The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)


Session 22. Filling the Geographic Gaps in the Human Evolutionary Story. Invited Podium Symposium. Chair: Sireen El Zaatari

March 27, 2015 , Grand Ballroom D Add to calendar

Today, 7 billion people live on planet Earth and all its continents. For more than a century, we have been trying to retrace the evolutionary and migration steps our ancestors took and made us who we are today. Yet, our mission has been greatly complicated by having to locate and retrieve the pieces of the human story puzzle before we can completely assemble it. In search of our origin and evolution, we have explored many geographic areas, some more extensively than others. Europe is by far the most exhaustively researched continent to date. Yet, it only provides us with parts belonging to the final phase of our story. But, what about the story’s beginning in Africa with the origin of our lineage and its evolution leading to our species? And what about the parts of our story corresponding to the phases of our ancestors’ dispersals out of Africa and into Eurasia? Although we have retrieved numerous sections of our evolutionary history from Africa, the vast majority of these come from the eastern and southern parts of this continent, while large regions remain unexplored. Furthermore, we are still missing much evidence related to Homo sapiens and earlier hominin dispersals out of Africa and the earliest colonization of Europe and Asia. Such evidence is expected to be found in western Asia, the edges of Europe, and the Asian continent, all of which are still relatively poorly documented. This symposium brings together researchers working on locating some of the missing pieces in geographic areas currently not well represented in prehistoric/paleoanthropological work, in order to present their latest findings. The goal of this symposium is to collect and showcase current research aiming to fill some of the gaps in our knowledge and to allow for a more complete reconstruction of our species' evolutionary story.

8:00 Add to calendar Between continuity and discontinuity: an overview of the West African Paleolithic over 200,000 years. Eric Huysecom, Benoît Chevrier, Sylvain Soriano, Michel Rasse, Chantal Tribolo.
8:15 Add to calendar Quantifying Hominin Ecospace to reconstruct early hominin dispersal routes. Angela Bruch, Christine Hertler, Michael Märker, Friedemann Schrenk.
8:30 Add to calendar Documenting the first steps out of Africa: New findings from Arabia. Michael Petraglia.
8:45 Add to calendar The archaeological signatures of Late Pleistocene populations’ dynamics of archaic and modern humans in Arabia and Southwestern Asia. Knut Bretzke, Nicholas J. Conard.
9:00 Add to calendar The Northern Levantine corridor: the Paleolithic of Lebanon. Sireen El Zaatari.
9:15 Add to calendar Paleoanthropology in the Balkans: State of the art and challenges for future. Katerina Harvati, Vangelis Tourloukis.
9:30 Add to calendar Eastern Mediterranean Communications Zone in the Pleistocene: Paleoanthropological and archaeological evidence. Mirjana Roksandic, Dušan Mihailović, Bojana Mihailović.
9:45 Add to calendar Earliest radiometric dates for stratified archaeological remains in Greece: the evidence from Kokkinopilos, NW Greece. Vangelis Tourloukis, Panagiotis Karkanas.
10:00 Break
10:15 Add to calendar The dispersal of Modern Humans in Asia: the Northern Route Revisited. Bence Viola, Nicolas Zwyns.
10:30 Add to calendar Findings from renewed excavations at Azokh Cave: a Middle Pleistocene to Holocene site in the southern Caucasus. Tania King, Tim Compton, Antonio Rosas, Peter Andrews, Levon Yepiskoposyan, Lena Asryan, Ethel Allué, Isabel Cáceres, Patricio Domínguez-alonso, Yolanda Fernández-jalvo, Sylvia hixson Andrews, Norah Moloney, Philip Rye, Jan Van der made, John Murray.
10:45 Add to calendar How to survive the glacial apocalypse: bugging out in late Pleistocene Central Asia. Michelle Glantz, Adam Van Arsdale, Sayat Temirbekov.
11:00 Add to calendar Gaps in Chinese Paleoanthropology: A View from Guangxi. Christopher J. Bae, Wei Wang, Dawei Li, Shara Bailey, Elissa Ludeman, Jun Chen, Robert A. Benitez, Estevan Gutierrez.
11:15 Add to calendar Early modern humans and morphological variation in Southeast Asia: fossil evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos. Fabrice Demeter, Laura L. Shackelford, Jose Braga, Kira Westaway, Philippe Duringer, Anne-Marie Bacon, Jean-Luc Ponche, Xiujie Wu, Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy.
11:30 Add to calendar Modern human origins in Southeast Asia: behavioral perspectives. Rachel Hoerman, Robert A. Benitez, Kathryn Burns, Christopher J. Bae.
11:45 Discussion: Alison Brooks and Susan Anton