February 03, 2013

"In Africa" project

The new 5-year "In Africa" project headed by Marta Mirazon Lahr has a wonderful website filled with information. From the Aims section:

"The project hopes to achieve five main goals:

  1. to increase significantly the number of human and other mammalian fossils in East Africa dating to the last 250,000 years;
  2. to map changes in human morphology, behaviour and occupation in different basins of East Africa in the period before and after the main modern human dispersals across and out of Africa;
  3. to map the character and timing of the Middle to Later Stone Age transition in the Central Rift Valley;
  4. to integrate the human prehistoric record with local palaeoenvironmental data to explore the role climate change and its expression in the African tropics may have played in our recent evolutionary history;
  5. to increase the scientific and public awareness of how important it is to understand what happened in Africa in order to understand why Homo sapiens and its diversity evolved."

An example of the information that can be found in this site is this list of Middle Pleistocene Sub-Saharan African fossils (pdf). Please note that some of the given dates (such as that of Broken Hill/Kabwe) are controversial. The e-library is also full of a large number of  papers and is a very useful resource.

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