Authigenic silicates and Quaternary paleolimnology: Examples from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and the Kenya Rift

The Third Fault, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, showing the stratigraphy of the Olduvai Basin.

 

The paleoclimatic framework of human evolution is central to the study of human origins. Several East African basins offer excellent examples of how authigenic silicates may be used in paleoenvironmental reconstructions, particularly when biotic indicators are absent or diagenetically modified.

In a Pleistocene section at Olduvai Gorge, Mg depletion in authigenic clays indicate freshening events occurring over a generally saline and alkaline environmental background. Five of the six events observed occurred at peak climatic precession, correlating with December insolation at 20°S. Peak amplitude of geochemical variation preceded the ca. 1.84 Ma eccentricity maximum by ~20 k.y., suggesting that eccentricity modulation was unexpectedly weak in this interval, or that other factors affected the water balance or geochemical record. 

Dan Deocampo, Georgia State University

Preliminary work has been carried out on deposits of the Lake Magadi, Koora Graben, and Baringo Basin cores obtained by the international Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project. In these cores, authigenic clay minerals do not show much variation in chemistry, as these basins did not persist in the window of conditions of salinity and silica availability to promote authigenic clay precipitation. Instead, zeolites produced by alteration of volcaniclastic materials give insight into relative salinity conditions. In particular, different zeolites host different cations (i.e. Na, K, Ca) that provide clues as to cation ratios in the paleolake water. Major transitions of zeolite assemblages are observed in each basin, indicating salinity fluctuations. 

Authigenic silicates provide datasets that can add an important component to multi-proxy paleoenvironmental records from lake basins.

Dr. Deocampo is Professor and Chair of the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University, in Atlanta.  He conducts geological research around the world, including in Europe, East Africa, and North America. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has attracted funding support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Petroleum Research Fund, and the Departments of Transportation in both California and Georgia. He collaborates with environmental and public health scientists, anthropologists, biologists, chemists, geographers, and others to conduct research on both basic and applied research topics. Dr. Deocampo is an expert in the mineralogy and geochemistry of near surface environments, including soils, sediments, and aquatic systems, and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. 

Date: 30/06/2017, 10:00 h – 11:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne


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40Ar/39Ar dating of Plio-Pleistocene Drill Cores from East Africa

East Africa provides the opportunity to acquire unique evidence toward understanding the influence of climate and environmental change on the evolution of the human lineage and technology during the Plio-Pleistocene. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) has extracted a total of 2 km of sediment drill core from the Rift Valley of East Africa, in paleolake basins adjacent to fossil hominin and archaeological sites of major significance. 40Ar/39Ar dating and chronology modeling of four of these sites will be discussed. Sites in the southern Kenya Rift will be compared to outcrop geology of the Olorgesailie area, which exhibits some of the earliest Middle Stone Age archaeology.

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Alan Deino, Berkeley Geochronology Center, California.

Alan Deino is a geochronologist at the Berkeley Geochronology Center, Berkeley, California. His career has been devoted to the application of the 40Ar/39Ar dating method to problems of volcanology, tectonics, climate change, faunal evolution, and hominin origins on several continents, but with recurring emphasis on East Africa.

 

 

 

Date: 14/06/2017, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.40, Biozentrum (Building 301), Zülpicher Str. 47a, Cologne
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11. Martin-Schwarzbach-Kolloquium

Zum elften Mal richtet das Zentrum für Quartärforschung und Geoarchäologie (QSGA) das jährliche Kolloquium zu Ehren von Martin Schwarzbach aus. Dieses Jahr werden aktuelle Forschungsthemen des QSGA präsentiert. Einen weiteren Schwerpunkt bildet die neue Wanderausstellung „2 Millionen Jahre Migration“, die ab dem 13.05.2017 im Neanderthal Museum zu sehen ist. 

Wir freuen uns, Thomas Litt (Universität Bonn), Gerd-Christian Weniger (Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann) sowie Michael Staubwasser, Olaf Bubenzer, Karin Kindermann und Jürgen Richter (Universität zu Köln) als Vortragende begrüßen zu dürfen.

