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Christopher Stuart Henshilwood

Professor, Director - Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE)
  • E-mailChristopher.Henshilwood@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 90 99
  • Visitor Address
    Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE)
    Sydnesplassen 12/13, 4th Floor
    Bergen
    Room 
    414
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 Bergen

Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour

SapienCE

Abstract

Homo sapiens was anatomically modern by 200 000 years ago in Africa, but there is no archaeological evidence to demonstrate that behaviour was modern at the time. Attributes of modern behaviour, perhaps inspired by changes in the human brain, are only recognizable after 100 000 years ago. Before we can study the process, we must critically define the criteria for the term ‘modern behaviour’ and then find a means to recognize such behaviour in the record. This seemingly simple research statement involves complex exploration by a team of specialists. In this highly competitive research field our centre will, for the first time, be able to rise to the challenge by combining the skills of cutting-edge scientists in archaeology, climate reconstruction and modelling, and the cognitive and social sciences. Over the next decade we will integrate knowledge and methods from different disciplines to synthesize approaches and contribute to a sophisticated understanding of early human behaviour. Our highly ambitious research program will focus explicitly on rare, well preserved archaeological sites occupied in the period between 100-50 000 years ago because these contain the ‘keys’ for unlocking the past. A major competitive edge is the SapienCE Director’s 25 years of archaeological experience and his long-term exclusive access, with permits, to a number of the best-preserved sites in the southern Cape, South Africa - a region regarded as a major locus for vital evidence that could inform on the behaviour of early humans. Our planned excavations at existing and new sites and our ground-breaking and innovative interdisciplinary approaches, including climate (Bjerknes Centre) and cognitive research, to understanding the processes that shaped human cultures will consolidate Norway’s position over the next decade as a world leader in early human origins research.

Primary and Secondary Tasks

Primarily, SapienCEwill directly address unanswered, first order questions about Homo sapiens: a) what defines the switch to ‘modern behaviour’, exactly how should this term be defined and then, when, why and how did the ‘switch’ occur; b) were there changes in the human brain at that time that accelerated behavioural variability and how can these be measured now? Secondary linked tasks address the social organization of these early humans: was social cohesion enhanced by symbolic material culture or vice-versa and did it lead to innovation; what cognitive skills had to be in place in order for other skills to develop; how adaptable were humans to environmental change and did climate act as a driver for technological innovation, social change and subsistence adaptations? An important corollary will be our collaboration with the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Evolutionary Anthropology that could determine the genetic relationship of these early H. sapiens to extant human populations.

1. INTRODUCTION

The study of the origins of human behavioural development began in Europe and focused on the Upper Palaeolithic that started at 45 ka (thousand years ago). For many decades it was accepted that these developments originated in Europe. These studies set the standard against which the behaviour of earlier non-European humans was compared. Over the past 20 years archaeological evidence from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in Africa, especially after 100 ka, has rapidly changed perceptions of the behavioural variability and adaptive strategies of these early humans. Research led by the SapienCE Director in the southern Cape since 1991, including his ERC-funded Tracsymbols Project (2010-2015), uncovered unprecedented new evidence at Blombos Cave (BBC) and Klipdrift Shelter (KDS), the latter located in De Hoop Nature Reserve, for the behavioural evolution of early H. sapiens in southern Africa. Major discoveries, highly cited, relate to advanced technology and include the earliest evidence for the making of a pigmented compound and the use of containers (100ka) and the first known use of pressure flaking to create finely crafted stone tools (75ka). Items of symbolic material, directly linked to cognitive advances, include the earliest geometric engravings on ochre (100-75ka), personal ornaments made from marine shell (75ka), and among the earliest engraved ostrich eggshell (66ka). This research laid the foundation for the need to establish a centre of excellence in human origins research.

Through integrating the unique breadth of competence available at UiB with top international collaborators we are confident we can deliver transformative results. This can only be achieved by adopting a holistic approach (integrating Science and Humanities) that focuses on early Homo sapiens in considerably more depth than previously possible and that extends beyond previously limiting intradisciplinary boundaries. To achieve this goal the Director has attracted leading scientists from top research groups, including the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, UiB Psychosocial Sciences, U. Tubingen, CNRS Bordeaux, the Max Planck Institute and Royal Holloway. Thus in the SAPIENCEwe are able, for the first time, to co-ordinate and integrate expertise and the analytical and computational facilities available to our team of archaeologists, zoo-archaeologists, micromorphologists, palaeoclimatologists, climate dynamicists, dating experts, cognitive and neuroscientists as well as geneticists. We believe this will provide the competitive edge needed for a highly innovative, cutting-edge CoE.

