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Dr Justin Bradfield

Dr Justin Bradfield
Centre for Anthropological Research

Contact Details
House 10, Humanities Research Village
011 559 1938

My main research interests centre on the use of bone and other faunal materials in Stone Age societies and the degree to which an understanding of these items may better inform our appreciation of the diversity and complexity of ancient indigenous knowledge systems. My research has focused on bone taphonomy, use-wear and fracture mechanics as proxies for understanding tool function and how people in the past engaged with organic technology. At present I am engaged in several projects looking at bone tool function.

Main research projects

  1. Exploring taxonomic identification of pervasively modified bone tools: using two techniques (collagen biomarkers and CT-rendered bone histology) I explore avenues for non-destructively identifying which mammal taxa people were targeting for tool manufacture and the extent to which this representation might differ over time.
  2. Biochemical characterisation of poison residues on Stone Age hunting kits: to explore the antiquity and variability of indigenous knowledge systems by looking at the plant ingredients used to poison weapons.


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