Trans-Evol project

Early to Middle Pleistocene Transistion: Evolution and diversity of African Hominin fossils (Trans-Evol)

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A) map of East Africa, showing the location of the Trans-Evol and In Africa projects, along with the sites where hominins from the EMPT were found (Buia, Bouri and Olorgesailie; B) KNM-OL 45500 from Olorgesaillie; C) BOU-VP-2/66 from Bouri; D) UA-31 from Buia.

The Trans-Evol project (collaboration UMR7194-University of Cambridge-Turkana Basin Institute-National Museums of Kenya) will open new archaeological excavations in West Turkana (Kenya) in order to document the morphological and cultural diversity of hominin fossil populations during the Early to Middle Pleistocene transition (i.e. EMPT, 1250-750 ka). This period is characterised by major environmental changes along with morphological (encephalisation) and behavioural (specialisation/expansion of Acheulean, new modes of huntings) innovations within the Homo genus. Unfortunately, to date, the African fossil record only counts with three well-preserved hominin remains from this period (Daka, Buia, Olorgaseilie).

Trans-Evol’s principal aim is to deepen our understanding of this time period of human evolution by describing new African sites presenting hominin and archaeological remains.

The project started during the 2017 In Africa project field season with the identification of four areas of interest in South Turkana; in 2018, geological sampling was done to chronologically characterise one of those sites (Kanyimangin), where excavations should start in 2019.

Map of the area where the In Africa and Trans-Evol projects operate. Kanyimangin and the 3 areas around Kanapoi are the 4 locations of interest that were idenfitifed during the survey led in August 2017 and will be studied within the framework of the Trans-Evol project. Lokodongot 2, Ngingolea Idome and Kalakoel 3 were studied within the In Africa project.
Kanyimangin is situated about 30 km south of the base camp of the In Africa project. An hour drive is necessary to reach it. A) View from the hill above the site of Kanyimangin; B) Field assistant Amog, Peterson and Ngchilia when reaching the site; C) View from Kanyimangin; D) Palemagnetism sampling; E) Soil sampling for ESR dating; F) Lunch break.

Collaborators

Archaeology

DELAGNES Anne, UMR5199, CNRS

SANCHEZ‐DEHESA GALAN Sol, UMR7055, Université Paris Nanterre, Università della Sapienza

VAN BAELEN Ann, LCHES, University of Cambridge

Geology - Geochronology

BAHAIN Jean‐Jacques, UMR7194, MNHN

CHAPON‐SAO Cécile, UMR 7194, CNRS

FALGUERES Christophe, UMR 7194, CNRS

FOLEY Robert, LCHES, University of Cambridge

VIDAL Céline, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Palaeontology - Zooarchaeology

BOSCH Marjolein, Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge

DAUJEARD Camille, UMR7194, CNRS

EDUNG Justus Erus, National Museums of Kenya

MANTHI Fredrick Kyalo, National Museums of Kenya

MARÍN HERNANDO Juan, UMR7194, MNHN

STOETZEL Emmanuelle, UMR7194, CNRS

Palaeoanthropology

MIRAZÓN LAHR Marta, LCHES, University of Cambridge

MOUNIER Aurélien, UMR7194, CNRS

Partners

Paris, France

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Nairobi, Kenya

Lodwar, Kenya

French Embassy, Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya

Paris, France