Andrew Sorensen (MA) is a product of the American Midwest. Born, raised and educated in the great State of Iowa, Andrew earned Bachelor degrees in Geology and History from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, while at the same time following a number of archaeology courses and participating in an archaeological field school.
Upon graduating in 2004, he went to work for the University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (Iowa City) for seven years, initially as a field technician, but soon progressing to the positions of Assistant Project Archaeologist and Assistant Geomorphologist. Starting in 2006, Andrew began yearly trips to the Netherlands to volunteer on excavations in and around Nijmegen, making the Netherlands (and Leiden University) the logical place for him to pursue his Master degree, which he began in 2011. Andrew successfully completed his MA with specialisations in Palaeolithic Archaeology and Material Culture and Artefact Studies. His Master thesis outlined a novel theoretical and experimental approach for identifying evidence of fire production by Neandertals in the Middle Palaeolithic.
Andrew is currently a PhD Researcher with the Human Origins Group, and funded by a “PhDs in the Humanities” grant honored by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Expanding on his Master research, Andrew’s project uses Neandertals as a case study for looking into multiple aspects of Palaeolithic pyrotechnology (i.e. fire origins, uses, production and preservation of traces). By shedding further light on Neandertal fire practices and how they preserve in the archaeological record, he hopes to make a significant contribution to the larger debate of when in the history of humankind our ancestors became proficient producers of fire.