Title of the session

DISCREET EVIDENCE OF RARELY PRESERVED HUMAN TECHNICAL BEHAVIOURS IN THE AFRICAN PALAEOLITHIC.

Session Organizer(s)


Dr. Katja Douze,
Laboratory Archaeology and Population in Africa,
Department of Genetics and Evolution, Anthropology Unit, University of Geneva,
Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Email: katja.douze@unige.ch

Charlotte Pruvost,
Laboratory Archaeology and Population in Africa, Department of Genetics and Evolution,
Anthropology Unit, University of Geneva, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Email: charlotte.pruvost@unige.ch

Dr. Aurore Val,
Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology,
University of Tübingen, Schloss Hohentübingen, Burgsteige 11, 72070 Tübingen, Germany
Email: aurore-marie-sophie.val@uni-tuebingen.de

Delivery format

Podium

Nature of a session

Open for contributions

Session abstract

Narratives on human evolution during the Palaeolithic are built using material evidence of various nature and applying different analytical scales, whether these follows short to long chronologies or apply local to regional-wide assessments. Inter-site diversity also needs to be considered as it can both hinder our perception of human interactions or isolations on broad interpretative scales and represent unique insights into past human behaviours. Here, we will focus on discreet pieces of evidence of human activity through material culture that may - but often may not - be dominant on the scale of the excavated layer(s) or site, and which provide a good glimpse of specific technical knowledge. Whether it be sewing tools, evidence of hearths, or lithic tools adapted to particular needs, many sites contain rarely preserved and non-dominant remains that are the focus of specific studies. As they are often linked to exceptional preservation, these unique data on past behaviours represent high-resolution case studies allowing the development of accurate hypotheses regarding the social, functional, symbolic and/or technical organization of humans during the Palaeolithic in Africa.

The aim of this session is to share the methods of study, the results and the interpretations of the in-depth analysis of unique or intriguing discoveries in the African Palaeolithic record, from the Pleistocene to the Holocene.

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