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Tracking in Caves: Trackers from the Kalahari interpret Stone Age footprints

People from the end of the last Ice Age left not only rock art behind in caves, they also left their footprints behind in the soft cave floors. These have been known of for the last 100 years and have been investigated using traditional Western scientific methods. The ancient skill of reading tracks has been neglected until now. Very few people possess this skill today. Among those who do are the experienced hunters of the Jul'hoansi ("Bush people") of the Kalahari (Namibia). Three such trackers were recruited to decipher the tracks left by humans in caves in southern France - with new and exciting results.


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Collaborative Research Centre 806
"Our way to europe"






Neanderthals and Modern Humans in the South of the Iberian Peninsula

In Andalusia (southern Spain) are a large number of archaeological sites dating to the Ice Ages. In Comarca de Guadalteba, north of Malaga, the sites of Las Palomas de Teba and Cueva Ardales provide insights into the last 60,000 years. The Collaborative Research Centre 806 team, together with a number of Spanish colleagues, are researching the history of habitation in the caves. Points of focus include the last Neanderthals, blocked cave entries, engravings and cave paintings, and reconstruction of the area's climatic history.


More about the research project:

Collaborative Research Centre 806
"Our way to europe"





Hunters, Gatherers, and Farmers in Northwest Africa

Morocco is a key region to the spread of early humans from Africa into Europe. A large number of sites from the Ice Age and the current epoch document the climate and landscape history of this region, and the behaviour of humans in it. They were highly mobile groups of people that had to constantly adapt due to the often dramatic climatic variations. Of particular interest is the question: Was the Strait of Gibraltar a barrier, or rather a bridge, to Europe?


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Cavernes du Volp (Volp Caves)
Parc de la Préhistoire






Social Networks During the Magdalenian in the Pyrenees

Communication was decisive for the success of our species. Communication enabled the creation of networks connecting people and groups. Social identity was able to develop. The rich archaeological finds from the end of the last Ice Age allow us to attempt to reconstruct these social networks. This ambitious project is investigating sites from the Magdalenian period, north of the Pyrenees.


Further research projects

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