Lawrence Straus

Leslie Spier Distinguished Professor (Emeritus)
Editor, Journal of Anthropological Research

Photo: Lawrence Straus


At UNM since 
Curriculum vitae

Recent Courses:

  • World Archeology (ANTH 220)
  • Stone Age Europe (ANTH 325/525)
  • African Prehistory (ANTH 327/527)
  • Seminar: What are “Modern” Humans? (ANTH 497/597)
  • Seminar: Pleistocene-Holocene Transition (ANTH 577)
  • Proposal Writing (ANTH 675)


BA (Honors), University of Chicago (1971)

MA, University of Chicago (1972)

PhD, University of Chicago (1975)
Dissertation: “A Study of the Solutrean in Vasco-Cantabrian Spain”


Paleolithic prehistory, paleoanthropology, archaeology of caves, lithic analysis; Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium.

Recent Publications:

2019    The Upper Paleolithic Sequence in El Mirón Cave (Ramales de la Victoria): an overview. Journal of Archaeological Science-Reports (with M.González Morales).

2019    Birds of prey and humans in prehistoric Europe:a view from El Mirón Cave, Cantabria (Spain). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 24: 244-252 (with B. Demarchi, S. Presslee, I. Gutiérrez-Zugasti, M. González-Morales, A.B.Marín-Arroyo & R. Fischer).

2019    Sources of the ochres associated with the Lower Magdalenian “Red Lady” human burial and rock art in El Mirón Cave (Cantabria, Spain). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 23: 265-280 (with R. Seva, M.D. Landete, J. Juan, C. Biete & M. González Morales).

2019    Landscapes, climate change and forager mobility in the Upper Paleolithic of northern Spain. Quaternary International 515: 176-187.  doi:10.1016jquaint.2018.04.037 (with G.A. Clark & C.M. Barton

2019    A Life in the pits: reflections on a half-century of  doing Stone Age archeology. Quaternary International 515: 4-11

2019    Magdalenian Chrono-stratigraphic Correlations and Cultural Connections between Cantabrian Spain and Southwest France...and Beyond.  Séances de la Société Préhistorique Française. Paris. (M. Langlais, co-editor).

2019    The Magdalenian sequence in El Mirón Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria) in the  context of northern Spain and the broader Franco-Cantabrian region.  In Magdalenian Chrono-stratigraphic Correlations and Cultural Connections between Cantabrian Spain and Southwest France...and Beyond.  Séances de la Société Préhistorique Française, L.G. Straus & M. Langlais, editors (with M. González Morales)(in press).

2018    El Mirón Cave: Geography & Culture. In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (2nd ed.), C. Smith,ed., Springer, New York (with M.González Morales)(revised & expanded entry). 2247-2

2018    Chronological reassessment of the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition and early Upper Paleolithic cultures in Cantabrian Spain. PLOS-One (with A.B.Marín, J.Ríos, J.Jones, la Rasilla, M.González Morales, M. Richards, J. Altuna, K. Mariezkurrena & D. Ocio).

2018    New dates for the Solutrean and Magdalenian of Cantabrian Spain:El Mirón and La Riera Caves. Radiocarbon doi:10.1017/RDC.2018.14 (with M.R. González Morales)

2018    Deciphering archaeological palimpsests with bone micro-fragments  from the Lower Magdalenian of El Mirón Cave (Cantabria, Spain). Historical Biology 30(6): 730-742 (with J-M.Geiling, A.B.Marín and M.González Morales) http://dx.doi/10.1080/08912963.2017.1385611

2018    A Possible structure in the Lower Magdalenian horizon in El Mirón Cave (Cantabria,Spain).  In Multas per Gentes et Multa per Saecula: Amici Magistro et Collegae suo Ioanni Christopho Kozłowski Dedicant. (jubilee volume for Janusz K. Kozłowski), edited by P. Valde-Nowak, K. Sobczyk, M. Nowak and J. Żrałka.  Jagiellonian University/Alter Publishing,  Krakow), pp. 157-166 (with  M.R.González Morales).

2018    The Lower Magdalenian osseous industry from Level 17 in El Mirón Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, Spain) (with J-M. Geiling & M.R. González Morales) Zephyrus 81: 15-30.

2018    La Riera Cave: Geography & Culture. In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (2nd ed.), C. Smith, ed., Springer, New York (with G.A. Clark) (revised entry). 1327-2

2018   Le Solutréen dans l’Espagne Cantabrique. In Les Solutréens, edited by M. Otte. Errance, Paris, pp. 71-86.    

2018    Changing environments during the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in the eastern Cantabrian region (Spain): direct evidence from stable isotope studies on ungulate bones.  Scientific Reports 8:14842  doi:10.1038/s41598-018-3243-0 (with J. Jones, M. Richards, J. Altuna, K. Mariezkurrena and A.B.Marín-Arroyo).

2018    The Upper Paleolithic of Iberia. Trabajos de Prehistoria 75: 9-51.

2017    Lower Magdalenian lithic raw material provisioning: a  diachronic view from El Mirón Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, Spain). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 19: 794-803 (2018)  (with L.M. Fontes & M.González Morales).

2017    Environmental & cultural changes across the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Cantabrian Spain.  Special issue of Quaternary International edited by E. Robinson & F. Riede  Vol. 465(B), pp. 222-233 (2018).

2017    The Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Cantabrian Spaim: current reflections on culture change. Special issue of  Journal of Quaternary Science edited by N. Bicho and J. Cascalheira doi:10.1002/jqs.2943  Vol. 33(3), pp. 346-352 (2018).

2017    El Mirón Cave (Ramales, Cantabria, Spain). Encylopedia of Geoarchaeology, edited by A. S. Gilbert. Springer: Dordrecht, pp. 210-211 (with M.R.González Morales).