2. VISION AND STRATEGIC INTENT

SAPIENCEaspires to be firmly embedded among the top three humanities oriented palaeo-science institutes by 2020. The focus of SapienCE  is on key fields related to early Homo sapiens that are of international importance and interest. In this regard SapienCE  is uniquely positioned as our research area in the southern Cape lays the basis for ground breaking excavations followed by globally significant interdisciplinary research to be carried out at UiB. We believe this will allow for an ideal, yet rare, marriage of the humanities and sciences. To ensure that by 2020 SapienCE  will have attained top research status, visionary, determined and practical leadership is needed. This implies that SapienCE will have to embark on bold strategies that will:

  • Fully exploit its competitive advantages by building on existing strengths and by nurturing new avenues for intense engagement where it can produce top quality research results
  • Sustain and increase research output in high impact journals
  • Pursue ambitious internationalisation to establish SapienCE as a world-class centre of intellectual engagement and a preferred destination for top-class international scholars and students.
  • Increase its intake and training of postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows
  • Provide a high-quality support environment and top-class infrastructure for its core functions
  • Become recognised among academics globally as a gateway to human origins research and to knowledge and understanding of early H. sapiens evolution in southern Africa

 

 

Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour

SapienCE

2017 - 2026

 

SapienCE will communicate the results of its research in numerous ways: scientific publication in prestigious journals and at conferences; use of media outlets to make the research accessible to the general public; develop a SapienCE website, email newsletters and short videos which present recent research results and also publish and disseminate via social media; running of regular focused workshops and forums for specialists and the general public; use of outreach programmes in Norway via the Univ. Museum of Bergen and through Wits Univ. (Origins Centre Museum). The SapienCE outreach programme will benefit more than 2000 economically disadvantaged school children per annum in South Africa and will be extended, via the Univ. Museum of Bergen, to Norwegian school children in 2019 (e.g. through the existing collaboration agreements between UiB and several region secondary schools to involve school children in current research topics). Widespread popular appeal of visual representations of heritage objects (e.g. 3D renderings of material culture) means that the media will be a key element of information brokerage, and contact with national and international journalists will be actively sought. All PIs will engage in events aimed at communicating scientific results to team members and the broader public. The UiB representation in Brussels and the results of SapienCE will be used to get the attention of European policy makers through a conference planned for 2019. In co-operation with, and partly funded by, Cape Nature (agreement in place) and Wits, by late 2018 there will be an education centre and archaeology museum located in De Hoop Nature Reserve, southern Cape, relating to the various discoveries. SapienCE will also invest in professional communication training for its researchers. Courses in media contact, popular science writing and social media will be offered to all PIs, MScs, PhDs, and Postdocs. Junior scientists will be actively encouraged to disseminate research results and experiences to all interested audiences through social media such as blogs, twitter and Instagram. During the course of the SAPIENCE research (2021 and 2026) two documentaries for international dissemination will be produced by the renowned documentary makers, the Foster brothers, of SenseAfrica.com (self-financed, already agreed). A regularly updated online 3D museum featuring our research and finds will be produced by SapienCE / SenseAfrica thus ensuring the widest distribution, at lowest cost, for school pupils, students and the public. SapienCE will publish two books (2021 and 2025) for the general public featuring substantial photo-coverage.

 

http://www.forskningsradet.no/en/Newsarticle/Ten_new_Norwegian_Centres_o...

 

http://pahoyden.no/2017/03/christopher-henshilwood-skal-lede-uibs-nyeste...

 

https://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/research-news/2017/2017-03/norwe...

 

http://ancient-earth.co.za/norwegian-centre-excellence-awarded-coe-pal-b...

 

 

 

Link to our latest dissemination programme 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5_JctzoxXA&feature=em‐upload_owner

 

DOCUMENTARIES 2008 -2015 (selected sample)

 

2015 – The Great Human Odyssey, directed by Niobe Thompson, Canadian Broadcasting Coropration http://www.cbc.ca/greathumanodyssey/episodes/episode-1-rise-of-a-species

 

2013 - CNN's Inside Africa documentary on Blombos Cave: http://edition.cnn.com/AFRICA/

 

2013 - Clearwater Documentary involving Blombos Cave: http://clearwaterdoc.ca/about/

 

2012 - NHK Japanese Television Special Human Series. Presenter: Tatsuya Fujiwara narration (narrator): Seiko Nakajo

 

2009 - TV film made with Henshilwood at Blombos Cave for the Swedish Broadcasting Society Directed by Martin Widman and presented by Lasse Berg

 

2010 - Film made at Cape Point Nature Reserve with Henshilwood on the ‘Origins of H. sapiens’ for Foster Brother Film Productions, South Africa.

 

2008 - Film made at Blombos Cave with Henshilwood in March, 2008 for display in the ‘Anne & Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins’, American Museum of Natural History, New York.

