Talk by Dr. Elham Ghasidian

  • Date: Nov 17, 2017
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Dr. Elham Ghasidian
  • 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
Diversity of culture among the Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in the Zagros Mountains

Located in western Eurasia, at the crossroads of human migrations out of Africa during the Pleistocene, the Iranian Plateau stands at the centre of models of anatomically modern human dispersals out of Africa. This presentation aims to understand the cultural diversity among first modern human populations in the area, and the implications of this diversity to the evolutionary and ecological models of human dispersal through the Iranian Plateau, by re-examining four key Upper Palaeolithic lithic assemblages from the southern and west central Zagros Mountains of Iran. Using quantitative data and techno-typological attributes combined with physiogeographic data, the paper captures and contextualises the variation in lithic artefacts from the sites of Warwasi, Yafteh, Pasangar and Ghār-e Boof Cave. The results demonstrate that there is a significant degree of cultural diversity rather than homogeneity among the Upper Palaeolithic throughout the Zagros habitat areas. The analysis showed at least three cultural groups and interpreted them as parallel developments, as a result of the relative geo-topographical isolation of the different occupied areas which would have favoured different ecological adaptations. This has important implications for the origins of biological diversity in the early phases of modern human colonisation of Eurasia.

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