Parallel Thematic Sessions: Palaeoanthropology & Cultural Heritage


First Part

Starting in Africa and the Cradle of Humankind (Australopithecus africanus "Mrs. Ples"), through the Dawn of Mankind with Australopithecus afarensis “Lucy” (Ethiopia), moving continents to the unique Philippine hominid “Hobbit” of Flores and early hominids in China, into Aboriginal origins in the Asia-Pacific area and back into Europe with the migrations of Neanderthals and other species of Modern Humans, the study of human poses unique challenges that can be addressed only using the most modern analytical techniques in different fields of science and technology, and teaming up with different areas such as botany, geology, imaging (such as CET and magnetic resonance for non-intrusive studies, facial reconstruction techniques), health (forensic medicine, ancient disease strains and their mutations to modern variants) and Genetics and Genomics, each bringing their unique competences to the field.

This session brings together perspectives from different regions of the world, from research facilities; and from instrumentation development (both in situ and off site) required for the study of Ancient Man.


Second Part

In this session, the discussion centers on the range of activities to which analytical techniques are applied for the study of Cultural Heritage, and Ancient man in particular, and how these disciplines demand more sophisticated techniques and extend research requirements in different analytical facilities, thus driving innovation and new scientific discoveries. The different analytical facilities at the disposal of palaeoanthropology worldwide will be discussed with a view to identifying needs and constraints, but also synergies and opportunities from “non-traditional” sources, such as synchrotron and neutron scattering.