 

POPULAR ARTICLES (selected)

 

·         Henshilwood, Christopher; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise. 2016. What excavated beads tell us about the when and where of human evolution. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-henshilwood-222991

·         National Geographic Magazine 2015  http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/first-artists/walter-text

·         Dybas, C.L. 2013. Ripple marks—The story behind the story. Oceanography 26(3):10–13, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2013.69

·         Dybas, C.L. 2013. Article on Blombos Cave in Oceanography . http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/26-3_dybas.html#abstract

·         Henshilwood, C. & van Niekerk, K. 2012. Middle Stone Age Chemists: A 100,000 Year Old Pigment Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa. The Digging Stick.

·         Jeff Tollefson, 2012. Human evolution: Cultural roots. Nature 482, 290–292 (16 February 2012) doi:10.1038/482290a http://www.nature.com/news/human-evolution-cultural-roots-1.10025

20 POPULAR LINKS TO OUR RESEARCH: September, 2014 – July, 2015 (selected sample)

 

1.      http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/The+Nature+of+Things/ID/2440373757/

 

2.      http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/first-artists/walter-text

 

3.      http://www.cbc.ca/greathumanodyssey/episodes/episode-1-rise-of-a-species

 

4.      https://vimeo.com/117470487

 

5.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5_JctzoxXA&feature=em-upload_owner

 

6.      www.tracsymbols.eu

 

7.      http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201507/26853/news_item_26853.html

 

8.      http://www.uib.no/aktuelt/84984/uib-arkeolog-i-national-geographic

 

9.      http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201501/25466/news_item_25466.html

 

10.  http://www.uib.no/en/ahkr/90323/diachronic-change-within-still-bay-blomb...

 

11.  http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201501/25535/news_item_25535.html

 

12.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernSapiens/

 

13.  http://highlycited.com/#henshilwood

 

14.  https://uib.academia.edu/ChrisHenshilwood

 

15.  http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201503/25965/news_item_25965.html

 

16.  http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6050

 

17.  http://www.uib.no/ahkr/82096/feltforsking-p%C3%A5-film

 

18.  https://vimeo.com/108896344

 

19.  http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/discovery/rare-sa-artefacts-go-on-d...

 

 20.  http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-archaeological-science/most-... - 2026

The SAPIENCE will communicate the results of its research in numerous ways: scientific publication in prestigious journals and at conferences; use of media outlets to make the research accessible to the general public; develop an SAPIENCE website, email newsletters and short videos which present recent research results and also publish and disseminate via social media; running of regular focused workshops and forums for specialists and the general public; use of outreach programmes in Norway via the Univ. Museum of Bergen and through Wits Univ. (Origins Centre Museum). The SAPIENCE outreach programme will benefit more than 2000 economically disadvantaged school children per annum in South Africa and will be extended, via the Univ. Museum of Bergen, to Norwegian school children in 2019 (e.g. through the existing collaboration agreements between UiB and several region secondary schools to involve school children in current research topics). Widespread popular appeal of visual representations of heritage objects (e.g. 3D renderings of material culture) means that the media will be a key element of information brokerage, and contact with national and international journalists will be actively sought. All PIs will engage in events aimed at communicating scientific results to team members and the broader public. The UiB representation in Brussels and the results of the SAPIENCE will be used to get the attention of European policy makers through a conference planned for 2019. In co-operation with, and partly funded by, Cape Nature (agreement in place) and Wits, by late 2018 there will be an education centre and archaeology museum located in De Hoop Nature Reserve, southern Cape, relating to the various discoveries. SAPIENCE will also invest in professional communication training for its researchers. Courses in media contact, popular science writing and social media will be offered to all PIs, MScs, PhDs, and Postdocs. Junior scientists will be actively encouraged to disseminate research results and experiences to all interested audiences through social media such as blogs, twitter and Instagram. During the course of the SAPIENCE research (2021 and 2026) two documentaries for international dissemination will be produced by the renowned documentary makers, the Foster brothers, of SenseAfrica.com (self-financed, already agreed). A regularly updated online 3D museum featuring our research and finds will be produced by SAPIENCE/ SenseAfrica thus ensuring the widest distribution, at lowest cost, for school pupils, students and the public. The SAPIENCE will publish two books (2021 and 2025) for the general public featuring substantial photo-coverage.

http://www.forskningsradet.no/en/Newsarticle/Ten_new_Norwegian_Centres_o...

http://pahoyden.no/2017/03/christopher-henshilwood-skal-lede-uibs-nyeste...

https://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/research-news/2017/2017-03/norwe...

http://ancient-earth.co.za/norwegian-centre-excellence-awarded-coe-pal-b...

