Steven Kuhn, Professor of Anthropology, University of Arizona
Wednesday, January 26, 2022,
an ASA Zoom Webinar*
Steven Kuhn writes:
Genetic and fossil evidence has securely demonstrated that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa and subsequently dispersed across the globe. Archaeological evidence also shows that a range of complex behavioral and cognitive traits appeared first in Africa during the so-called Middle Stone Age. While much recent research has focused on the spectacular record of South Africa, data from North Africa seem to tell a rather different, but equally interesting, story. Our research at Bizmoune Cave is aimed at investigating the distinctive features of early modern human adaptations in North Africa. Situated in south-central Morocco, about 12 km from the Atlantic coast, Bizmoune Cave preserves a record of climate changes and human activities extending back to approximately 150,000 years ago. Initial results include what are probably the oldest shell beads in the world. These small objects are among the earliest evidence for symbolic communication.
In his talk, Professor Kuhn will share his team’s exciting discoveries.
Steven Kuhn’s research interests center on the evolution of human technological and social behavior. His primary research tool is the study of stone artifacts. Besides Morocco, Professor Kuhn is currently involved in collaborative archaeological fieldwork and laboratory projects investigating Paleolithic sites and assemblages in Serbia, China, and the Levant.
He received the PhD in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1990 and joined the faculty at UA in 1994. He has been a visiting professor Beijing (2015/2016, 2019) and a resident scholar at the University of Cologne in 2009/2010. In 2017 he received the Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis (Lithics) from the Society for American Archaeology. His most recent book is The Evolution of Paleolithic Technologies. (2020, Taylor & Francis).
Edited by Suzanne Ferguson, Academy Village Volunteer
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