September 16 2021 13h: international seminar n° 25


Isabelle Crevecoeur
PACEA, UMR 5199, CNRS & University of Bordeaux


Human evolution and population dynamics in Northeast Africa at the end of the Pleistocene and the beginning of the Holocene

In North-East Africa, the end of the late Pleistocene and the beginning of the Holocene were marked by major climatic changes whose effects on human settlements are still little understood. Geological evidence support generally dry conditions during the Last Glacial Maximum followed by the so-called African Humid Period which ends abruptly with the second half of the Holocene and the onset of more arid conditions. In parallel to these climatic fluctuations, this transitional period witnessed the emergence of new subsistence strategies with the introduction of pastoralism. However, the scarcity of human remains in North-East Africa has limited our understanding of modern human diversity and population processes during this transitional period. Through a review of the key human fossils and assemblages associated to the late Pleistocene and the early Holocene period in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Republic of Djibouti this presentation aims at discussing phenotypic and cultural diversity, addressing hypotheses of population isolation, replacement and/or continuity.

Isabelle Crèvecoeur is paleoanthropologist at the CNRS, specialist of the recent prehistoric times in Africa and in Europe. She is notably working on the questions of the phenotypic diversity, behaviour, and dispersals of Homo sapiens in Africa at the Pleistocene-Holocene transition


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