 

Link to our latest dissemination programme 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5_JctzoxXA&feature=em‐upload_owner

DOCUMENTARIES 2008 -2015 (selected sample)

2015 – The Great Human Odyssey, directed by Niobe Thompson, Canadian Broadcasting Coropration http://www.cbc.ca/greathumanodyssey/episodes/episode-1-rise-of-a-species

2013 - CNN's Inside Africa documentary on Blombos Cave: http://edition.cnn.com/AFRICA/

2013 - Clearwater Documentary involving Blombos Cave: http://clearwaterdoc.ca/about/

2012 - NHK Japanese Television Special Human Series. Presenter: Tatsuya Fujiwara narration (narrator): Seiko Nakajo

2009 - TV film made with Henshilwood at Blombos Cave for the Swedish Broadcasting Society Directed by Martin Widman and presented by Lasse Berg

2010 - Film made at Cape Point Nature Reserve with Henshilwood on the ‘Origins of H. sapiens’ for Foster Brother Film Productions, South Africa.

2008 - Film made at Blombos Cave with Henshilwood in March, 2008 for display in the ‘Anne & Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins’, American Museum of Natural History, New York.

POPULAR ARTICLES (selected)

·         Henshilwood, Christopher; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise. 2016. What excavated beads tell us about the when and where of human evolution. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/profiles/christopher-henshilwood-222991

·         National Geographic Magazine 2015  http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/first-artists/walter-text

·         Dybas, C.L. 2013. Ripple marks—The story behind the story. Oceanography 26(3):10–13, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2013.69

·         Dybas, C.L. 2013. Article on Blombos Cave in Oceanography . http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/26-3_dybas.html#abstract

·         Henshilwood, C. & van Niekerk, K. 2012. Middle Stone Age Chemists: A 100,000 Year Old Pigment Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa. The Digging Stick.

·         Jeff Tollefson, 2012. Human evolution: Cultural roots. Nature 482, 290–292 (16 February 2012) doi:10.1038/482290a http://www.nature.com/news/human-evolution-cultural-roots-1.10025

20 POPULAR LINKS TO OUR RESEARCH: September, 2014 – July, 2015 (selected sample)

1.      http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/The+Nature+of+Things/ID/2440373757/

2.      http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/01/first-artists/walter-text

3.      http://www.cbc.ca/greathumanodyssey/episodes/episode-1-rise-of-a-species

4.      https://vimeo.com/117470487

5.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5_JctzoxXA&feature=em-upload_owner

6.      www.tracsymbols.eu

7.      http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201507/26853/news_item_26853.html

8.      http://www.uib.no/aktuelt/84984/uib-arkeolog-i-national-geographic

9.      http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201501/25466/news_item_25466.html

10.  http://www.uib.no/en/ahkr/90323/diachronic-change-within-still-bay-blombos-cave-south-africa

11.  http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201501/25535/news_item_25535.html

12.  https://www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernSapiens/

13.  http://highlycited.com/#henshilwood

14.  https://uib.academia.edu/ChrisHenshilwood

15.  http://www.wits.ac.za/newsroom/newsitems/201503/25965/news_item_25965.html

16.  http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6050

17.  http://www.uib.no/ahkr/82096/feltforsking-p%C3%A5-film

18.  https://vimeo.com/108896344

19.  http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/discovery/rare-sa-artefacts-go-on-display-1.1755974#.VcijZfnzoQ9

 20.  http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-archaeological-science/most-downloaded-articles/

 

 

A core focus of my projects is to encourage young researchers, especially women and the previously disadvantaged, in Africa and Europe to pursue the study of our ancient African past. My postgraduate students (Masters ‐21, PhD ‐8) and post‐doctoral researchers (10) at Wits and Bergen University have been directly involved in field excavations, and many have developed independent careers with successful publication records.

SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS (Univ. of Witwatersrand & Bergen, Norway)

  • Annual 3 month Field School – southern Cape ( >120 students at undergraduate and Masters level)
  • Masters – 21 (11F, 10M, 3PD)
  • PhD – 8 (3F, 5M, 3PD)
  • Post-Doctoral – 10 (5F, 5M, 1PD)

PUBLICATION CITATIONS

Peer-reviewed journals: 57 papers (4 in Science,7 in PLoSONE ); 96 co-authors; Top 10 papers cited 2728 times:

Book Chapters: 16; Books 2

  • Scopus ISI: h-index 26; 4128 citations (April. 2018): Average citations per p.r journal paper =72
  • Web of Science: h-index 26
  • Google Scholar: h-index 36; 7939 citations (April, 2018);I-10 index =54
  • Thompson Reuters Lifetime Research Award in 2014 (2002-2012) and Thompson Reuters Research Award for being in the top 1% most cited in the ‘Social Sciences and General’ Category for 2013, 2014, 2016. http://highlycited.com/#henshilwood
  •  

BOOKS & MONOGRAPHS

  1. Henshilwood, C. & d’Errico, F. (editors). 2011. Homo symbolicus: The dawn of  language, imagination and spirituality. Amsterdam, Benjamins.
  2. Henshilwood, C. S. 2008. Holocene prehistory of the southern Cape, South Africa: excavations at Blombos Cave and the Blombosfontein Nature Reserve. BAR S1860, Cambridge: Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 75: 1- 171. ISBN 978-1-4073-0343-7.

