Long gone wilds or novel possibilities?

  • Laura Basell (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Abstract: Recent developments in geochronology have been critical in studies of human evolution in Africa, facilitating the integration of different data sources, and in changing our understanding of when different species emerged and the degree to which they overlapped in time and space. It could be argued that due to scientific advances we are better positioned than ever before to understand behavioural change in its broader landscape, palaeoecological and genetic context. The plethora of new discoveries in recent years has led to significant shifts in long-accepted interpretations, which is undoubtedly exciting and makes us re-evaluate the questions we ask for these periods of human evolution. But alongside this, the diversification of disciplines and methods being brought to bear on the subject of human evolution makes it increasingly challenging to produce new “grand narratives”. At the heart of these matters lies the issue of scale; and the fact that many of the lifeways, landscapes and faunas we seek to understand have no analogue in today’s world or the more recent past. In this paper I shall present a consideration of the limitations and possibilities of understanding life in the Stone Age. The focus will be on recent methodologies and theoretical approaches that facilitate the exploration of human behaviour, technological and landscape change and importantly, consider those which allow researchers to move between scales and across disciplines.

Period24 Nov 2018
Event titleAfrican Archaeology Research Day 2018
Event typeConference
LocationCambridge, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational