BILNAS Annual Lecture 2023: Agencies of Behavioural Change in Early Humans in North Africa by Prof Nick Barton 

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If you wish to contact BILNAS about our events programme, please email the General Secretary at: [email protected]

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The British Institute for Libyan and Northern African Studies Annual Lecture:

“Agencies of Behavioural Change in Early Humans in North Africa” by BILNAS President Prof. Nick Barton, University of Oxford. 

Wideranging behavioural and technological innovations have been described in the Middle and Later Stone Ages in North Africa from the early occurrence of symbolic culture over 100,000 years ago to the more recent appearance of cemeteries and inferred use of basketry c. 15,000 years ago.

Focusing on Morocco, this talk provides an overview of recent scientific developments and new archaeological discoveries and examines the impact of environmental change on early human populations in this region. The region of Morocco is particularly interesting because it lies on the north-western margins of the Sahara, in an area known to have experienced vast fluctuations in past rainfall, temperature, and vegetation, and which periodically became part of a ‘Green Sahara.’

Morocco also preserves caves with deep cultural and environmental sequences covering this timespan and containing some of the oldest fossils of Homo sapiens in Africa. As such, it provides a perfect test bed for examining environmental affordances and human responses (innovation, dispersal, population contraction) to changing climatic and environmental conditions over the last 150,000 years.

About the Speaker

nick

Nick Barton is Emeritus Professor of Palaeolithic Archaeology at University of Oxford, UK.

His research interests include: Early symbolism; Modern human behaviour in the Middle and Later Stone Age of North Africa; Human adaptations to environmental change in the Later Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic of Britain and northern Eurasia; Lithic technology and experimental archaeology; Cave taphonomy.

His geographic areas of expertise include: Britain, North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia)

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The lecture will be followed by a reception where drinks will be served. For further information or to reserve your place, please contact the General Secretary at [email protected] 

The Institute organises both live in-person events and online ‘virtual’ lectures and webinars hosted on the Zoom platform.

If you wish to contact BILNAS about our events programme, please email the General Secretary at: [email protected]

If you would like to view a recording of one of our past lectures or webinars, please follow this link and click on the title of the event which you would like to stream online.