Anna Goldfield

Host, The Dirt Podcast

  • Title Host, The Dirt Podcast
  • Office STO 230
  • Phone 617-697-3514
  • Education PhD, Boston University, 2017
    BA, Bryn Mawr College, 2008

Areas of Interest

Zooarchaeology; Human subsistence behavior; Paleolithic archaeology; Archaeology of fire use

Research Interests & Fieldwork

I study the interactions between Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and their prey resources, particularly in response to adverse environmental conditions. I ask how Middle Paleolithic Neanderthal hunting and food processing behavior differs from that of Upper Paleolithic humans, and how these behaviors inform our understanding of human responses to large-scale environmental change. I aim to address this question using zooarchaeological analysis of Middle and Upper Paleolithic faunal assemblages, as well as with an innovative population modeling approach to fire use, hunting, and landscape patch viability.


La Ferrassie, Dordogne, France


Goldfield, A., Ross Booton, and John M. Marston. Modeling the role of fire and cooking in the competitive exclusion of Neanderthals. Journal of Human Evolution online before print. Link.

Dibble, Harold, Paul Goldberg, A. Goldfield, Dennis Sandgathe, and Shannon P. McPherron. 2014. The Neanderthal Child of Roc de Marsal: A Prehistoric Mystery. Boston: Pearson Learning Solutions

Published Illustrations

Caraher, William R. and Brandon, R. Olson (Eds.) (in press). Visions of Substance: Recent Reflections on 3D Imaging in Mediterranean Archaeology The University of North Dakota Press, Grand Forks.

The Neanderthal Child of Roc de Marsal: A Prehistoric Mystery
Lemoine, Ximena, Melinda Zeder, Katelyn J. Bishop, and Scott J. Rufolo. 2014. A new system for computing dentition-based age profiles in Sus scrofa. Journal of Archaeological Science 47: 179-193.

Conference Presentations

“The fat of the land: Bone fat exploitation by Neanderthals and early modern humans” Paper presented at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, 2017

“Using Nutritional Ecology and Energetic Modeling to Reexamine the Role of Plants in Neanderthal Diet in Southwest France” (with Kristen N. Wroth) Paper presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society of Ethnobiology, 2017

“Modeling the role of fire in the competitive exclusion of Neanderthals” Paper presented at the 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, 2016

“Fire use, metabolism, and population modeling for Neanderthals and early humans” Poster presented at the 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, 2015

“Fire use in the Middle Paleolithic: Implications for Neanderthal mobility” Paper presented at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Annual Graduate Conference, 2014

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