BOOKS & MONOGRAPHS

  1. Henshilwood, C. & d’Errico, F. (editors). 2011. Homo symbolicus: The dawn of  language, imagination and spirituality. Amsterdam, Benjamins.
  2. Henshilwood, C. S. 2008. Holocene prehistory of the southern Cape, South Africa: excavations at Blombos Cave and the Blombosfontein Nature Reserve. BAR S1860, Cambridge: Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 75: 1- 171. ISBN 978-1-4073-0343-7.

BOOK CHAPTERS

  1. Henshilwood, C.S. & van Niekerk, K.L. 2018. Blombos Cave: The Middle Stone Age levels. In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, (ed. Smith, C). Springer International Publishing AG 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_1892-2.
  2. Haaland, M. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2017. Blombos Cave. In: Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology (ed. Gilbert, A.). Springer, Dordrecht:75-76. ISBN: 978-94-007-4827-9; ISBN 978-1-4020-4409-0
  1. Henshilwood, C.S., van Niekerk, K.L., Kjærgaard, P. 2016. Homo sapiens: Blombos Cave. In: 50 Fund (eds. Nørskov, V. & Pentz, P). Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, pp. 273-276. ISBN 978 87 7124 928 6
  2. Henshilwood, C.S. 2014. Origins of symbolic behaviour. In: McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology. California, McGraw-Hill. ISBN-10: 0071831061: ISBN-13: 978-0071831062
  3. Henshilwood, C.S. & Lombard, M. 2014. Becoming human: Archaeology of the sub-Saharan Middle Stone Age. In: The Cambridge World Prehistory, Volume 1. (eds. Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 106-13. ISBN: 9780521119931.
  4. Henshilwood, C.S. & van Niekerk, K.L. 2013. Blombos Cave: The Middle Stone Age Levels. In: Encyclopaedia of Global Archaeology (ed. Smith, C.): 24 ISBN 978-1-4419-0426-3
  5. Dubreuil, B. & Henshilwood, C. S. 2013. Material culture and language. In: New Perspectives on the Origins of Language (eds. Lefebvre, C. Comrie, B., Cohen, H.). John Benjamins: Amsterdam: 147–17 ISBN 9789027206114.
  6. d’Errico, F. & Henshilwood, C. 2011.The origin of symbolically mediated behaviour: From antagonistic scenarios to a unified research strategy. In: Homo symbolicus: The dawn of language, imagination and spirituality, (eds. Henshilwood, C. and d’Errico, F). Amsterdam: Benjamins, pp. 49-74.
  7. Henshilwood, C. & d’Errico, F. 2011. Middle Stone Age engravings and their significance to the debate on the emergence of symbolic material culture. In: Homo symbolicus, the dawn of language, imagination and spirituality (eds. Henshilwood, C. and d’Errico, F). Amsterdam: Benjamins, pp.75-96.
  8. Henshilwood, C.S. & Dubreuil, B. 2009. Reading the artefacts: Gleaning language skills from the Middle Stone Age in southern Africa. In: The Cradle of Language, (eds. R. Botha & C. Knight), Oxford: Oxford University Press: 41-60.
  9. Henshilwood, C.S. 2009. The origins of symbolism, spirituality & shamans: exploring Middle Stone Age material culture in South Africa. In: Becoming human: innovation in prehistoric material and spiritual cultures, (eds. C. Renfrew & I. Morley), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press: 29-49.
  10. d’Errico, F., Vanhaeren, M., Henshilwood, C., Lawson, G., Maureille, B., Gambier, D., Tillier, A. Soressi, M & van Niekerk, K. 2009. From the origin of language to the diversification of languages: What can archaeology and palaeoanthropology say? In Becoming Eloquent: Advances in the emergence of language, human cognition, and modern cultures (eds. d'Errico, F. & Hombert, J-M.),. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company: 13-68.
  11. Henshilwood, C.S. 2007. Fully symbolic sapiens behaviour: Innovation in the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa. In: Rethinking the Human Revolution: New Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origins and Dispersal of Modern Humans. (eds. C. Stringer & P. Mellars), MacDonald Institute Research Monograph series: Cambridge, University of Cambridge Press: 123-132 1.
  12. Henshilwood, C. S. & Marean, C. W. 2006. Remodelling the origins of modern human behaviour. In: The Prehistory of Africa: Tracing the lineage of modern man. (ed. H. Soodyall). Cape Town: Jonathan Ball: 31-46
  13. Henshilwood, C.S. 2006. Modern humans and symbolic behaviour: Evidence from Blombos Cave, South  Africa. In Origins (ed. G. Blundell). Cape Town: Double Storey: 78-83
  14. Henshilwood, C. S. 2005. Stratigraphic integrity of the Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave. In: From Tools to Symbols. Form Early Hominids to Modern Humans. (eds. L. Backwell & F. d’Errico). Johannesburg, Witwatersrand University Press: 441-458.
  15. Henshilwood, C.S. & d’Errico, F. 2005. Being modern in the Middle Stone Age: Individuals and innovation. In: The Individual hominid in context: Archaeological investigations of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic landscapes, locales and artefacts (eds. C. Gamble & M. Porr). Routledge (Taylor Francis): 244-264.
  16. Henshilwood, C.S. 2004. The Origins of Modern Human Behaviour – Exploring the African evidence. In: Combining the Past and the Present: Archaeological perspectives on society. Edited by Terje Oestegaard, Nils Anfinset and Tore Saetersdal. BAR International Series 1210: 95-106.

PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS

  1. Reynard, J.P., Henshilwood, C.S. Submitted. Subsistence versus environment: zooarchaeology and taphonomic analyses of fauna from the Still Bay layers at Blombos Cave. Quaternary International.
  2. Reynard, J.P., Henshilwood, C.S. 2018. Using trampling modification to infer occupational intensity during the Still Bay at Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa, African Archaeological Review 35:1–19. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-018-9286-2
  3. Nel,T.H., Wurz, S., Henshilwood, C.S. 2018. Small mammals from Marine Isotope Stage 5 at Klasies River, South Africa–Reconstructing the local palaeoenvironment. Quaternary International https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2017.08.074.
  4. Haaland, M.M., Friesem, D.E., Miller, C.E., Henshilwood, C.S. 2017. Heat-induced alteration of glauconitic minerals in the Middle Stone Age levels of Blombos Cave, South Africa: implications for evaluating site structure and burning events. Journal of Archaeological Science 86: 81-100.
  5. d'Errico, F. Banks, W.R., Warren, D., Sgubin, G., van Niekerk, K.L., Henshilwood, C.S., Daniau, A-L., Sánchez Goñi, M.F. 2017. Identifying Early Modern Human ecological niche expansions and associated cultural dynamics in the South African Middle Stone Age. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (30): 7869-7876. doi:  10.1073/pnas.1620752114
  6. Ryano, K., Wurz, S., van Niekerk, K.L., Henshilwood, C.S. 2017. The technology of the early Oakhurst lithic techno-complex from Klipdrift Cave, southern Cape, South Africa. African Archaeological Review. African Archaeological Review 34 (1): 93-119
  7. Reynard, J. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2017. Subsistence strategies during the later Middle Stone Age in the southern Cape of South Africa: comparing the Still Bay of Blombos Cave with the Howiesons Poort of Klipdrift Shelter. Journal of Human Evolution 108:110-130.
  8. Delagnes, A., Schmidt, P., Douze, K., Wurz, S., Bellot-Gurlet, L., Conard, N.J., Nickel, K., van Niekerk, K.L., Henshilwood, C.S. 2016. Early evidence for the extensive heat treatment of silcrete in the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter (layer PBD, 65 ka), South Africa. PLoS one 11(10): e0163874 . http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163874
  9. Rifkin, R.F., Prinsloo, L.C., Dayet, L., Haaland, M.M., Lozano, E., Henshilwood, C.S., Vogelsang, R., Kambombo, F. 2016. Characterising pigments on 30 000 year-old mobiliary art form Apollo 11 Cave, Karas Region, southern Namibia. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 5: 336-347.
  10. Roberts, P., Henshilwood, C., van Niekerk, K.L., Keene, P., Gledhill, A., Reynard, J., Badenhorst, S., Lee-Thorp, J. 2016. Climate, environment and early human innovation: Stable isotope and faunal proxy evidence from archaeological sites (98-59ka) in the southern Cape, South Africa.  PLoS ONE 11(7): e0157408. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157408
  11. Reynard, J., Discamps, E., Badenhorst, S., van Niekerk, K.L, Henshilwood, C.S. 2016. Subsistence strategies in the southern Cape during the Howiesons Poort: Taphonomic and zooarchaeological analyses of Klipdrift Shelter, South Africa. Quaternary International 404: 2-19
  12. Reynard, J., Discamps, E., Wurz, S., van Niekerk, K.L., Badenhorst, S., Henshilwood, C.S. 2016. Occupational intensity and environmental changes during the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter, southern Cape, South Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 449: 349-364. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.02.035
  13. Moyo, S., Mphuti, D., Cukrowska, E., Henshilwood, C.S., van Niekerk, K.L. Chimuka, L. 2016. Blombos Cave: Middle Stone Age ochre differentiation through FTIR, ICP OES, ED XRF and XRD. Quaternary International 404: 20–29 doi: doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.09.041
  14. Hillestad-Nel, T., Henshilwood, C.S. 2016. The small mammal sequence from the c. 76 – 72 ka Still Bay levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa – taphonomic and palaeoecological implications for human behaviour. PLOS ONE:c dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159817
  15. Badenhorst, S., van Niekerk, K.L. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2016. Large mammal remains from the c. 100 ka Middle Stone Age Layers of Blombos Cave, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin 71 (203): 46–52.
