Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Wednesday Seminar

4:10 PM, 55 Roessler
Tea and cookies at 3:45 in the aviary - (2110 EPS)

“Modern human origins: a view from North Africa”

      – by Dr. Teresa Steele, Department of Anthropology, UC Davis

Human fossils and genetics have shown that modern humans evolved in Africa during the Middle and Late Pleistocene, and then spread from there to populate the globe. Much of what is known about human behavioral evolution during this critical time comes from South Africa, and to a lesser extent eastern Africa. However, “Africa” is a big place, and it is important to examine regional patterns for consistency and diversity. In the past two decades research in northwestern Africa has expanded considerably, allowing us to reconstruct a fuller view of recent human evolution in Africa. In this talk I will discuss these new developments and how they are contributing to our understanding of human evolution in Africa, preceding the out of Africa demographic expansion. In particular, I will discuss the new finds from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco (Middle Pleistocene) and from Contrebandiers Cave, Morocco (Late Pleistocene), placing them in the context of what we know about modern human origins.

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