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Pleistocene Behavioral Landscapes of Northern Armenia Project

Monday, January 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm MST

- General Meeting (Virtual Only)

Change of Program: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sarah Allaun has had to reschedule her presentation for later in the year. In place of Allaun, we are pleased to offer a presentation from Dr. Jayson P. Gill. As Dr. Gill is out-of-state, this month’s meeting will not have an in-person component and will be virtual only. Our apologies for any inconvenience and disappointment.


Jayson P. Gill, Ph.D, Visiting Associate Professor, Boise State University


Until recently, the Pleistocene record of the Armenian Highlands and southern Caucasus was considered poorly understood. Using modern methods of survey, excavation, dating, and analytical techniques, key regional projects over the last two decades have been successful in addressing issues of Pleistocene hominin behaviors and evolution. However, much of this research has focused on late MIS 4 through MIS 3. The few published Middle Palaeolithic sites correlated with ≥MIS 5 have low artifact densities and are often poorly-stratified. The Pleistocene Behavioral Landscapes project aims to expand our understanding of hominin occupation and behavior in the Armenian Highlands and southern Caucasus during the Middle and Late Pleistocene via geological and archaeological research in the Debed Gorge of northern Armenia. Initial results from the project will be presented along with current and future directions.


Jayson Gill is an anthropologically trained archaeologist specializing in Pleistocene hominin behavior and digital methods. His research broadly deals with lithic technological variability and change during the Pleistocene of Eurasia and the relationships between behavior, biological evolution, and geography. His particular focus is on the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic techno-periods in the Armenian Highlands and southern Caucasus, as well as the United Kingdom. Along with more traditional qualitative and quantitative methods of lithic analysis, he applies 3D digitization and geometric morphometric techniques. Of importance to his research is the application of cultural evolutionary theory in tandem with optimality modeling from human behavioral ecology to understand both how and why technologies vary within a neo-Darwinian framework. Currently, Jayson directs Palaeolithic fieldwork projects in northern Armenia in collaboration with the Armenian Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Yerevan State University, King’s College London, the University of Winchester, and the University of Connecticut. His experience in archaeology also includes cultural resource management work in the United States. Gill received his Ph.D., Anthropology and his M.A., Anthropology from University of Connecticut, and his B.A., Anthropology from Metropolitan State University of Denver. His professional interests include cultural evolutionary theory, human behavioral ecology, hunter-forager lifeways, human evolution, Pleistocene environments, lithic analysis, archaeological statistics, and the southern Caucasus.


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