Dr. Khady NiangPostdoctoral Researcher
I’m a palaeolithic archaeologist and my research focusses on the African Middle Stone Age. I’m particularly interested in investigating the intra African dispersal of H. sapiens, the relation between biological and behavioral modernity, and the role of coastal ecosystems in late Pleistocene human evolution. As a specialist in lithic technology, I’m interested in studying patterns of lithic technological variability, particularly changes between 150 and 11 thousand years ago (ka) in West Africa. I have led or co-led many research projects in Senegal (Tiémassas, Bargny, Deni Youssouf, Saxononununya, Ndiayene Pendao, etc.) and participated in numerous fieldwork projects across West Africa.
Over the last years, I focused my work on southern coastal Senegal. Survey activity allowed the discovery and the re-discovery of archaeological sites with chronology spanning from final Pleistocene to Holocene. At Tiémassas, revision of old lithic collections and fieldwork excavations supported first by the Wenner Green foundation and subsequently by the Fyssen foundation allowed for chronometric dating (64-25ka) and technological characterization of the lithic industry, which bear definitively MSA features. This work in collaboration with Dr. Blinkhon (Max Planck Institute for Geoantrhropology) and Prof. Bateman (Sheffield University) resolved a long-lasting controversy about the chrono-cultural attribution of the site. Our current work at the site of Bargny, also located on coastal area seeks to understand the driving forces of behavioral stability and the role of estuarine environment in this phenomenon. With the PanEv research group led by Prof. Scerri, I participate in the collection of new paleoenvironmental and paleogenetic data aiming at better understanding of West Africa’s role in the last stages of human evolution.