2016    El Mirón Cave (Ramales, Cantabria, Spain) date list V: Middle Paleolithic and Lower Magdalenian.  Radiocarbon  58: 943-945  (with M. González Morales) doi:10.1017/RDC.2016.84

2016    A spatial distribution study of faunal remains f rom two Lower Magdalenian occupation levels in El Mirón Cave, Cantabria, Spain. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology (London) 26 (1) article 4, pp.  1-16  (with J.M. Geiling, M.González Morales & A.B.Marín-Arroyo)

2016    The Chicago connection in Spanish Paleolithic prehistory. In History of Archaeology : International Perspectives  edited  by  G.Delley,  M. Díaz-Andreu, F. Djinjian, V.M. Fernández, A. Guidi, M.A. Kaeser, Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford  (Proceedings of the XVII World Congress of the UISPP, Burgos, Spain) , pp.  111-119.

2016    Cores, core-scrapers and bladelet production during the Lower Magdalenian occupations of El Mirón Cave, Cantabria, Spain.  Lithic Technology 41: 212-235 (with L.M.Fontes, R. Domingo & M.R. González Morales)  doi:10.1080?01977261.1175547

2016    The genetic history of Ice Age Europe. Nature 534:200-205+on-line Extended Data, Figures and Supplementary Materials  (with Q.Fu, C.Posth, M.Hajdinjak, M.Peti, S. Malick, D.Fernandes, A.Furtwängler, W.Haak, M.Mayer, A.Mitnik, B.Nickel, A.Peltzer, N. Rohland, V.Slon, I.Lazaridis, M.Lipson, S.Schiffels, P.Skoglund, B.Gely, S.Benazzi, S.Constanin, M.González-Morales, O.T.Molovan, M.Peresani, D.Carmelli, M.Lari, A.Ronchitelli, F.Valentin, D.Coppola, A.Derevianko, D.Grigourescu, C.Neugebauer-Maresch, C.Thevenet, K.Wehreberger, I. Crevecoeur, H.Rougier, P.Semal, C.Cupillard, H.Bocherens, M.Mannino, N.Conard, K.Harvati, V.Moiseyev, D.Drucker, J.Svoboda, R.Pinhasi, J.Kelson, N.Patterson, J.Kraus, S.Pääbo, D.Reich). doi:10.1038/nature17993

2016    Humans confront the Last Glacial Maximum  in Western Europe: reflections on the Solutrean  weaponry phenomenon in the  broader contexts of technological change and cultural adaptation.  In Last Glacial Maximum Prehistory in Northern Eurasia (L.G. Straus, I. Buvit, K. Terry & M.Izuho, eds.),  Quaternary International 425:62-68

2016    Last Glacial Maximum Prehistory in Northern Eurasia.  Special section of Quaternary International vol. 425:1-172  (I. Buvit, K. Terry & M. Izuho, co-editors)(13 articles)

2016    Lithic raw material conveyance and hunter-gatherer mobility during the Lower Magdalenian in Cantabria, Spain. Quateranry International 412: 66-81 (with L.M.Fontes & M. R. González Morales).

2015    The Human occupation of southwestern Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum: Solutrean cultural adaptations in France and Iberia. Journal of Anthropological Research 71 465-492. 

2015    The Magdalenian human burial of El Mirón Cave (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, Spain): Introduction, background, discovery and  context (with M. González Morales),  Journal of Archaeological Science 60: 1-9.

2015    Magdalenian settlement-subsistence systems in Cantabrian Spain.   In: Prehisoric Art as Prehistoric Culture: Papers in Honour of Professor Rodrigo de Balbín-Behrmann,), edited by Primitiva.Bueno & Paul Bahn . Archaeopress, Oxford, pp. 111-122  (with M. González Morales, A.B. Marín & L.Fontes) .

2015    Magdalenian –age graphic activity associated with the El Mirón Cave human burial (with M. González Morales) , Journal of Archaeological Science  60: 125-133.

2015    Lithic and osseous artifacts from the human burial deposit in El Mirón Cave (with L.Fontes and M. González Morales),  Journal of Archaeological Science  60: 99-111.

2015    Radiocarbon dating the Late Upper Paleolithic of Cantabrian Spain: El Mirón Cave dates list IV (with M.González Morales, T. Higham, M. Richards & S. Talalmo).  Radiocarbon 57:183-188.

2015    “The Red Lady of El Mirón Cave”: Lower Magdalenian Human Burial in Cantabrian  Spain. Managing Guest Editor, special issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science  60:1-138 (M. González Morales & J.M. Carretero, co-editors) (13 articles).

2015    “The Red Lady of El Mirón”:  Lower Magdalenian Life and Death in Oldest Dryas Cantabrian Spain, an overview (with M. González Morales, J.M. Carretero & A.B. Marín-Arroyo), Journal of Archaeological Science 60: 134-137.

2015    Solutrean Studies: Human Adaptations to the Last Glacial Maximum in Southwest Europe. Editor, special issue of Journal of Anthropological Research,  vol. 71, no.4, pp. 465-578 (6 articles).

2015    Microremains from El Mirón Cave human calculus suggest a mixed plant-animal subsistence economy during the Magdalenian in northern Iberia (with R. Power,  D. Salazar-Garcła, M. González Morales & A. Henry),  Journal of Archaeological Science 60: 39-46.

2015    Arte parietal asociado al enterramiento magdaleniense de la Cueva del Mirón (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria) (with M. González Morales).  In Cien Años de Arte Paleolítico,  M.S.Corchón & M. Menéndez, eds.  Salamanca, Ediciones de la Universidad de Salamanca, pp.89-99 (, “2014”).