CRC-Lecture June 15: An ocean view of African climate change during the last 620,000 years by Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr


by Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr
University of Potsdam

Click here to book/request a Zoom invitation link

 

It has been a long-standing and passionately discussed hypothesis that important developments in human origins over the last 6-8 Ma coincided with environmental change, including cooling, drying, and wider climate fluctuations. However, testing these hypotheses is difficult as both high resolution climate records and fossil records of early human populations are often incomplete and poorly dated. Thus, to better understand the role that past African climate changes might have played in the evolution and dispersal of our ancestors, in particular Homo sapiens, we have developed a ~620,000 year record of humidity variability from the Chew Bahir basin situated in southern Ethiopia.

Continue reading

CRC-Lecture June 29: European Quaternary climate inferred from loess-paleosol sequences: knows, unknows and future perspectives by Christian Zeeden

 

by Christian Zeeden,
Leibnitz-Institut für Angewandte Geophysik, Hannover

Click here to book/request a Zoom invitation link

 

This presentation summarizes European Quaternary climate trends and –dynamics from various geoarchives with a special focus on loess-palaeosol sequences. It summarizes existing knowledge and points towards possible future research directions.

Continue reading

CRC-Lecture July 13: Loess in central Iberia: The significance of Heinrich events, and implications for cultural turnover periods by Daniel Wolf

by Daniel Wolf,
Institut für Geographie, TU Dresden

On the Iberian Peninsula terrestrial archives that shed light on palaeoenvironmental conditions during the last glacial period are very rare. Due to the proximity of the North Atlantic a coupling between marine processes and terrestrial environments is suspected, but still difficult to verify.

Based on extensive stratigraphic work and abundant luminescence dating (OSL) on the upper Tagus loess record, multiple phases have been identified that point to brief and vigorous loess deposition related to gusty winds under generally dry conditions. By means of grain-size patterns, heavy mineral distributions, and δ13C values of n-alkane compounds we are able to draw a detailed picture of last glacial palaeoenvironmental and palaeohydrological conditions in the Iberian interior. Moreover, findings on human occupation patterns in central Iberia suggest that cultural turnover periods that were often tentatively correlated with Heinrich events in fact appear to be related to extreme environmental conditions.

 

 

Read more

Event Information:

Date, Time:13/07/2020, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: , ,

0
iCal
All Events

Joao Marreiros & Eduardo Paixao: Multiscale approach on traceological studies and the importance of controlled experimentation


by Joao Marreiros & Eduardo Paixao

TraCEr, Laboratory for Traceology and Controlled Experiments
MONREPOS. Archaeological Research Centre
and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution

Click here to book/request a Zoom invitation link

 

In this talk we aim to discuss the importance of different level of experimentation to identify and interpret the different types of use-wear traces found on archaeological artifacts. While the whole experimental workflow (organization, design and mechanical apparatus) will be the focus of this talk, this will also be illustrated by a case study on the study of Ground tone tool from the Middle Paleolithic in the Levante. This ongoing study, will discuss preliminary results from mechanical experiments, designed to understand and quantify major aspects that influence use-wear formation on limestone percussive tools.

Continue reading

Marco Peresani: Neanderthal and sapiens in Italy 50-40 ky BP. A discussion on the ecological and cultural dynamics with a reference to the northern Adriatic rim

by Marco Peresani,
Università di Ferrara, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Sezione di Scienze Preistoriche e Antropologiche, Ferrara, Italy

One of the most investigated topics in palaeoanthropology is the pivotal phase in human evolution represented by the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic in Western Eurasia. When and how early Homo sapiens replaced the native population, Homo neanderthalensis, and the relations between these biological taxa and their respective material cultures are subjects of heated debate. Pieces of this intriguing puzzle have been unveiled in recent years from the cultural complexes known as the final Mousterian, the Uluzzian and the Protoaurignacian, which spread across the central Mediterranean rim from the Italian peninsula to the south of the Balkans (Palma di Cesnola 1989; Moroni et al. 2013). At present, the Uluzzian is the oldest known cultural expression associated with Anatomically Modern Humans (Benazzi et al. 2011) and is currently best known by its stratigraphic position above the final Mousterian in cave sedimentary sequences. This has also been observed in northern Italian caves, which expanded its cultural borders from what was thought to be exclusively southern after the discovery of assemblages at Grotta Fumane (Peresani et al. 2016) and at Riparo Broion (Peresani et al., 2019). This geographical space constrained from the Apennine, the Southern Alps, the Dinarids and the shallow Adriatic reach of MIS3, features high ecological diversity, and is of pivotal importance for influencing the possible human migratory routes and interactions between these biocultural worlds. To contribute to disentangle the story of the first modern human arrivals and the last Neanderthals in this area, we display on a behavioural perspective the possible relations occurred among different human groups by resuming a set of recently achieved evidence on chronology, human ecology and cultural aspects in the effort to evaluate the implications of innovations recorded in the 50-40 ky BP time frame.

Read more

Event Information:

Date, Time:27/01/2020, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: Hörsaal Geologie (310/EG/030), Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

0
iCal
All Events

Katharina Neumann & Barbara Eichhorn: Phytoliths as proxy for African palaeoenvironment and human evolution – chances and limits

by Katharina Neumann & Barbara Eichhorn,
University Frankfurt

Phytoliths are solid silica bodies formed in various plant tissues and organs, e.g. in leaves, stems, fruits and seeds. Due to their very durable nature, they are often present in ancient sediments and soils where other plant remains have not been preserved. Therefore they can play an important role for reconstructions of palaeoenvironments and human plant use in the past. Grasses (Poaceae) produce a myriad of different phytolith morphotypes and are therefore well-suited for palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, especially in Africa where savannas and grasslands constitute the majority of vegetation types. Woody plants and herbs, on the other hand, often have only very few or unspecific phytoliths and are therefore mostly under-represented in phytolith assemblages. We will discuss potential and limitations of phytolith research in West, Central and East Africa, based on recent case studies.

