Trans-Evol Workshops & Seminars

Workshop - Paris - 5th & 6th May 2022

Room Chevalier - Musée de l'Homme

Seminars - Paris - 6th May 2022

Room Lévi-Strausse - Musée de l'Homme

Zoom (ID: 929 6954 9808, password: TES-0605)


Introduction by Aurélien Mounier


The Ngipalajem Project – exploring hominin diversity in Africa in the Middle Pleistocene

Marta Mirazón Lahr

Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology & Prehistory at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Clare College

New palaeontological and genomic studies have shifted the origin of the sapiens lineage in Africa to the early Middle Pleistocene. This chronological shift changes the climatic and ecological context in which our lineage evolved, as well as poses new questions regarding hominin diversity in African in the last million years. The Ng’ipalajem Project aims at exploring rich new palaeontological sites from the Turkana Basin dating to this period, and contribute to our understanding of the diversity and population structure of hominins at the time that may, in turn, throw light on the processes that gave rise to Homo sapiens in the later Quaternary.


The Pleistocene fossil fauna from the locality of Nayiena Epul in the Nachukui Formation, Turkana Basin. 

Fredrick Kyalo Manthi

Doctor in Palaeontology. Head of Antiquities, Sites & Monuments at the National Museums of Kenya


Coffee break


New approaches to lithic analyses for the African Middle Stone Age 

Robert Foley

Leverhulme Professor of Human Evolution Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of King's College and Fellow of the British Academy

The In-Africa and Ng’ipalajem projects investigating hominin evolution in SW Turkana after the Lower Pleistocene have produced numerous localities with Middle Stone Age lithics. These raise questions about the nature and integrity of samples, how best to analyse them, and how they relate to the African MSA more broadly. This talk will briefly address these issues.


The Trans-Evol project: filling gaps in hominin evolution at the Early to Middle Pleistocene Transition 

Aurélien Mounier

CNRS Senior Researcher in Palaeoanthropology at the UMR7194 Histoire Naturelle de l'Homme Préhistorique and Turkana Basin Institute Research Fellow

The Trans-Evol project is is leading archaeological excavations in West-Turkana (Kenya) to document the behavioural, cognitive and morphological diversity of hominin populations during the Early to Middle Pleistocene Transition (EMPT 1250-750 ka). This period is characterised by major environmental changes along with behavioural, cognitive and morphological innovations within the genus Homo. Unfortunately, the EMPT African fossil record is scarce and poorly correlated with the archaeological record. 


General discussion & conclusion