Zu diesem Kolloquium laden wir Sie herzlich ein!

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P R O G R A M M

15:00 – 15:15 Begrüßung

15:15 – 15:30 Thomas Litt
Van-See: 600.000 Jahre Klimageschichte der Türkei

15:30 – 15:45 Michael Staubwasser 
Der Einfluss von Klimaereignissen beim Übergang des Neandertalers zum modernen Menschen in Europa

15:45 – 16:00 Olaf Bubenzer und Karin Kindermann
Die Ostwüste Ägyptens: Station des modernen Menschen auf dem Weg nach Europa?

16:00 – 16:15 Kaffeepause

16:15 – 16:30 Jürgen Richter
Prähistorische Migrationen: Der Weg der Menschen von Afrika in die Mitte Europas

16:30 – 17:00 Gerd-Christian Weniger
Einblicke in die neue Wanderausstellung „2 Millionen Jahre Migration”

ab 17:00 Verabschiedung mit Umtrunk und Snacks


 

Um Anmeldung bis zum 14.04.2017 wird gebeten: per Email an Andrea Miebach (irtg@sfb806.de) oder per Online Booking.


 

Veranstaltungszeit: 28/04/2017, 15:00 h – 18:00 h

Veranstaltungsort: Geo-/Bio-Hörsaal, Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

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Get That Job After Your Doctorate!

This workshop is meant specifically for doctoral candidates and recent doctoral graduates. It focuses on the distinctive aspects of applying for industry jobs and short-term research placements (such as postdocs) in English-speaking countries or with any organization worldwide which follows Anglo-American hiring conventions. It provides training in navigating selected stages of that process, including creating the curriculum vitae and cover letter and presenting oneself convincingly in the interview. We will address dos and don’ts, phases useful for the CV, cover letter and interview, several differences between Anglo-American and German CVs, miscellaneous written materials and typical interview questions. Participants receive a 20-page handout which includes examples of CVs and cover letters. The workshop is held in English by a native speaker.

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Andrew Cerniski

Lecturer Andrew Cerniski has been training job-application skills for over fourteen years. Since 2002 he has managed English, Inc., a Heidelberg-based provider of Business English training.

Booking is required in advance and can be done here

Event Information:

Date, Time: 25/01/2017, 09:30 h – 17:30 h

Location: Room 1.90 Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Cologne

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Upper Quaternary soil development and paleo-environments on the Swiss Plateau: A progress report

heinz-veit-vortragThe existence of periglacial cover beds as forming an important part of soil parent material in Europe is widely accepted. The youngest of these cover beds, the “Upper Layer” (Hauptlage) is assumed to have developed during the Lateglacial. The formation of Luvisols (Parabraunerden) is assumed to have occurred afterwards, during the Holocene, under forest vegetation and stable surface conditions. Some authors describe initial soil formation during the lateglacial reforestation period (Bölling/Alleröd), but still interpreting the main part of Luvisol formation under forest during the Holocene. One consequence of this interpretation is the use of Bt-horizons as paleo-ecological and stratigraphic indicators of interglacials in Europe.

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On the Swiss Plateau, soils have mainly developed on glacial and glaciofluvial deposits of different ages, covered by periglacial cover beds. The known glacial chronology is an ideal prerequisite to study soil chronosequences on these Upper Quaternary deposits. We applied extensive OSL datings on the cover beds and the parent material of the soils. This allows a more detailed understanding of the timing of processes like decalcification and clay dislocation. The results question some of our basic understandings concerning the timing of soil formation and related paleo-geoecological conditions. These findings and preliminary conclusions from our ongoing research will be discussed in the talk. 

