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