Annemieke Milks

Annemieke Milks
University of Reading · Department of Archaeology

PhD

About

20
Publications
6,022
Reads
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130
Citations
Introduction
I'm a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship holder at University of Reading Dept. of Archaeology. My multidisciplinary project is investigating raw material use for early weaponry. I am also affiliated with the NLD in Hannover, working on the collections of wooden tools and other wooden finds from Schöningen, and with UCL's Institute of Archaeology, where I completed my PhD. Recent research also includes the archaeology of hunter-gatherer children.
Additional affiliations
June 2019 - June 2020
University College London
Position
  • Research Associate
October 2013 - February 2017
University College London
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • PGTA to Dr. Cyprian Broodbank for World Archaeology. PGTA to Dr. Mark Lake for Archaeology in the World, a course on archaeology and the 'big picture' and enhancing students' skills in communicating archaeology through blogging.
September 2001 - January 2002
Carnegie Mellon University
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
October 2013 - October 2017
University College London
Field of study
  • Institute of Archaeology
October 2009 - November 2010
University College London
Field of study
  • Institute of Archaeology
September 2000 - May 2002
Carnegie Mellon University
Field of study
  • Violin Performance

Publications

Publications (20)
Article
Teaching likely evolved in humans to facilitate the faithful transmission of complex tasks. As the oldest evidenced hunting technology, spear hunting requires acquiring several complex physical and cognitive competencies. In this study, we used observational and interview data collected among BaYaka foragers (Republic of the Congo) to test the pred...
Article
Theoretical engagement and methodological innovations geared towards identifying the presence and activities of children in archaeological contexts has increased in pace over the last decade. This paper presents a systematic review of the literature pertaining to the archaeology of hunter-gatherer children (H. sapiens). The review summarises method...
Preprint
In this glossary, we aim to initiate a synthesis and standardisation of analytical terms for early wood technologies from stone-tool using cultures. This glossary and code relies upon ongoing research and experience of the authors, alongside recent publications that also undertake systematic analyses and descriptions of wood technologies and traces...
Article
Humans are selective social learners. In a cultural landscape with many potential models, learners must balance the cost associated with learning from successful models with learning from accessible ones. Using structured interviews, we investigate the model selection biases of Congolese BaYaka adolescent boys learning to hunt with spears (n p 24;...
Preprint
Full-text available
Theoretical engagement and methodological innovations geared towards identifying the presence and activities of children in archaeological contexts has increased in pace over the last decade. This paper presents a systematic review of the literature pertaining to the archaeology of hunter-gatherer children. The review summarises methods and finding...
Article
Full-text available
Wooden spears are amongst the earliest weapons known from the archaeological record, with broken and complete examples known from Middle and Late Pleistocene Eurasian, Australian and South American sites. They were manufactured and used by multiple species of Homo, including H. sapiens. This paper comprises the first systematic review of ethnograph...
Article
Full-text available
Research in developmental psychology suggests that children are poor tool innovators. However, such research often overlooks the ways in which children's social and physical environments may lead to cross-cultural variation in their opportunities and proclivity to innovate. In this paper, we examine contemporary hunter-gatherer child and adolescent...
Article
Full-text available
The appearance of weaponry - technology designed to kill - is a critical but poorly established threshold in human evolution. It is an important behavioural marker representing evolutionary changes in ecology, cognition, language and social behaviours. While the earliest weapons are often considered to be hand-held and consequently short-ranged, th...
Article
Archaeologically preserved ‘hunting lesions’ — skeletal damage on prey resulting from weapon impacts — provide clear evidence that humans engaged in hunting. Writing in Nature Ecology & Evolution, Gaudzinski-Windheuser et al.1 present the earliest unambiguous examples of hunting lesions, discovered in faunal collections from the 120,000-year-old Ne...
Conference Paper
This thesis provides empirical data pertaining to the use of the earliest weapons in the archaeological record, which are a collection of plain wooden spears dating to the Middle Pleistocene. These weapons have been variously interpreted as objects for scavenging, hunting and self-defence. It is important to test these functional interpretations wi...
Article
Human hunting has been a cornerstone of research in human evolutionary studies, and decades worth of research programmes into early weapon systems have improved our understanding of the subsistence behaviours of our genus. Thrusting spears are potentially one of the earliest hunting weapons to be manufactured and used by humans. However, a dearth o...
Chapter
Full-text available
Early Gravettian Font-Robert points – tanged tools created on blades – were initially defined as weapon armatures, and this is frequently referred to as their function. However, Font-Robert points have been described as a morphologically variable type, with suggestions that this morphological variability represents a functional variability. Here we...
Article
Early spears as thrusting weapons: Isolating force and impact velocities in human performance trials
Article
Full-text available
The collection of flintwork from the site of Beedings, West Sussex (England) contains by far the largest number of stone tools from the earliest Upper Palaeolithic of Britain, and is one of the two largest assemblages of its type in Europe. Despite its obvious importance, its analysis has been hindered by several factors resulting from its early ex...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
This interdisciplinary project seeks to answer questions about a significant shift in human technology: why did Pleistocene humans choose to add stone points to wooden spears? To evaluate this key shift in human technological evolution, archaeological, primatological, and ethnographic records of the use of wood and stone for weapons will be combined with contextual data to create a chrono-geographic overview of weapon materials and human choices. New experimental and ethnographic research will provide further analytical tools to 'reverse engineer' this Middle Pleistocene innovation.
Project
The goal of this project is to use state-of-the-art imaging techniques to examine in detail the 300,000-year-old wooden objects from the internationally recognised Schöningen site in the Helmstedt district (Germany). This will facilitate a better understanding of the production processes and uses of these uniquely preserved weapons, as well as their context within the archaeological site.
Project
This project aims to investigate the contributions that hand-thrown spears have made to technological adaptations, life history, and cognition. Using observational, interview, and experimental data collected among BaYaka foragers from the Congo Basin, a population that regularly hunts with spears, the present project will seek to understand how experience contributes to spear throwing proficiency, and how this experience is acquired.