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Lin, Sam Dr.

ARC DECRA Fellow

  • Lecturer - School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences 2019 -

Overview


I am an archaeologist who is interested in the study of human evolution through analysing stone tools. Because of its durable nature, stone tool provides a long record of human behaviour over the last 2-3 million years. Over the last decade, I have studied archaeological stone tools made by different hominin species from Europe, Africa, East Asia and Southeast Asia. 

I am currently an ARC DECRA Fellow in the Centre for Archaeological Science and the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, as well as an Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH).

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • A central focus of my research is on understanding the fundamental properties of stone tools through experimentation. Because very few, if any, societies today use stone tools on a daily basis, stone tool technology is alien to most modern researchers. In order to reconstruct past technological behaviours from stone artefacts, I have been conducting mechanical flaking experiments to understand the basic cause-and-effect properties of stone tool making. These fundamental knowledge allow researchers to objectively characterise the technological behaviours of early humans from stone artefacts. I am also interested in exploring past socio-cultural processes from archaeological stone tools, such as mobility, territoriality and cultural transmission. To understand these processes in the context of archaeological formation, I use computer modelling to examine how different patterns of stone tool production, selection and transport over time and space can explain the archaeological record that we find today.

    To apply my experimental and modelling work to actual archaeological data, I have studied stone tools made by different early human groups from different parts of the world. These include large cutting tools made by Homo erectus over 1 million years ago in East Africa, to small chipped flakes produced by Neanderthals and early modern humans in France, South Africa, China and Indonesia. Using a comparative approach, I am interested in understanding not only how early humans interacted with local environments in the past, but also the long-term behavioural evolution of our human lineage.  

    Currently, I am involved in several field research projects. I am a collaborator on the excavation of several Upper Palaeolithic sites in the semi-arid zone of Ningxia, China. I am also involved in the excavation project at Liang Bua, Indonesia, where Homo floresiensis fossil remains were found.

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Available as Research Supervisor

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Understanding the Early Middle Stone Age of the Southern African Interior O'Driscoll, Corey
    Doctor of Philosophy The Toalean stone tool techno-complex and its implication on human adaptation during the Holocene in South Sulawesi, Indonesia Wahab, Anton Ferdianto
    Doctor of Philosophy Characterising the tool production behavior of Homo floresiensis through biomechanical modeling Barroso Medina, Cecilia

Reviewer Of


Keywords


  • Paleolithic archaeology; Late Pleistocene hominin evolution; Human-environment interaction; Stone artefacts; Archaeological method and theory; Experimentation; Modelling; Statistical applications

Full Name


  • Sam Chieh-Heng Lin

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • A central focus of my research is on understanding the fundamental properties of stone tools through experimentation. Because very few, if any, societies today use stone tools on a daily basis, stone tool technology is alien to most modern researchers. In order to reconstruct past technological behaviours from stone artefacts, I have been conducting mechanical flaking experiments to understand the basic cause-and-effect properties of stone tool making. These fundamental knowledge allow researchers to objectively characterise the technological behaviours of early humans from stone artefacts. I am also interested in exploring past socio-cultural processes from archaeological stone tools, such as mobility, territoriality and cultural transmission. To understand these processes in the context of archaeological formation, I use computer modelling to examine how different patterns of stone tool production, selection and transport over time and space can explain the archaeological record that we find today.

    To apply my experimental and modelling work to actual archaeological data, I have studied stone tools made by different early human groups from different parts of the world. These include large cutting tools made by Homo erectus over 1 million years ago in East Africa, to small chipped flakes produced by Neanderthals and early modern humans in France, South Africa, China and Indonesia. Using a comparative approach, I am interested in understanding not only how early humans interacted with local environments in the past, but also the long-term behavioural evolution of our human lineage.  

    Currently, I am involved in several field research projects. I am a collaborator on the excavation of several Upper Palaeolithic sites in the semi-arid zone of Ningxia, China. I am also involved in the excavation project at Liang Bua, Indonesia, where Homo floresiensis fossil remains were found.

Selected Publications


Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Understanding the Early Middle Stone Age of the Southern African Interior O'Driscoll, Corey
    Doctor of Philosophy The Toalean stone tool techno-complex and its implication on human adaptation during the Holocene in South Sulawesi, Indonesia Wahab, Anton Ferdianto
    Doctor of Philosophy Characterising the tool production behavior of Homo floresiensis through biomechanical modeling Barroso Medina, Cecilia

Reviewer Of


Keywords


  • Paleolithic archaeology; Late Pleistocene hominin evolution; Human-environment interaction; Stone artefacts; Archaeological method and theory; Experimentation; Modelling; Statistical applications

Full Name


  • Sam Chieh-Heng Lin

Research Areas

Geographic Focus