Steven Kuhn

Tel: (520) 621-2088
Fax: (520) 621-2088

Research interests

  • Paleolithic archaeology and human evolution
  • human ecology in the Mediterranean Basin
  • technological change
  • lithic technology
  • ornaments and early "information technology”


Dr. Kuhn is Professor in the School of Anthropology and Director of CMATE. He has been working on Paleolithic archaeological sites and collections from across the northern and eastern Mediterranean for more than 25 years. Field and museum research has taken him to Italy, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, Israel, Syria, and Turkey. He is currently involved in collaborative archaeological fieldwork and laboratory projects investigating Paleolithic sites and artifact assemblages in Turkey, Serbia, and Tucson.

Dr. Kuhn’s research focuses on the ways environmental and social conditions influenced the biological and cultural evolution of humans and human ancestors. He uses data from the study of stone artifacts as one source of information about the ways hominins interacted with their environments and with each other. Satisfactory answers to these sorts of “big” questions cannot come from a single kind of evidence, however, so like many of his CMATE colleagues Dr. Kuhn emphasizes interdisciplinary collaborative research integrating the work of scientists from diverse fields.

Some Recent Publications

Kuhn, S. 2013 Questions of complexity and scale in explanations for cultural transitions in the Pleistocene: a case study from the early Upper Paleolithic. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 20 (2) 194-211.

Shimelmitz, R. and S. Kuhn. 2013. Early Mousterian Levallois Technology in Unit IX of Tabun Cave. PaleoAnthropology 2013:1-27.

Stiner, M.C., S. Kuhn and E. Guleç. 2013 Ornaments as Artifacts and Reflections of Site Function at the Early Upper Paleolithic Site of Üçağizli Cave I (Hatay Province, Turkey). Journal of Human Evolution 64: 380-398.

Kuhn, S. 2012.Emergent patterns of creativity and innovation in early technologies. In Creativity, Innovation and Human Evolution, edited by S. Elias. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 69-87.

Howell, F. Clark, G. Arsebük, S. L. Kuhn, M. Özbaşaran, M. Stiner. 2010 Culture and Biology at the Crossroads: The Middle Pleistocene Record of Yarımburgaz Cave (Thrace, Turkey). Zero Books/Ege Yayınları (Istanbul).

Kuhn, S, M.C. Stiner, E Güleç, I. Özer, H. Yılmaz, I. Baykara, A. Açıkkol, P.Goldberg, K. Martínez, E. Ünay, Suata-Alpaslan, F. 2009. The Early Upper Paleolithic Occupations at Üçağızlı Cave (Hatay, Turkey). Journal of Human Evolution 56:87-113.