News from the Human Palaeosystems Research Group

Research Reveals Longstanding Cultural Continuity at Oldest Occupied Site in West Africa
Stone tools recovered from near the Senegalese coast extend occupation of the region back to 150 thousand years ago and are comparable to those seen across Africa at this time, but uniquely persist in the region until 10 thousand years ago more
A New Map of Pleistocene Archaeological Sites in West Africa
A publication in the Journal of Maps synthesizes all well-contextualized Stone Age sites in Sub-Saharan West Africa more
Stone Fruit from the Stone Age: The Earliest Known Olive Use in Africa
A recent study published in the journal Nature Plants examines charcoal and pit fragments to reveal that people were already using olives as food and fuel 100,000 years ago more
Enduring Centers of Human Habitation in Africa Identified
New study identifies regions best suited to persistent human occupation through the last glacial cycle more
Newly Discovered African ‘Climate Seesaw’ Drove Human Evolution
A scientific consortium led by Dr Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr of the University of Potsdam has found that ancient El Niño-like weather patterns were the primary drivers of environmental change in sub-Saharan Africa over the last 620 thousand years – the critical timeframe for the evolution of our species. The group found that these ancient weather patterns had more profound impacts in sub-Saharan Africa than glacial-interglacial cycles more commonly linked to human evolution. more
A New Method for Illustrating Stone Tools
A new article in PLOS ONE offers a novel method for illustrating stone tools, developed to allow researchers, students and educators to produce high quality, publishable illustrations more
Neanderthals and Homo sapiens used Identical Nubian Technology
New analysis of a fossil tooth and stone tools from Shukbah Cave reveals Neanderthals used stone tool technologies thought to have been unique to modern humans more
On the Origin of Our Species

On the Origin of Our Species

February 10, 2021
New research suggests that genetic and fossil records will not reveal a single point where modern humans originated more
Pan-Ev Research Group Welcomes Dr. Khady Niang
Pan-Ev is delighted to welcome Dr Niang, whose expertise in West African Stone Age lithics will contribute towards unravelling the deep human past in this important region. more
First Human Culture Lasted 20,000 Years Longer Than Thought
Some 11 thousand years ago, Africa’s furthest west harboured the last populations to preserve tool-making traditions first established by the earliest members of our species more
Middle Stone Age Populations Repeatedly Occupied West African Coast
Excavations at Tiémassas, Senegal, indicate roughly 40,000 years of behavioural continuity, in contrast to other African regions over this period more
“COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future” – Field Work in the Time of Coronavirus
In a recent paper published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, a group of multidisciplinary authors discuss the future of field-based sciences in a COVID-19 world more
Professorship at The University of Malta Awarded to Eleanor Scerri
The Honorary Professorship was awarded in the Department of Classics and Archaeology of The University of Malta, Malta, with which the Pan-African Evolution Research Group already enjoys close collaborative relationships. more
Pan-Ev Research Group to Hold Virtual Seminar Series
The Rainforest Redux virtual seminar series will explore the role of the tropics in the deep human past more
Fyssen Postdoctoral Fellow Joins Pan-Ev Research Group
Dr. Eslem Ben Arous will be applying geochronological methods to date new discoveries in West Africa. more
Squaring the circle: a coherent reconstruction of the past from multiple lines of evidence
As part of the MPI SHH's Distinguished Lecture Series, come hear on January 30, Professor Manica discuss advances on reconstructing the past of our species by quantitatively combining climatic reconstructions, ecological and palaeontological data, as well as genetics from both modern and ancient genomes. more
Dr. Eleanor Scerri wins Leakey Grant for ivory coast research
Dr. Eleanor Scerri has received a Leakey Grant for her fieldwork in the Ivory Coast, which will attempt to unravel the history of rainforest habitation in this region and its implications for how we understand the Pleistocene prehistory of Africa. The fieldwork will take place in the spring of 2020. more
One species, many origins
Modern humans evolved in Africa, and we now know that human groups from all over the continent contributed to that process. An international group of scientists says that means it is time to stop arguing about where in Africa humans “really” came from. more
Eleanor Scerri elected a member of Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities
The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) was established in 2013 by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain. more
‘Lise Meitner’ Pan-African Evolution Research Group (Pan-Ev)
From 2019, the Pan-African Evolution Research Group will explore human evolution and demography across Africa through a combination of archaeology, genetics, biogeography and climate science. The group is headed by Dr Eleanor Scerri. more
Eleanor Scerri to head Max Planck Lise Meitner Group on Pan African Evolution
Dr Scerri and her team will explore human evolution and demography across Africa and parts of southwest Asia. more
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