• Joe Mezza
  • Joe Mezza
  • Advisor: Dr. Dan Cabanes Cruelles

    I am a Junior pursuing a B.S in evolutionary anthropology, with an additional major in history and a minor in archaeology.


    For my honors thesis, I am conducting microarchaeological analyses of sediment samples from the Middle/Upper Paleolithic site Abrigo do Lagar Velho, a rock shelter in central Portugal best known for the 1998 discovery there of the “Lapedo Boy,” a near-complete fossil skeleton of a young child thought to represent hybridization between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans.

    Through my research, I hope to improve understanding of site formation processes at Lagar Velho, the pyrotechnological capacity of the hominins who once lived there, and those hominins’ manipulation of the natural environment around them.


    Neanderthals, pyrotechnology, paleoclimate, paleoecology, human evolution