Prof. Dr. Heinz Veit, University of Berne

Prof. Dr. Heinz Veit, University of Berne

Heinz Veit holds the chair of Paleo-Geoecology at the Institute of Geography, University of Berne, since 1996. He did his studies, PhD and postdoc in geomorphology, soil science and geoecology at the universities of Frankfurt, Bayreuth and La Serena (Chile). His scientific interests are I) glacial history and chronology in high mountains (Andes, Bale Mountains, Alps), II) past and present periglacial dynamics and cover beds (Alps, Andes, Bale Mountains, Europe), III) tropical hillwash (Brazil, Kamerun, Nigeria), IV) geoarcheology (Bolivian Amazon, Bale Mountains) and V) soil genesis and paleosols (Europe, Kamerun, Nigeria, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil).

Event Information:

Date, Time: 23/01/2017, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Socio-economic changes in flint production and consumption in the PPNB period of the Greater Petra Region, Southern Levant

purschwitz_blogThis presentation is the outcome of a Ph.D, which recently was completed at Freie Universität Berlin (Purschwitz 2016). This paper presents the results of the chipped lithic analysis from five Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB, ca. 8600-6900 BCE) sites (Ail 4, Ba’ja, Basta, Beidha and Shkârat Msaied) which all are situated at the Greater Petra Region. Major changes in the organization of flint production and blank consumption are in evidence with the emergence of the large mega-sites during the late PPNB (7500-6900 BCE). An increasing number of bidirectional blade consuming households are opposed to few producing workshops, which operate beyond their own demand and produce on a regional supply level. Households which have restricted access to the late PPNB bidirectional bade network respond with self-supply strategies by using alternative blade technologies. This phenomenon or “technological dualism” between inter-site production and household consumption rises with increasing specialization in crafts and comprises all levels of production from raw material procurement to exchange.

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Christoph Purschwitz, FU Berlin

Christoph Purschwitz, FU Berlin.

I argue that the emergence of the dualistic lithic economy (in the Greater Petra Region) is the result of changes in the network structure of the households. While MPPNB sites of the Greater Petra Region are small and only seasonal used, LPPNB mega-sites can be huge and permanently occupied by several hundreds to thousand inhabitants. According to general network theory the personal network (family, relatives, friends) of a MPPNB household is likely to be distributed over several more or less distant sites, while the personal network of a LPPNB household appears to be restricted to the mega-site itself. Additionally, it is likely that at mega-sites such as Basta or ‘Ain Ghazal an increasing number of inhabitant did not share the households personal networks and did not had social relations to each other. I expect that the lack of social control within the late PPNB mega-sites promoted profit-oriented thinking (negative reciprocity, surplus production) and constituted in increasing social inequality.

Literature:

Purschwitz, C. 2016. The Lithic Economy of Flint during the Early Neolithic of the Greater Petra Region. Geological Availability, Procurement, Production, and Modes of Distribution of Flint from the Early to Late PPNB-Period. Ph.D.-Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin (in German).

Event Information:

Date, Time: 12/12/2016, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Viva Defense. Preparing the disputation.

impuls-plus

Instructor: Dr. Jan Stammel from impuls plus.

Goals

During the disputation you have to present your research and defend it in a discussion with other experts and researchers. The Viva Defense workshop aims at preparing you for this thesis defense so that you can argue your points convincingly and think on your feet during the discussion. This workshop focusses on the questions and answers part. Responding to typical questions which may come up during the defense will be practiced in simulated scenarios.

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Content in brief

  • Presenting yourself as an innovative researcher: How to formulate your key results?
  • Typical questions and how to deal with them
  • What to do, when you don’t know the answer?
  • How to stay calm?
  • Simulating the Q&A-Session

Dr. Jan Stamm

Jan Stamm is a trainer and coach with years of experience in science and academia. His target groups are PhD candidates and Post Docs from all disciplines. Most often he works with interdisciplinary groups.

Dr. Jan Stamm, impuls plus.

Dr. Jan Stamm, impuls plus.

Jan Stamm did study philosophy, linguistics, and economics at the Universität Dortmund, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the Nottingham University. He finished the interdisciplinary graduate program of the Berlin School of Mind and Brain. His philosophical PhD deals with questions about autonomy and resilience (summa cum laude).

One major focus of his work as a trainer and coach is self- and time-management and research-project-management. Another emphasis lies on workshops on viva defense and rhetoric. He also works as a PhD coach for teams and individuals.

