The role of culture in early expansions of humans


Coming from Africa, the species Homo spread in the last 2 million years in different waves of migration to Asia and Europe. While the habitat of the Australopithecines and early human forms were limited through natural conditions, cultural accomplishments in the course of incarnation permitted new paths of adapting to the environment. The project strives to reconstruct the spatiotemporal patterns of migration of Hominins between 3 million and 20.000 years before today and to illuminate the causal condition for the spreading. A special focus lies on the cultural dimension of the human development – archaeological excavations in Africa, South West Asia, and Germany as well as Asia in the future provide important insights to that end. Information concerning climate, vegetation, and fauna for the modelling of former habitats is summarised in a database and linked with data from archaeology and the human fossil history. The findings should be incorporated in a digital atlas of the human-environment-development on basis of geographic information systems. The research centre “The role of culture in early expansion of humans” of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities is an interdisciplinary project at the interface of cultural and natural sciences. The internationally widely branched scientific works are centrally coordinated by both research centres at the Senckenberg Research Institute and the University of Tübingen.


Sebastian Zwies M.A.

Geschäftsstelle Mainz
Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 2
55131 Mainz

Tel: 06131/218 528-17

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