Talk by Dr. Saman Heydari-Guran

  • Date: Nov 17, 2017
  • Time: 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Dr. Saman Heydari-Guran
  • Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of Cambridge, UK & Diyarmehr Institute for Palaeolithic Research, Kermanshah, Iran
  • Location: MPI SHH Jena
  • Room: Villa V03
  • Host: Department of Archaeology
"The struggle Zone": Tracking the Neanderthals and modern humans contacts in the west-central Zagros Mountains

In the past four decades, a topic of major interest amongst archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists has been the Eurasian Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition. Recently, great progress was made in several domains, particularly Palaeogenetics, which have revealed the complex ancestry of early Eurasians. This progress – including identifying a ghost lineage of Eurasians in the Middle East - is beginning to provide important new biogeographical hypotheses that focus on the Middle East. One key region for this is the Iranian Plateau, which has not been subject to intensive research. The Kermanshah Region (on the West of the Plateau), the interest area for this research, has been recognized as one of the gates into the Iranian Plateau since it is located between the Mesopotamian lowland on the west and the high plateau where many intermountain valleys have provided easy communication routes to the eastern regions. Despite this important strategically position in the West Central Zagros, our knowledge of Palaeolithic occupation there and even in Iran is suffering from the lack of a clear, up-to-date and scientific work on stratigraphy, settlement systems and accurate absolute dating. To overcome some of these problems, after the lack of serious Palaeolithic research for many years, the author has recently conducted a Palaeolithic research project including surveys and excavations in the Kermanshah Region.

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