 

 

Read more

Event Information:

Date, Time:13/01/2020, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: Hörsaal Geologie (310/EG/030), Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

0
iCal
All Events

Claire Rambeau: What peat can tell: Holocene palaeoenvironmental reconstruction in arid Southern Levant

by Claire Rambeau,
University of Freiburg,

Wetlands are important archives of environmental change, especially in arid and semi-arid areas where sediment or proxy preservation is frequently low. This contribution explores the potential of a small wetland located on the northeastern edge of the Dead Sea, Jordan, in a region presently receiving less than 150 mm/year average rainfall, to record past climate and environmental change. This “desert wetland” probably developed due to the presence of tectonic fractures crossing a local aquifer and allowing its waters to reach the surface. It preserves sediments with various amounts of organic matter – products of in-situ vegetation decomposition – and allogenic (detrital input) / authigenic minerals, resulting in a sometimes complex geochemistry. The main points considered in this contribution are: what are the constraints and potential solutions to establish a reliable age-depth model using radiocarbon dating for such an archive; and how the combination of pollen, charcoal and geochemical data helps us unravel environmental changes for the past ca. 8’000 years in arid/semi-arid Southern Jordan, as well as their potential impact on societies.

 

Read more

Event Information:

Date, Time:16/12/2019, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: Hörsaal Geologie (310/EG/030), Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

0
iCal
All Events

Elham Ghasidian: Southern Caspian Corridor: a biogeographical hominin expansion route

by Elham Ghasidian,
Neanderthal Museum

Recent research on the phylogeny of Neanderthals recognises a division within Neanderthal groups around 150ka suggesting a population turnover is likely to have occurred in the Caucasus. For instance, Neanderthal remains dated ca. 100ka associated with fully fledged Levallois lithic industry were confirmed in the Azokh 1 Cave, at the Lesser Caucasus. This exciting finding, however, raises the questions of whether the Neanderthals impacted on the Southern Caspian Corridor (SCC), which is a geo-ecological continuum of the Caucasus? What role did this SSC play in the world of hominin expansion?

In his expedition to Iran during 1960s, McBurney considered SCC provided the closest and fastest route connecting Europe and Caucasus to the Central Asia and Siberia and any hominin movement from the west might be expected to pass this region en route to the east. In his excavation at Ke’Aram Cave located in SCC he documented Middle Palaeolithic artefacts reminiscent of the Zagros Mousterian which are seen to be closely related to the lithics from Teshik-Tash Cave in Central Asia. McBurney’s conclusion provides grounding for this research project to hypothesize that the SCC, with the dual role of biogeographical corridor of expansion and habitat, witnessed a series of human evolutionary events that occurred at least in MIS 5 and 4 and it aims to go further to suggest the SCC as a potential place of admixture of Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans. The exceptional physiogeographic condition of the SCC provided a milder climatic condition making this region highly attractive as a glacial refugium during the cold episodes of MIS 5 and 4 for different hominins, thereby this research also hypothesizes that contemporaneous MP assemblages from western- and eastern-most areas of the corridor represent a high degree of cultural affinity.

 

Read more

Event Information:

Date, Time:02/12/2019, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: Hörsaal Geologie (310/EG/030), Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

0
iCal
All Events

Elaine Turner: A place for the living or a home for the dead? 100,000 years of Stone Age occupation at Taforalt Cave, Morocco

by Elaine Turner,
Monrepos Archaeological research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution,

With its unparalleled sequence of human occupation spanning well over 100ka, the cave site of Grotte des Pigeons, close to Taforalt in north-east Morocco, plays an important role in our understanding of human evolution and behavioural development. Ongoing investigations at this site have already produced groundbreaking results, such as evidence of the early use of personal adornment at 82ka, high precision AMS dates for the Late Pleistocene Maghreb and the first appearance of the Iberomaurusian as well as details of Iberomaurusian human mortuary behaviour in the remains of perhaps one of the earliest and most extensively used Epipalaeolithic cemeteries in North Africa. In my talk, I will give an overview of the results of our excavations, which began in 2003. In particular, I will trace the way in which game was procured and exploited by the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic occupants of the cave and how, during the Iberomaurusian, animal remains played a significant role in human mortuary practices.

 

Read more

Event Information:

Date, Time:18/11/2019, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: Hörsaal Geologie (310/EG/030), Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

0
iCal
All Events

Ron Pinhasi: Progress and new directions in ancient DNA genomics


by Ron Pinhasi,
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Vienna

Ancient DNA has revolutionized the study of migrations and the interactions between past populations. During the past 4  years there was a major increase in the number of genome-wide human aDNA studies, some of which  now provide paleogenomic data for 100s of prehistoric individuals from numerous archaeological cultures. However, the predominant focus of most studies on Eurasian prehistoric cultures has left certain temporal and geographic gaps. There is also a growing concern regarding the damage is caused by most current bone sampling methods to various skeletal collections. The talk will report address these aspects by discussing the following : (1) new sampling methods which minimize damage to skeletal collections and/or optimize ancient DNA yields, (2) studies of prehistoric cultures from non-temperate world regions,  and (3) our new results on the genetic legacy of the Roman Empire.

 

 

Read more

Event Information:

Date, Time:04/11/2019, 16:00 h – 17:30 h

Location: Hörsaal Geologie (310/EG/030), Zülpicher Str. 49a, Cologne

0
iCal
All Events