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Landscapes of Human Evolution

February 13 2020 @ 9:45 am - February 14 2020 @ 4:00 pm


Organisers: James Cole, John McNabb, Matt Grove, and Robert Hosfield

Thursday 13 and Friday 14 February 2020

Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT

There is no conference fee, and refreshments will be provided on the day, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to https://landscapeshuman.eventbrite.co.uk

This conference will present an overview of the development of humans and their ancestors from a biological, social and behavioural perspective. The conference will present a number of original research papers from experts in evolutionary anthropology, tracking the development of our genus from its very beginnings to the emergence of our own species, Homo sapiens. The themes under exploration will include (1) the biological development of Homo and the characteristic features of large brains, bipedal locomotion and behavioural adaptation; (2) the strategies employed for dealing with and ultimately manipulating heterogeneous landscapes and environments; (3) the origins of controlled use of fire as a mechanism for survival and an incubator of increasing social complexity within hominin groups; and (4) the role of lithic technologies in developing hominin behavioural complexity, and the ways in which the contemporary classification of these technologies frames the understanding of the past in the present. 

Thursday 13 February

9.45 Introduction and Welcome, Organising Committee

10.00 Anthony Sinclair
Complexity, Skill and Expertise in Lithic Technology

10.30 Thomas Wynn
A look back at First Sculpture: Handaxe to Figure Stone

11.00 Andy Herries & Matthew Caruana
50 years after Hilary Deacon: New perspectives on the Acheulian Occupation of Amanzi Springs, South Africa

11.30 Robert Foley & Marta Lahr
Variable cognition in the evolution of Homo: biology and behaviour in the African Middle Stone Age

12.00 Questions & Discussion

12.30 LUNCH

13.30 Robin Crompton
Locomotor niche of Australopithecus and Homo

14.00 Alan Bilsborough & Bernard Wood
Evolutionary diversity and adaptation in Early Homo

14.30 Bernard Wood
Hominin brain size evolution

15.00 Questions & Discussion


16.00 John Gowlett (Keynote)
Hominins on the ground: the long timescale of landscape in evolution

Friday 14 February

10.00 Sally Hoare
Initial source evaluation of archaeological obsidian from Middle Stone Age site 200, Kenya, East Africa

10.30 Caroline Komboh
Kilombe Caldera at a perspective; Socio-economic significance and paleogeography from analysing the mineralogy of Argillaceous sediments

11.00 John McNabb & Cory Stade
Keeping it in the family: Were Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis making their tools differently at Oldupai Gorge?

11.30 Questions & Discussion

12.00 LUNCH

13.00 Julia Galway-Witham, James Cole, & Chris Stringer
Human physical and behavioural evolution during the last one million years

13.30 David Shankland
The importance of fire to the Alevi community, Anatolia

14.00 Robin Dunbar
Why Fire was a significant factor in human evolution

14.30 Questions & Discussion


15.30 Organising Committee
Concluding Remarks


February 13 2020 @ 9:45 am
February 14 2020 @ 4:00 pm
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