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Christian Tryon


Christian Tryon employs archaeological and geological methods to explore the origin and dispersal of Homo sapiens. He is a Paleolithic archaeologist specializing in the analysis of stone tools, the use of volcanic ash deposits to date and compare sites, and the use of multiple methods to reconstruct the environmental context of Middle and particularly Late Pleistocene sites. He has directed and collaborated on a number of research projects in East Africa, in the Rift Valley as well as along its margins, with a current focus on ancient landscapes in the Lake Victoria basin as well as Middle-Later Stone Age sequences at two rock shelters, GvJm-22 at Lukenya Hill (Kenya) and Kisese II (Tanzania). Past and ongoing field and museum-based projects on early modern human and Neanderthal sites in Turkey, Israel, and France provide a broad geographic comparative framework to understand those processes that to the origin and dispersal of H. sapiens across and out of Africa.

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 

Tryon, C.A.; Faith, J.T. (2016) A demographic perspective on the East African Middle-to-Later Stone Age transition from Nasera rockshelter, Tanzania. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 371: 20150238.

Tryon, C.A.; Faith, J.T.; Peppe, D.J.; Beverly, E.J.; Blegen, N.; Blumenthal, S.; Chritz, K.; Driese, S.; Patterson, D.; Sharp, W. (2016) The Pleistocene prehistory of the Lake Victoria basin. Quaternary International 404 (part B): 100-114.    

Tryon, C.A. (2015) The Aurignacian viewed from Africa, in White R., Bourrillon R. (eds.) with the collaboration of Bon F., Aurignacian Genius: Art, Technology and Society of the First Modern Humans in Europe, Proceedings of the International Symposium, April 08-10 2013, New York University, P@lethnology, 7, 19-33.

Tryon, C.A.; Crevecoeur, I.; Faith, J.T.; Ekshtain, R.; Nivens, J.; Patterson, D.B.; Mbua, E.; Spoor, F. (2015) Late Pleistocene age and archaeological context for the hominin calvaria from GvJm-22 (Lukenya Hill, Kenya). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112: 2682-2687.

Tryon, C.A. and Faith, J.T. (2013) Variability in the Middle Stone Age of Eastern Africa. Current Anthropology 54: S234-S254.

Blome, M.W.; Cohen, A.S.; Tryon, C.A.; Brooks, A.S.; Russell, J. (2012) The environmental context for the origins of modern human diversity: A synthesis of regional variability in African climate 150,000-30,000 years ago. Journal of Human Evolution 62: 563-592.

Tryon, C.A. & Potts, R. (2011) Approaches for Understanding Flake Production in the African Acheulean. In (G. Tostevin, Ed.) Special Issue: Reduction Sequence, Chaîne Opératoire, and Other Methods: The Epistemologies of Different Approaches to Lithic Analysis.  PaleoAnthropology 2011: 376-389.