Sticks and Stones is a place to bring together science communication about the human past, explorations of scholarly issues, and thoughts on my experience as a postgraduate student and early career researcher. I hope to bring some of the ‘stuff of Palaeolithic life’ – the sticks, stones (and bones) – into detailed focus and encourage debate and discussion. You can find copies of my publications on the Research page. Follow me @AnnemiekeMilks on Twitter
I’m a Palaeolithic archaeologist, and recently gained my doctorate at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. I specialise in early hunting weaponry and experimental archaeology. I am also interested in the use of wood for tools, how humans learn technological skills, in human violence and altruism, and in the origins of music.
My doctoral research focused on the earliest weapons in the archaeological record, which are wooden spears that date as early as 400,000 years ago. These incredible artefacts represent the earliest examples of the longest-serving weapons known to have been made by humans, and which continued to be used by recent hunter-gatherers. Weaponry provides a fascinating window into human food strategies throughout the Pleistocene and I am interested in how its development maps onto hominin adaptations and dispersals.
My work has been funded by the Leakey Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, The European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association, UCL Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects, and through generous public crowdfunding on experiment.com.