  16. Soriano, S.,Villa, P., Delagnes, A., Degano, I., Pollarolo, L., Lucejko, J., Henshilwood, C., Wadley, L. 2015. The Still Bay and Howiesons Poort at Sibudu and Blombos: The Still Bay and Howiesons Poort at Sibudu and Blombos: Understanding Middle Stone Age technologies. PLOS ONE | DOI: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0131127
  17. Rifkin, R.F., Henshilwood, C.S., Haaland, M.M. 2015. Late Pleistocene figurative art mobilier from Apollo 11 Cave, Karas region, southern Namibia. South African Archaeological Bulletin 70 (201): 113–123.
  18. Discamps, E. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2015. Intra-Site Variability in the Still Bay Fauna at Blombos Cave: Implications for Explanatory Models of the Middle Stone Age Cultural and Technological Evolution. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144866
  19. Harvati, K., Bauer, C., Grine, F., Benazzi, S., Ackermann, R.R., van Niekerk, K., Henshilwood, C.S. 2015. A human deciduous molar from the Middle Stone Age (Howiesons Poort) of Klipdrift Shelter, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.03.001.
  20. Douze K., Wurz S., Henshilwood C. 2015. Techno-cultural characterization of the MIS 5 (c. 105 - 90 ka) lithic industries at Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa. PLOS ONE: 10(11): e0142151. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142151
  21. Archer, W., Gunz, P., van Niekerk, K.L., Henshilwood, C.S., McPherron, S. 2015. Diachronic change within the Still Bay at Blombos Cave, South Africa. PLOS ONE: 10(7): e0132428 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0132428
  22. d’Errico, F., Vanhaeren, M., van Niekerk, K., Henshilwood, C.S. & Erasmus, R.M. 2015. Assessing the accidental versus deliberate color modification of shell beads. A case study on perforated Nassarius kraussianus from Blombos Cave Middle Stone Age levels. Archaeometry 57(1): 51-76. doi: 10.1111/arcm.12072.
  23. Thompson, J. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2014. Nutritional values of Middle Stone Age tortoises at Blombos Cave, South Africa, and implications for foraging and social behaviour. Journal of Human Evolution 67: 33–47.
  24. Thompson, J. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2014. Tortoise taphonomy and tortoise butchery patterns at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 41: 214-229.
  25. Reynard, J.P., Badenhorst, S., Henshilwood C. S. 2014. Inferring animal size from the unidentified long bones from the Middle Stone Age layers at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (Annals of the Transvaal Museum), 4 pp. 9 - 25.
  26. Henshilwood, C.S., van Niekerk, K.L., Wurz, S., Delagnes, A., Armitage, S., Rifkin, R., Douze, K., Keene, P., Haaland, M., Reynard, J., Discamps, E. & Mienies, S. 2014. Klipdrift Shelter, southern Cape, South Africa: Preliminary report on the Howiesons Poort levels. Journal of Archaeological Science 45: 284–303.
  27. Badenhorst, S., van Niekerk, K.L. Henshilwood, C.S. 2014. Rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) from Middle Stone Age Levels at Blombos Cave. South Africa. African Archaeological Review 31 (1) 25-43.
  28. Vanhaeren, M., d’Errico, F., van Niekerk, K., Henshilwood, C.S., Erasmus, R.M. 2013. Thinking strings: additional evidence for personal ornament use in the Middle Stone Age of Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 64: 500-517.
  29. Jacobs, Z., Hayes, E.H., Roberts, R.G., Galbraith, R.F., & Henshilwood, C.S. 2013. An improved OSL chronology for the Still Bay layers at Blombos Cave, South Africa: Further tests of single-grain dating procedures and a re-evaluation of the timing of the Still Bay industry across southern Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 40: 579-594.
  30. Dubreuil, B. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2013. Archeology and the language-ready brain. Language & Cognition 5 (2-3): 251 -260.
  31. Langejans, G.H.J., Dusseldorp, G.L., van Niekerk, K.L., Henshilwood, C.S. 2013. A hazy shade of winter: Late Pleistocene environments and behavioural adaptations at Blombos Cave, South Africa. In: Runge, J. (ed.) New Studies on Former and Recent Landscape Changes in Africa: Palaeoecology of Africa 32: 19-51.
  32. Langejans, G.H.J., Dusseldorp, G.L., Henshilwood, C.S., 2012. Terrestrial gastropods from Blombos Cave, South Africa: Research Potential. South African Archaeological Bulletin 67 (195): 120–144.
  33. Henshilwood, C. S. 2012. The Still Bay and Howiesons Poort: ‘Palaeolithic’ techno-traditions in southern Africa. Journal of World Prehistory 25:205-237.
