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The evolution of human behaviour – evidence from Kanjera South, Kenya.

Dr Laura Bishop, John Moores University

Wednesday 21 May at 5.30 pm

Palaeoanthropologists investigate how our ancestors lived, and how humans’ interactions with and place in the landscape changes through time.  We can see how hominins begin to modify the world around them starting 2.6 million years ago, when the manufacture of stone tools is first recognised in the geological record.  Excavations of the ca. 2 million year old archaeological occurrence at Kanjera South, Kenya, near the shore of the Winam Gulf in Lake Victoria, began in 1995. Extensive work there has since have revealed a rich assemblage of Oldowan artifacts in association with well-preserved fossil animal bone. The stone tools and fossil animal bones have been analysed using a variety of methods which show that by about 2 million years ago our ancestors already had a considerable armoury of behavioural capabilities, including complex approaches to tool making and advanced foraging behaviour.   We can also use a variety of evidence to examine what the environment was like when the archaeological site was being formed. When added to our understanding of hominin activities at other roughly contemporaneous sites, such as those from Bed I at Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) and Koobi Fora (Kenya), we can see that hominins exhibited a wide spectrum of behaviours. Our early ancestors were able to exploit opportunities and address challenges presented by a broad range of habitats.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked.  To book tickets please go to http://lbishop.eventbrite.co.uk.