DANIELA E. ROSSO, then a graduate student at University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France, received funding in October 2013 to aid research on 'Technological and Physicochemical Characterization of MSA Pigments from Porc-Epic Cave (Dire Dawa, Ethiopia),' supervised by Dr. Francesco D'Errico.
FRANCOIS G. RICHARD, while a student at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, received funding in January 2003 to aid archaeological research on sociopolitical change in Siin (Senegal) from 1000 to 1900 c.e., under the supervision of Dr. Christopher R. DeCorse. Richard examined long-term changes in political complexity and social landscapes in Siin through the combined lenses of archaeology, historical documents, and oral traditions.
Preliminary abstract: The Middle Stone Age is associated with the first appearance of modern humans in Africa (McDougall et al 2005). The archaeological record of South Africa suggests the appearance of successive suites of behavior that were constrained temporally and spatially (Marean 2010; Wurz 2013). However it is unclear if these lithic trends represent social networking among MSA populations (d'Errico and Banks 2013) or could be the result of other factors like raw material or reduction intensity.
Preliminary abstract: This project will produce four articles addressing three questions, united by their focus on diverse mosaics of foragers and food producers in the East African past, by their reliance on zooarchaeological data, and by their applicability to theories on forager variation, the spread of food production and 'frontiers'.
MARY E. PRENDERGAST, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Forager Variability on the Eve of Food Production: Kansyore Subsistence Strategies in Kenya and Tanzania,' supervised by Dr. Richard Henry Meadow. This research involved excavation and/or analysis of seven archaeological sites in western Kenya and northern Tanzania, dated to 8,000-1,200 years ago.
DR. MARY PRENDERGAST, St. Louis University, Madrid, Spain, and DR. AUDAX MABULLA, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, et al., were awarded an International Collaborative Research Grant in November 2011 to aid collaborative research on 'Archaeological Investigation of a 'Moving Frontier' of Early Herding in Northern Tanzania.' A team of international researchers and Tanzanian students conducted surveys and excavations in the Engaruka and Manyara basins and on the Mbulu plateau.
KAN ALYSSA PRASSACK, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Paleo-Ecological Significance of Fossil Birds at Olduvai: An Ecologically Based Neotaphonomic Approach,' supervised by Dr. Robert J. Blumenschine. This dissertation research addressed bird bone survivorship across modern landscapes to determine the paleo-environmental utility of fossil avifaunal accumulations for understanding early hominin habitats. Field research occurred in a range of environments in northern Tanzania.
Pobiner, Briana L., Michael J. Rogers, Christopher M. Monahan, and John W.K. Harris. 2008. New Evidence for Hominin Carcass Processing Strategies at 1.5 Ma, Koobi Fora, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution 55(1):103-130
Preliminary abstract: The fossil record suggests that our genus, Homo, originated in eastern Africa around 2.4 million years ago (Ma), at which time our ancestors would have shared the environment with a closely related species, Paranthropus boisei. However, the record indicates that by 1.3 Ma the Paranthropus lineage went extinct and Homo had expanded outside of Africa. Although we understand they coexisted, we lack a relevant framework for testing hypotheses related to their ecologies during this period.
Preliminary abstract: This project tracks the increasingly carnivorous diet of the genus Homo at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania through the analysis of fossil animal bones that preserve traces of hominin and carnivore feeding in the form of carnivore tooth and stone tool butchery marks. The consumption of large mammal carcasses by early humans 2.5 million years ago marks an important adaptive shift that provided our ancestors a new and substantial resource.