Members of the Faunal Laboratory focus on the identification, analysis, and interpretation of animal remains, mainly bones and teeth, from archaeological and palaeontological sites.

The laboratory holds an important extant mammalian skeletal collection that is used by UCT staff and students, as well as outside researchers.

Analysing faunal remains enables the generation of information on hominin subsistence strategies, as well as the environments that they inhabited.

Faunal Laboratory

Students at the laboratory:

  • Xavier Middelton (PhD)
  • Ruan Brand (MSc)
  • Humphrey Nyambiya (MSc)
  • Jessica Logie (Honours)

Selected publications:

Groenewald, P., A., Sealy, J., Stynder, D., Smith, K. M. (2020). “Dietary resource partitioning among three coeval proboscidean taxa (Anancus capensis, Mammuthus subplanifrons, Loxodonta cookei) from the South African Early Pliocene locality of Langebaanweg E Quarry. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 543, 109606.

Stynder, D. D., DeSantis, L., Donohue, S., Schubert, B., Ungar, P. (2018). “A dental microwear texture analysis of the early Pliocene African ursid Agriotherium africanum (Mammalia, Carnivora, Ursidae)". Journal of Mammalian Evolution 26, 1-11.

Lehmann, S. B., Levin, N. E., Braun, D. R., Stynder, D. D., Zhu, M., le Roux, P. J., Sealy J. (2018). “Environmental and ecological implications of strontium isotope ratios in mid-Pleistocene fossil teeth from Elandsfontein, South Africa.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 490, 84-94

Forrest, F. L., Stynder, D. D., Bishop, L. C., Levin, N. E., Lehmann, S. B., Patterson, D. B., Matthews, T., Braun, D. R. (2018). “Zooarchaeological reconstruction of newly excavated Middle Pleistocene deposits from Elandsfontein, South Africa.” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17, 19-29.

Lehmann, S. B., Braun, D. R., Dennis, K. J., Patterson, D. B., Stynder, D. D., Bishop, L. C., Forrest, F. and Levin, N. E. (2016). “Stable isotope composition of fossil mammal teeth and environmental change in southwestern South Africa during the Pliocene and Pleistocene”. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 457, 396-408.


Assoc Prof Deano Stynder
Archaeology Department
Beattie Building, Room 3.1.1
+27 (0)21 650 3648