Shannon McPherron

Senior Archaeologist, Max Planck Institute

Shannon McPherron is a Paleolithic archaeologist primarily interested in the evolution of hominin cultural abilities from the origins of stone tool use through to the dispersal of modern humans. He has excavated a number of Paleolithic sites and is currently involved in field projects in southwest France (Abri Peyrony and La Ferrassie), in Morocco (Jebel Irhoud and Rhafas), and in Ethiopia (Dikika). Work is on-going on the analysis and publication of several other sites including Jonzac, Roc de Marsal and Pech de l’Azé IV. The French projects are generating new data on hominin adaptations just prior to the arrival of modern humans, and the African projects are generating new data on the origins of stone tool use (Dikika) and on the Middle Stone Age (Dikika, Irhoud, and Rhafas) at or soon after the appearance of modern humans. McPherron has emphasized the development of computer assisted techniques for better documenting excavation. He is also interested in the development of methods for the recognition and documentation of site formation processes. McPherron is interested in lithic technology and has published on the significance of variability in handaxes in both the Lower and Middle Paleolithic.