Stone Age Archaeology


A PhD student in the CASHP Stone Age Archaeology lab working with rock samples


The Stone Age Archaeology Research Laboratory brings together scientists with diverse interests focused on the evolution of human behavior from a variety of different proxies. 

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 sites throughout Africa and Eurasia, including the renowned Koobi Fora Field School.


Research Interests


  • 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
  • Technological analysis of stone artefact manufacture across the full time span of human evolution


Select Publications

Braun, D. R., Faith, J. T., Douglass, M. J., Davies, B., Power, M., Aldeias, V., Conard, N., Cutts, R., DeSantis, L., Dupont, L., Esteban, I., Kandel, A., Levin, N. Luyt, J., Parkington, J., Pickering, R., Quick, L., Sealy, J., Stynder, D. (in press) Ecosystem engineering in the Quaternary of the West Coast of South Africa. Evolutionary Anthropology.   

Braun, D. R., Aldeias, V., Archer, W. A., Arrowsmith, J.R., Baraki, N., Campisano, C.J., Deino, A.L., DiMaggio, E.N., Dupont-Nivet, G., Engda, B., Feary, D. A., Garello, D.I., Kerfelew, Z., McPherron, S.P., Patterson, D.B., Reeves, J.S., Thompson, J.C., Reed, K. (2019) The Earliest Known Oldowan artifacts at >2.58 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia, Highlights Early Technological diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hitchcock, R.K., Crowell, A.L., Brooks, A.S., Yellen, J.E. Ebert, J.I., and A.J. Osborn. (2019) The ethnoarchaeology of ambush hunting: a case study of ≠Gi pan, Western Ngamiland, Botswana. African Archaeological Review 36: 119-144

Patterson, D. B., Braun, D. R., Allen, K., Barr, W. A., Behrensmeyer, A. K. B., Biernat, M., Lehmann, S.B., Maddox, T., Manthi, F., Merritt, S.R., Morris, S., O’Brien, K., Reeves, J.S., Wood, B., Bobe, R. (2019) Comparative isotopic evidence from East Turkana is consistent with a dietary shift between early Homo and Homo erectus. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 3:1048–1056.

Ranhorn, K. L., Braun, D. R., Biermann Gürbüz, R., Greiner, E., Wawryzyniak, D., and Brooks, A.S. (2019) Evaluating prepared core assemblages with three dimensional methods: a case study from the Middle Paleolithic at SkhÅ«l (Israel) Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 11:3225-3238.

Sahle, Y., Brooks, A. (2019) Assessment of complex projectiles in the early Late Pleistocene at Aduma, Ethiopia. PLOS One.

Will, M., Tryon, C., Shaw, M., Scerri, E., Ranhorn, K., Pargeter, J., McNeil, J., Mackay, A., Leplongeon, A., Groucutt, H., Douze, K., Brooks, A. (2019) Comparative analysis of Middle Stone Age artefacts in Africa (CoMSAfrica) Evolutionary Anthropology 28(2):57-59.

Scerri, E.M., Thomas, M.G., Manica, A., Gunz, P., Stock, J.T., Stringer, C., Grove, M., Groucutt, H.S., Timmerman, A., Rightmire, G.P., d’Errico, F., Tryon, C.A., Drake, N.A., Brooks, A.S., Dennell, R.W., Durbin, R., Henn, B.M., Lee-Thorp, J., deMenocal, P., Petraglia, M.D., Thompson, J.C., Scally, A., and L. Chikhi. (2018) Did our species evolve in subdivided populations across Africa and why does it matter? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 33 (8): 582-594.

Tennie, C., Premo, L., Braun, D. R. and McPherron, S.P. (2017) Early Stone Tools and cultural transmission: resetting the null hypothesis. Current Anthropology 58(5).

Dibble, H.L., Holdaway, S., Lin, S.C., Braun, D. R., Douglass, M.J., Iovita, R., McPherron, S. P., Olszewski, D., and Sandgathe, D. (2016) Major fallacies surrounding stone artifacts and assemblages. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 24(3): 813-851 DOI 10.1007/s10816-016-9297-8.

For more publications visit Dr. Alison Brooks or Dr. David Braun's Google Scholar pages.


Lab Researchers

Joshua Porter

Joshua Porter

Affiliated Researcher