Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University


I hold a B.A. in Archaeology from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia and an M.A. in Palaeolithic Archaeology/Palaeoecology from Leiden University, the Netherlands. In my master thesis (supervised by Prof. Wil Roebroeks) entitled ' On the Issues of Controlled and Habitual Fire Use: Testing the strenghts of the short chronologies with focus on Western Eurasia' I discussed current issues of developing a robust chronological framework for the scientific study of anthropogenic fire in prehistory, and provided directions on how to move forward. I have conducted fieldwork at Palaeolithic localities in Spain and Australia. My research interests involve all aspects of human evolution, though I am particularly interested in the origins and evolutionary development of cognition and culture among prehistoric hunter-gatherers.

Expertise: Prehistoric Archaeology, Human Evolution, Neandertals,


About the research

My PhD research builds upon my MA thesis and is entitled ' Neandertals and Fire: Habitual or Opportunistic Users? Investigating the role of fire in the occupation of Middle Palaeolithic Europe' It aims to bring clarity to European Neandertals relationship to fire using a mulitproxy research methodology where proxies for the former presence of fire from Neandertal contexts is studied in relation to different settings and depositional environments. The goal of the project is to determine the level of influence different settings and environments have on preserved fire traces in archaeological contexts and whether one can make accurate interpretations on Neandertal fire culture based on current preserved evidence.

The project is supervised by Associate Professor Jan Apel (Lund) and Professor Wil Roebroeks (Leiden).

Research portal (Lund University)

Johan Sterner

Doctoral Student
Department of Archaeology and Ancient History

Contact information

E-mail johan.sternerark.luse

Room LUX:A220

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30