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Alison Brooks

Portrait of Alison Brooks

Dr. Brooks is a paleoanthropologist and Paleolithic archaeologist who has worked at numerous localities in Africa and in northern China. Dr. Brooks's recent field research has been on Africa's Middle Stone Age, and she has ongoing projects at MSA sites in the Middle Awash Valley, Ethiopia, and the Olorgesailie Basin, Southern Kenya Rift. She is an important figure in the debate over when, where, and why modern Homo sapiens originated. Her current research projects include: field research at Paleolithic sites in Kenya, analysis of skeletal remains from Ishango, Zaire, and dating by protein changes in ostrich eggshell.




Read more about the latest discoveries published in the journal Science on our Evolution of Human Innovation page

Brooks, A.S., Yellen, J.E., Potts, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Deino, A.L., Leslie, D.E., Ambrose, S.H., Ferguson, J., d’Errico, F. Zipkin, A.M., Whittaker, S., Post, J., Veatch, E.G., Foecke, K., Clark, J.B., 2018. Long-distance stone transport and pigment use in the earliest Middle Stone Age, Science

Potts, R., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Faith, J.T., Tryon, C.A., Brooks, A.S., Yellen, J.E., Deino, A.L., Kinyanjui, R., Clark, J.B., Haradon, C., Levin, N.E., Meijer, H.J.M., Veatch, E.G., Owen, R.B., Renaut, R.W., 2018. Environmental dynamics during the onset of the Middle Stone Age in eastern Africa, Science 

Deino, A.L., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Brooks, A.S., Yellen, J.E., Sharp, W.D., Potts, R., 2018. Chronology of the Acheulean to Middle Stone Age Transition in Eastern Africa, Science

Sager, R.J., Helgren, D.M., Brooks, A.S., 2005. An Introduction to World Studies: People, Places, and Change. Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Yellen, J., Brooks, A., Helgren, D., Tappen, M., Ambrose, S., Bonnefille, R., Feathers, J., Goodfriend, G., Ludwig, K., Renne, P., Stewart, K., 2005. The archaeology of Aduma Middle Stone Age sites in the Awash Valley, Ethiopia. PaleoAnthropology 3, 25-100.

Brooks, A.S., Yellen, J.E., Nevell, L., Hartman, G., 2005. Projectile technologies of the African MSA: Implications for modern human origins. In: Hovers, E., Kuhn, S.(Eds.), Transitions before the Transition: Evolution and Stability in the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age. Kluwer Academics/Plenum, New York.Delson, E., Tattersall, I., Van Couvering, J.A., Brooks, A.S., (Eds.), 2000. Encylopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory. 2nd ed. Garland Press, New York.

Brooks, A.S., 2002. Cultural contact in Africa, past and present: Multidisciplinary perspectives on the status of African foragers. In: Kent, S. (Ed.), Ethnicity, Hunter-Gatherers, and the "Other": Association or Assimilation in Africa. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

McBrearty, S., Brooks, A.S., 2002. The revolution that wasn't: A new interpretation of the origin of modern human behavior. Journal of Human Evolution 39, 453-563.

Mercader, J., Brooks, A.S., 2001. Across forests and savannas: Later Stone Age assemblages from Ituri and Semliki, Northeast Democratic Republic of Congo. Journal of Anthropological Research 57, 197-217.