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Department of Archaeology

Monday, 5 February, 2024 - 16:00 to 17:00
Event speaker: 
Cecilia Padilla Iglesias, University of Zurich

Central Africa is a key region for examining patterns of hunter-gatherer inhabitation and engagement with ecological diversity and environmental change. In contrast to adjacent regions, however, the archaeological record of prehistoric hunter-gatherer populations in Central Africa is underrepresented in studies of recent human evolution. This limited engagement with Central African archaeological records in part stems from the complexities of identifying, excavating, and dating hunter-gatherer sites in what are today often heavily forested environments, a focus on named stone tool industries from undated sites to structure the record, and highly limited means to associate dated hunter-gatherer occupations with proxy records of environmental conditions.

In this talk, I will present the results of a project I carried out alongside Prof Matt Grove and James Blinkhorn to characterise prehistoric hunter-gatherer stone tool assemblages from dated Central African sites. On top of it, on how the synthesis we produced allowed us to use climate models to illuminate the environmental and ecological landscapes in which they were deployed, as well as relationships between different assemblages. I will conclude by discussing the striking observed between the habitat ranges of contemporary hunter-gatherer populations in Central Africa and prehistoric occupations that significantly precede the appearance of farming lifeways in the region.

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Event location: 
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Seminar Room
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