Aman Kang


In 2018, I completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Archaeology) at the University of Sydney. My thesis, “The Fashion of Function: Considering the Practical Use of Ornaments from the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic Europe”, received First Class Honours. In July 2021, I received a Master of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science (with Commendation) from the Australian National University (ANU, Canberra). I specialised in zooarchaeology and stable isotope analysis. This provided a foundation for my doctoral research.

During my undergraduate degree I worked part-time in archaeology consulting. Prior to commencing my masters I worked full-time as an archaeologist for the Archaeological Management and Consulting Group (AMAC) in Sydney. During my masters, I worked for GML Heritage, and as a Research Assistant to Dr. Duncan Wright at the ANU.

I commenced my PhD at the University of Cambridge in October 2021, co-supervised by Professor Matthew Collins, Dr. Tamsin O’Connell, and Dr. Frido Welker (University of Copenhagen). I am funded by the Cambridge Australia Newnham Scholarship.


My PhD will utilise Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry (ZooMS) and stable isotope analysis to expand our current understanding of hominin cognition. The aims of the study are to identify taxa that are otherwise impossible within the parameters of zooarchaeology regarding anthropogenically modified bone specimens. Stable isotope analysis will also pinpoint the origins and methods of resource procurement. The local vs non-local isotopic signatures will discern if there are differences between Neanderthal and Anatomically Modern Human (AMH) subsistence. Key to this is to explore changes in the manner in which each species interacted with their environment, as that can illuminate the changes that occurred when Neanderthals became extinct and AMH thrived as the single species in Europe. This will be achieved by assessing worked bone through a multi-site approach spanning the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic in Europe. The method will consist of existing extraction protocols, making this study extremely viable and achievable. It is anticipated that a non-destructive ZooMS approach will be utilised to avoid drilling or cutting through a bone sample. The results will then be examined across Neanderthal and AMH sites to test hypotheses regarding human-environment interaction during bone tool manufacture.