Rebecca M. Wragg Sykes

Rebecca M. Wragg Sykes
University of Liverpool | UoL · School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology

MA Archaeology of Human Origins; PhD Palaeolithic

About

46
Publications
14,893
Reads
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193
Citations
Introduction
Current: Honorary Fellow, University of Liverpool Chercheur bénévole, PACEA, U. Bordeaux Author and archaeological consultant, rebeccawraggsykes.com Last academic post 2015: Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, PACEA Academic research interests: - Neanderthal lifeways: lithic and organic material culture, cognition, landscape organisation, territoriality - Raw material techno-economics and non-flint utilisation Co-founder of TrowelBlazers trowelblazers.com
Additional affiliations
August 2020 - present
University of Liverpool
Position
  • Fellow
December 2017 - present
Freelance author and creative and heritage consultant
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • rebeccawraggsykes.com Writer, science communicator, creative and heritage consultant.
October 2015 - present
University of Bordeaux
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Honorary research fellow; currently based in UK
Education
June 2004 - July 2009
The University of Sheffield
Field of study
  • Neanderthal archaeology

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
Full-text available
Despite its long research history and particular palaeogeographic context, the British Late Middle Palaeolithic (LMP) of Marine Isotope Stage 4 and 3 has not been fully integrated in broader discussions of Neanderthal behavioural adaptations. This is due not only to the lack of a comprehensive account of the archaeological record, but also to perce...
Book
Kindred is the definitive guide to the Neanderthals. Since their discovery over 160 years ago, they've metamorphosed from the losers of the human family tree to A-list hominins. While 21st century scientific understanding of Neanderthals is complex and fascinating, much remains inaccessible outside the specialist literature. In Kindred, Rebecca Wr...
Chapter
Despite a remarkably persistent pop culture image of Neanderthals as semi-upright, hairy, cavemen wielding clubs, science provides us with a different picture. There is no doubt that the evolutionary forces that shaped Neanderthals and Homo sapiens differed, but recent evidence of interbreeding tells us that our anatomy and physiology were compatib...
Chapter
This chapter presents the first collective synthesis of Late Middle Palaeolithic lithic technology (MIS 4–3, ≈ 70-40 ka) from the Altai mountains to the Atlantic coast of Western Europe and the Mediterranean regions of Europe and the Levant. As early as the first half of the twentieth century, archaeological debates focused on characterising and in...
Article
(Article in digital magazine Aeon) Handprints on a cave wall, crumbs from a meal: the new science of Neanderthals radically recasts the meaning of humanity
Chapter
Full-text available
The archaeological record of the later Middle Palaeolithic in Britain presents a very different character to that found in France: numerically far smaller, with a more ephemeral character. This, together with a challenging history in terms of collection bias resulting from early excavations, has created an impression that it cannot contribute to br...
Article
Full-text available
Petro-archaeology is a powerful tool useful in understanding the origin and management of rocks discovered in prehistoric sites and the complexity of human territories. This research technique has been applied extensively to the Massif Central and its margins, allowing the revaluation of lithic imports from the Rhodanian corridor. Flint derived fro...
Chapter
Full-text available
The TrowelBlazers project provides an example of how public participation can radically influence an archival heritage project. Conceived as a Tumblr site where a limited group could post content celebrating female archaeologists, geologists, and palaeontologists, we soon allowed ‘guest’ posts, which rapidly broadened the scope of our project. Thro...
Article
Silcretes are not widely discussed archaeologically as a prehistoric lithic resource in Europe, despite there being many years of geological research into their formation, and in some regions, a long record of their use in prehistory. In the Massif Central, south eastern France, various silcrete sources represent some of the largest and best qualit...
Technical Report
Full-text available
En 2015, les résultats scientifiques obtenus débouchent sur une amélioration significative aux niveaux gîtologique, pétroarchéologique et archéologique. Nous sommes en mesure de présenter une carte précise des formations à silex et une ébauche d’atlas comprenant les principaux types de silex présents en Auvergne. Avec la constitution d’un protocole...
Article
Full-text available
Recent broad-scale comparative studies of Neanderthal lithic assemblages have contrasted previous views of the Middle Palaeolithic as a period of stasis. Throughout the Middle Palaeolithic, ca. 300,000-35,000 years ago, typo-technological changes can be observed in the Neanderthal behavioural repertoire, including trends that are restricted in time...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The study of siliceous raw materials in the European Palaeolithic has frequently focused on flint and chert (more broadly, silex) as the materials most often encountered in archaeological sites. This poster provides new data on the use of silcrete, a lithic material that is little known in the European Palaeolithic (although familiar in Australian,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Palaeolithic exploitation of lithic sources is still often considered from a site - centred perspective: ‘living’ sites are represented as centres of resource consumption, with stone entering them centripetally. The reality of how stone tool sources tted into webs of resource use and human movements is likely to be more complex and it is essential...
Technical Report
Au cours du mois d’août 2014, une campagne de sondage a été réalisée sur la commune de Saint-Pierre-Eynac (SPE). Cette opération était motivée par la découverte en 1972 par R. de Bayle des Hermens d’une série d’artefacts lithiques préhistoriques dans le champ de Mr Marcon (parcelle B830), par la mise en évidence en 2013 de multiples objets taillés...
Article
Full-text available
Ce PCR regroupait en première année de fonctionnement 47 chercheurs professionnels et bénévoles, plusieurs collaborateurs occssionnels et un prestataire privé pour analyses spécialisées, autour de la thématique « espaces et subsistances » dans le sud-est du Massif central, entre moyenne montagne et couloir rhodanien. Les travaux conduits s’appuient...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Our view of Neanderthals as a species has been transformed over the last decade following important archaeological discoveries, and advances in palaeogenetics. New evidence from varied elements of the Late Middle Palaeolithic (lithic raw material transport and symbolic artefacts/practices) compel reconsideration of other aspects of material culture...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a summary of the first season of fieldwork and archive assessment undertaken in 2010 as part of the of Jersey, through targeted sampling and key-hole excavation of poorly understood find spots, as well as a major reassessment of La Cotte de St Brelade. This paper presents the successful results of two weeks of intensive fieldwor...
Article
Full-text available
Selected results from a recent comprehensive, technologically-centred study of the British Late Middle Palaeolithic are presented. Bifaces are a major element of these MIS 3 Mousterian assemblages, but they have not been examined in an inclusive manner. Attention has until now been focused on particular strikingly-shaped examples termed bout coupés...
Thesis
Full-text available
Neanderthals were absent from Britain for a large part of the Middle and Upper Pleistocene, and returned after Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 4 when the climate ameliorated. Their presence in Britain has been established by early MIS 3, at least 55- 60,000 years BP, until around 40,000 BP. Our understanding of this reoccupation of the British landscape...

Projects

Projects (5)
Archived project
Popular science book with Bloomsbury Sigma, published August 2020
Archived project
To undertake a preliminary archive and field investigation of Quaternary capture points in and around the Channel Island of Jersey