What role did climate dynamics play in human evolution, the dispersal of Homo sapiens within and beyond the African continent, and key cultural innovations? Were dry spells, stable humid conditions, or rapid climate fluctuations the main driver of human evolution and migration? In order to evaluate the impact that different timescales and magnitudes of climatic shifts might have had on the living conditions of prehistoric humans, we need reliable and continuous reconstructions of paleoenvironmental fluctuations from the vicinity of paleoanthropological and archaeological sites. The search for the environmental context of human evolution and mobility crucially depends on the interpretation of climate archives and linking those interpretations and archives to new findings from outcrop geology, lacustrine and marine sediments.
As a contribution towards a better understanding of these human-climate interactions the conveners encourage interdisciplinary teams to submit abstracts on their project’s research on paleoecology, paleoclimate, and paleoenvironmental reconstruction with particular emphasis on Africa, Arabia, Southern Europe and Asia. We especially welcome contributions offering new methods for dealing with difficult archive conditions. We hope this session will appeal to a broad audience by highlighting the latest research on paleoenvironmental reconstructions in the vicinity of key sites of human evolution, showcasing a wide variety of analytical methods, and encouraging collaboration between different research groups.