Institute of Archaeology

Mr Tomos Proffitt

Mr Tomos Proffitt

Research Fellow

Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square

Institute of Archaeology

Joined UCL
12th Jun 2017

Research summary

Research Interests

  • Early Stone Age archaeology and lithic technology of East Africa
  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Human Evolution
  • Primate stone tool production and use
  • African Prehistory
  • 3D Modelling of archaeological data

Research Projects

New Insights into the Emergence of Technology: a Capuchin Stone Tool Approach

This project will enable the first comparison of capuchin stone on stone percussive behaviour and material with the archaeological record, allowing us to answer: what makes human technology unique?  The project will unite modern archaeological techniques, primate behavioural observations and novel experimental approaches to identify the behavioural, cognitive and morphological requirements for the emergence of our earliest human technology.

Teaching summary


  • BSc, MSc, PhD
  • British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Professional History

  • 2016: Post-Doctoral Researcher in Primate Archaeology: Primarch Project, Research Lab for Archaeology and History of Art, University of Oxford
  • 2014-2015:  Laboratory Technician, Lithics Laboratory, UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • 2013: Field School Supervisor: Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (UCL), Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
  • 2011-2014: Field Archaeologist: Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (UCL), Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
  • 2010-2011 & 2008 Field Archaeologist: Archaeology South East
  • 2007 Field Archaeologist: Noviodunum Archaeological Project (UCL), Romania
  • 2006 Field Archaeologist: Excavation at the Khazar Fotres, Rostov State University and the Center for the Study of Eurasian Nomads (USA), Rostov on Don

Educational Background

  • 2015: PhD in Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology. Thesis title: A Technological Analysis of the Oldowan and Developed Oldowan Assemblages from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
  • 2011: MSc in Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology. Thesis title: A lithic analysis of level N31C of the Magdalenian rock shelter of Buendia, Spain 
  • 2009: BSc in Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology