Human evolution: impact of climate and environmental change
The archaeological site of Pniel, the Early Middle Stone Age open-air site on the Vaal River in South Africa, is located in an area with fossil evidence of early human evolution. The reconstruction of the climate and environment during this period is challenging due to a lack of proxy records. The EU-funded MINERVA project will shed light on the adaption of early Homo sapiens to a changing environment and prey choices. It will do this by synthesising isotopic, zooarchaeological, geomorphological and lithic data recovered from excavations at Pniel. It will then compare these to archaeological sites of similar age in the region. The findings of the project have the potential to lead to new proxy records.