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  • Getting Blood From a Stone: Excavations at a Paleolithic Oasis in Jordan by Dr. April Nowell

Getting Blood From a Stone: Excavations at a Paleolithic Oasis in Jordan by Dr. April Nowell

  • 21 Apr 2022
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Unfortunately, Dr. Nowell's presentation will not be available for viewing due to some pre-publication research findings that were included in her talk. Thank you for your understanding. 

Abstract: What today is a barren desert in Azraq, NW Jordan was once a thriving wetland teeming with life—a true oasis. Azraq, as part of the Levantine corridor, l ies at the crossroads between the Eurasian and African continents.  Over the millennia, Azraq has borne witness to multiple migrations of early human ancestors including Homo erectus and Neandertals, many of whom left behind clues about their ways of life in an often challenging environment. One particularly rich archaeological locale is the 250,000 year-old Shishan Marsh site in southern Azraq.  Based on studies of the inhabitants’ stone tools (including a detailed analysis of the oldest identifiable protein residues in the world)  and the diverse strategies they used to hunt and scavenge their prey, it was discovered that these early humans were surprisingly sophisticated technologically, socially and cognitively.

Bio: Dr. April Nowell is a Paleolithic archaeologist and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Victoria. She directs an international team of scientists in the study of Lower and Middle Paleolithic sites in Jordan and collaborates with colleagues on the study of Ice Age rock art in Australia and France and on ostrich eggshell beads in South Africa. In 2016, she and her colleagues working in Jordan published the world's oldest identifiable blood on stone tools showing that 250,000 years ago Middle Pleistocene hominins ate everything from ducks to rhinos. This research was   named one of Time Magazine’s top 100 discoveries. She is known for her publications on cognitive archaeology, Paleolithic art, the archaeology of children and the relationship between science, pop culture and the media. Her co-edited volumes include Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition, the Archaeology of Night: Life After Dark in the Ancient World and the forthcoming Culturing the Body: Prehistoric Perspectives on Identity and Sociality. She is also the author of the new book Growing Up in the Ice Age: Fossil and Archaeological Evidence of the Lived lives of Plio-Pleistocene Children.  Watch her TEDx "Paleoporn" here: youtube.com/watch? 

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