A looming water shortage represents one of humanity’s biggest challenges. However, our species likely evolved in environments that regularly dealt with significant rainfall variability. Obtaining water security ensures sufficient and reliable access to water to maintain healthy populations. How humans adapted to changes in water availability at the onset of humanity are instructive for understanding subsequent migrations and settlement outside of Africa and ultimately into Australia. For the last two years my research team has completed survey, excavation, and sampling on the largest private game reserve in South Africa, the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, located in the southern Kalahari. This project focuses on the role semi-arid interior environments may have played for the origins of modern humans, and whether behavioural flexibility aided in early human responses to changing water availability. In this talk, I will present an overview of our current fieldwork, our preliminary results, and how we are attempting to answer these challenging questions.

About the presenter

Dr. Benjamin Schoville is a lecturer in archaeology at the University of Queensland. Previously he was a Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cape Town and received his PhD from Arizona State University. Through field excavations and rigorous experimental studies, his research led to major discoveries of stone-tipped spears 500,000 years ago at Kathu Pan 1, South Africa, and complex projectile technologies 72,000 years ago at Pinnacle Point, South Africa. His new research is exploring the southern Kalahari Basin for early modern human archaeological and paleoanthropological remains, including excavations near Kuruman, South Africa. 

(Copied from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/find-explorers/benjamin-j-schoville)


About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.


Steele Building (03), St Lucia Campus, UQ

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