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Kathy Kuman

Position: Associate Professor
Qualification:Phd, MA, BA
Phone: 27 11 717 6047
Room 222, Origins Centre


Research Interests

Kathy received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 with a thesis on two Middle Stone Age sites in southern Africa (Florisbad and ≠Gi). She has worked extensively on the archaeology of Sterkfontein caves and is a team member of the Swartkrans Paleoanthropological Research Project. Both are hominid sites with Earlier Stone Age between 2 and 1 Ma. Her other long-running research involvements have been on the late Earlier Stone Age to Middle Stone Age in the Mapungubwe National Park (northern Limpopo Province), on the early Acheulean to Middle Stone Age sequence at Canteen Kopje, Northern Cape Province, and most recently on the handaxe industries of central China and on Acheulean sites in the Eastern Cape. She specializes in site formation, stone tool analysis, and cultural and behavioural evolution, with emphasis on the Oldowan and Acheulean periods.

Representative Publications

Kuman, K. (2007). The Earlier Stone Age in South Africa: site context and the influence of cave studies. In: T.R. Pickering, K. Schick and N. Toth (eds): Breathing Life into Fossils: Taphonomic Studies in Honor of C.K. (Bob) Brain. Bloomington (Indiana): Stone Age Institute Press, pp 181-198.


Kuman, K. and A.S. Field (2009). The Oldowan Industry from Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa. In K. Schick and N. Toth (eds): The Cutting Edge: New Approaches to the Archaeology of Human Origins. Gosport, Indiana: Stone Age Institute Press, pp 151-170.


Gibbon, R.J., D.E. Granger, K. Kuman and T.C. Partridge (2009). Early Acheulean technology in the Vaal River gravels, South Africa, dated with cosmogenic nuclides. Journal of Human Evolution 56: 152-160.


Le Baron, J.C., K. Kuman and S. Grab (2010). The landscape archaeology of the Hackthorne Plateau, Limpopo River Valley, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin 65: 123-131.

Wilkins, J., L. Pollarolo and K. Kuman (2010). Prepared core reduction at the site of Kudu Koppie in northern South Africa: temporal patterns across the Earlier and Middle Stone Age boundary.  Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 1279–1292.


Pickering, T.R., M.B. Sutton, J.L. Heaton, R.J. Clarke, C.K. Brain and K. Kuman (2012). New stratigraphic interpretations and hominid fossils from Swartkrans Member 1 (South Africa). Journal of Human Evolution 62: 618-628