Mathew Fox

About Mathew Fox

My main area of interest lies within the geoarchaeology of prehistoric China primarily focusing on paleoenvironmental reconstructions and site formation processes. Particularly, I am interested early to middle Pleistocene localities associated with the evolution of H. Erectus and early humans. Within geoarchaeology, I aim to emphasize archaeological and soil micromorphology, isotopic geochemistry, lithostratigraphy, and soil characterizations. Ultimately, I aim to understand how dynamic landscape systems and paleoclimatic conditions affect the trajectories of adaptive behavior and hominin ecology. 

Courses Taught

Anth 160- Patterns of Prehistory (TA)

Anth 170- Genetic Diversity in the Modern World (TA)

Anth 260- The Human Machine (TA)

Anth 329- The History of Art in Cinema (TA)

Areas of Study

  • East Asia
  • China 
  • Early Paleolithic sites in the Qinling Mountains, Southern Shaanxi Province 


From 2010-2014 I helped established a pilot geoarchaeology and site formation study at Yangguanzhai in Shaanxi, China under the guidance of Dr. Ye Wa and the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology. The aim of the study was to develop a preliminary site formation model of Neolithic refuse and "ash-pits" through the use of micromorphology, stable isotopes, and detailed lithostratigraphy. This project was in collaboration with Jennifer Kielhofer who worked extensively on the quantitative mapping of loess-paleosol stratigraphy unique to Yangguanzhai.  This project was also part of an archaeological field school that I both participated in and helped teach for several years.

2015- Under the guidance of Dr. Wang Shejiang (Institute for Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology) and Dr. Lu Huayu (Head of Geoscience department of Nanjing University), I have now joined an interdisciplinary research group investigating early to mid-Pleistocene sites in the Luonan and Hanzhong Basins of the Qinling Mountains. The aim of the project is to develop high-resolution reconstructions of the East Asian Monsoon and hominin environments. This group is particularly focused on loess-paleosol sequences, chronostratigraphy, the geomorphology of river terraces, and identification of paleoclimatic proxies (e..g, pollen records, phytoliths, isotopic signatures).  




Research Interests

  • Archaeological and soil micromorphology
  • Isotopic geochemistry (particularly stable isotopes)
  • Lithostratigraphy of Chinese Loess-Paleosol sections
  • Evolution of the East Asian Monsoon
  • Soils and paleoenvironments of the early Pleistocene in China
  • Site formation processes and sedimentology of paleolithic sites 
  • Hominin paleoecology
  • Behavioral and biological evolution of East Asian H. erectus and archaic H. sapiens 
Mathew Fox's picture

Contact Information

Telephone: 520.621.2585


Bachlors of Arts in Anthropology, University of Nevada, Reno

Masters of Arts in Anthropology, University of Arizona