Outside of academia he offers workshops and coachings which focus on the reduction of stress and a healthy work-life balance.

In his work as a trainer he puts a special emphasis on the individual interests, goals, and questions of his participants.Booking tag-01

Event Information:

Date, Time: 10/11/2016, 10:00 h – 18:00 h & 24/11/2016 10.00 – 18.00 h

Location: Room 1.90 Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Bernhard Feilchenfeld Str. 11, Cologne

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From rock art to cultural heritage management: A brief history of Cologne’s archaeological engagement in Namibia

goodman_crc_lectureArchaeology in countries that were affected by deep and multiple colonialisms manifests itself in many distinct archaeologies. We are confronted by archaeologies that were entangled, such as amateur, professional, academic, cultural resource management and community/ public archaeology. Some archaeologies such as professional and academic were more prominent and that gave the impression that archaeological authority was only to be found in the results of such practices. The relevance of other archaeologies such as avocational and community archaeology remained overshadowed to an extent that they were dismissed as unscientific and therefore not archaeological practices. The emergence and development of archaeology in Namibia is closely connected to the University of Cologne’s Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology (Institut für Ur und Frühgeschichte) and the African Archaeology. It is rooted in rock art studies and was born out of avocational endeavours. Archaeology in Namibia became professionalised through legitimisation by academic institutions such as the Cologne Institut für Ur und Frühgeschichte. However, the process of legitimisation overlooked the challenges of converting the academic throughputs into material that local professional and administrative archaeologists can use for heritage management.

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goodman-gwasira

Goodman Gwasira, University of Namibia.

This presentation examines the relevance of the Cologne rock art investigations in Namibia to heritage management and the nation building project. It interrogates the perception that Cologne practised “extractive archaeology” in Namibia, which led to a lack of institutionalisation of archaeology and capacitating of local institutions. The central argument of the presentation is that documentation of Namibian rock art by the University of Cologne represents an irreplaceable and invaluable throughput which needs to be adapted and converted for use in rock art heritage management. The Cologne rock art catalogues have the potential of leading to the development of new methods and theories of heritage conservation and preservation. The presentation draws from ongoing research on the history of Namibia’s archaeologies and from personal reflections.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 07/11/2016, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Internal IRTG Meeting

IRTG_internal_meeting

During this internal meeting, the IRTG office will give the PhD students some information about the CRC assessment for the third phase that will take place in March 2017. Additionally, the results of the IRTG evaluation by the PhD students will be presented. There will be time to clarify open questions and problems.

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Event Information:

Date, Time: 21/11/2016, 16:00 h – 17:00 h

Location: Room 0.024, Biozentrum (Building 304), Zülpicher Str. 47b, Cologne

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Iberomaurusian reduction sequences in northeast Morocco

poti_blog_post

North-western Africa experienced significant environmental shifts during Marine Isotope Stage 2, including periods of major aridity and intense cooling (Heinrich events 2 and 1).

In order to understand the relationship between those environmental fluctuations and the technical systems/land-use dynamics of local Late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers, the results of work recently undertaken at the archaeological site of Ifri El Baroud (NE Morocco) are presented.

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alessandro_poti

Alessandro Potì, PhD Candidate in Project C2.

The site yields a well-stratified sequence of ca. 3 m thickness of LSA deposits (Early and Late Iberomaurusian) very rich in charcoal and archaeological finds. Technological analysis of the lithic assemblages compared with the study of the vertebrate fauna, molluscs and botanical remains reveal a high dynamic interplay between environmental and behavioural changes.

Ifri El Baroud is one of the few sites of the Maghreb with both Early and Late Iberomaurusian layers. For this reason it plays a relevant role in assessing the nature of continuities/discontinuities in human and landscape ecology within the context of the LSA occupation of NW Africa.

Event Information:

Date, Time: 11/07/2016, 14:00 h – 14:45 h

Location: Room S12, Seminargebäude (Building 106), Universitätsstraße 37 , Cologne

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