond BG, Kibunjia M. (2010) Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(22):10002

Posted in Uncategorized, August 24th, 2010