"NEW PERSPECTIVES ON THE FIRST HUMANS: RETHINKING THE AFRICAN MIDDLE STONE AGE"

Time: 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Contact: Dr. Connie Rodriguez · rodrigue@loyno.edu · 504.865.2287

A Lecture by

Dr. Grant S. McCall
Department of Anthropology
Tulane University


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Whitney Bank Presentation Room

Thomas Hall

8 pm

free admission and free parking on campus

 

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Department of Classical Studies and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

After two centuries of Paleolithic archaeological research focusing mainly on Europe, it is now securely known, based on a wide range of evidence, that our earliest modern human ancestors originated in sub-Saharan Africa during a time period called the Middle Stone Age some 200,000 years ago. Recent research has shown that early modern human behavior during the Middle Stone Age was much more complex and varied than was once thought. Yet, while this growing body of knowledge has challenged Eurocentric assumptions about human origins, it has not necessarily led to a fundamentally better understanding of the evolutionary processes that led to the emergence of our species. This presentation reviews some important problems facing Middle Stone Age archaeology and suggests that the current attention paid to the precocious nature of human behavior during this time period has actually overshadowed some more subtle patterning with profound implications for our understanding of human evolution.