Talk by Michael Haslam


  • Date: May 10, 2016
  • Time: 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Michael Haslam
  • University of Oxford, School of Archaeology
  • Location: MPI SHH Jena
  • Room: Villa V03
  • Host: Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution
  • Contact:
Primate archaeology: initial results and future directions
Numerous human innovations in areas such as foraging, landscape use and cognition are revealed by a vast archaeological record of stone tools, spanning more than three million years. However, the only archaeological report of dated, non-human animal tool use currently consists of three late-Holocene Western chimpanzee sites in Côte d’Ivoire. Without similar evidence from additional species, we are limited in our ability to reconstruct the comparative history and significance of technology, weakening attempts to construct evolutionary models. In this talk, I will present the initial results of the Primate Archaeology project at Oxford University, focusing on our work with wild bearded capuchins in Brazil and long-tailed macaques in Thailand. We have combined surface surveys, behavioural observations, use-wear data, field experiments and traditional archaeological excavations to identify, recover and interpret stone tools used by past monkey populations. I will discuss what we have learned from these efforts, and how we can improve and extend our work in future.
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