Living on the ice edge: insights into the environmental, climatic, and human history of the Ethiopian highlands

Presenting person: Dr. Alexander Groos, Department Geographie und Geowissenschaften, Institut für Geographie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Homepage)
Th. 2022-12-15

The extensive volcanic plateaus in Ethiopia comprise the largest contiguous mountain landscape in Africa above 4,000 m and lie in a region that, thanks to the abundance of archaeological and
palaeoanthropological discoveries, is of fundamental importance for understanding the evolution
and dispersal of anatomically modern humans. The following questions, which are closely linked to environmental, climatic and human history of the highlands, will be addressed during the talk:
When did humans advance from the East African savannah to the high tropical mountains? How did the environment and climate look like at that time? Were the Ethiopian Highlands glaciated at that time? Did people live in the immediate vicinity of the glaciers and if so, why? What did they live on? And what do the large sorted stone strips on the afro-alpine Sanetti Plateau tell us about past conditions? Using different climate and environmental archives, a look into the past is taken that reaches far back into the last glacial period. Natural changes as well as the resources used by Middle Stone Age foragers in the Ethiopian highlands are addressed.

*** invited by Prof. em. Dr. Wolfgang Zech



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