John J. Shea
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1991
Courses taught at Stony Brook include ANT103 Archaeology for a Better World, ANT104 Introduction to Archaeology, ANT 268 Archeology of Human Origins, ANT 273 The Unstoppable Species, ANT417 Primitive Technology, ANT418 Stone Tools in Human Evolution, ANT511 Paleolithic Archaeology.
I am a paleoanthropologist whose research focuses on the archaeology of human origins. My interests span the length of the Paleolithic period. These include early hominid adaptive radiations, the origin of Homo sapiens, the extinction of the Neandertals, and the end of the Later Stone Age in Africa. I have investigated these subjects through projects in Israel, Jordan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia and Kenya. My most recent fieldwork focuses on Later Stone Age sites in the Early Holocene Galana Boi Formation, West Turkana, Kenya. This latter work is being carried out in conjunction with the Turkana Basin Institute and in collaboration with Prof. Elisabeth Hildebrand.
I am an expert flintknapper and skilled replicator of primitive technologies. I use
the results of stone knapping and tool use experiments to improve archaeological methods
for reconstructing human behavior through the analysis of stone tools. My most recent
research in this area focuses on the origins of stone projectile point technology.