  34. Henshilwood, C., & Dubreuil, B. 2012. Response to Shea. Current Anthropology53 (1):1-3.
  35. Thompson, J. & Henshilwood, C. S. 2011. Taphonomic analysis of the Middle Stone Age larger mammal faunal assemblage from Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution, 60:746-767.
  36. Henshilwood,C.S. d’Errico, F., van Niekerk, K.L. Coquinot, Y., Jacobs, Z., Lauritzen, S-E., Menu, M., García-Moreno, R. 2011. A 100,000 Year Old Ochre Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Science 334, 219-221
  37. Henshilwood, C. S. & Dubreuil, B. 2011. The Still Bay and Howiesons Poort, 77 - 59 ka: Perspective-taking and the evolution of the modern human mind during the African Middle Stone Age. Current Anthropology. 52 (3): 361-400.
  38. Mourre, V., Villa, P. & Henshilwood, C. 2010. Early Use of Pressure Flaking on Lithic Artifacts at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Science, 330: 659-662.
  39. Villa, P., Soressi, M., Henshilwood, C.S. & Mourre, V. 2009. The Still Bay points of Blombos Cave (South Africa). Journal of Archaeological Science 36 (2): 441-460.
  40. Henshilwood, C.S., d’ Errico, F. & Watts, I. 2009. Engraved ochres from the Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution 57, 27-47.
  41. Henshilwood, C.S. 2008. Winds of change: palaeoenvironments, material culture and human behaviour in the Late Pleistocene (c. 77 – 48 ka) in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin, Goodwin volume, Current Themes in Middle Stone Age Research 10: 35-51.
  42. d’Errico, F. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2007. Additional evidence for bone technology in the southern African Middle Stone Age. Journal of Human Evolution 52:142-163.
  43. Tribolo, C., Mercier, N., Selo, M., Joron, J-L., Reyss, J-L., Henshilwood, C., Sealy, J. & Yates, R. 2006. TL dating of burnt lithics from Blombos Cave (South Africa): Further evidence for the antiquity of modern human behaviour. Archaeometry 48 (2): 341–357.
  44. Jacobs, Z. Duller, G.A.T. Henshilwood, C.S. Wintle, A.G. 2006. Extending the chronology of deposits at Blombos Cave, South Africa, back to 140 ka using optical dating of single and multiple grains of quartz. Journal of Human Evolution 51: 255-273.
  45. d’Errico, F., Henshilwood, C., Vanhaeren, M., van Niekerk. K. 2005.  Nassarius kraussianus shell beads from Blombos Cave: Evidence for symbolic behaviour in the Middle Stone Age. Journal of Human Evolution 48:3-24.
  46. Henshilwood, C.S., d’Errico, F., Vanhaeren, M., van Niekerk, K., Jacobs, Z. 2004. Middle Stone Age shell beads from South Africa. Science 384:404.
  47. d’Errico F., Henshilwood C., Lawson G., Vanhaeren M., Soressi M., Bresson F., Tillier A.M., Maureille B., Nowell A., Backwell L., Lakarra J.A., Julien M. 2003. The search for the origin of symbolism, music and language: a multidisciplinary endeavour. Journal of World Prehistory, 17 (1): 1-70.
  48. Henshilwood, C.S. & Marean, C.W. 2003. The origin of modern human behaviour: A review and critique of models and test implications. Current Anthropology 44 (5): 627-651
  49. Grine, F.E. & Henshilwood, C.S. 2002. Additional Human Remains from Blombos Cave, South Africa: (1999-2000 excavations). Journal of Human Evolution 42: 293-302.
  50. Henshilwood, C.S., d’Errico, F., Yates, R., Jacobs, Z., Tribolo, C., Duller, G.A.T., Mercier N., Sealy, J.C., Valladas, H., Watts, I. & Wintle, A.G. 2002. Emergence of Modern Human Behaviour: Middle Stone Age engravings from South Africa. Science 295:1278-1280.
  51. d’Errico, F., Henshilwood, C.S., & Nilssen, P. 2001. An engraved bone fragment from ca. 75 kyr Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa: implications for the origin of symbolism. Antiquity. 75, 309-18.
  52. Henshilwood, C.S., Sealy, J.C., Yates, R.J., Cruz-Uribe, K., Goldberg, P., Grine, F.E., , Klein, R.G., Poggenpoel, C., van Niekerk, K.L., Watts, I. 2001. Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa: Preliminary report on the 1992 – 1999 excavations of the Middle Stone Age levels. Journal of Archaeological Science 28(5): 421-448.
  53. Henshilwood, C.S., d’Errico, F.E., Marean, C.W., Milo, R.G., Yates, R. 2001. An early bone tool industry from the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa: implications for the origins of modern human behaviour, symbolism and language. Journal of Human Evolution 41:631-678.
  54. Grine, F.E., Henshilwood, C.S. & Sealy, J.C. 2000. Human remains from Blombos Cave, South Africa: (1997-1998 excavations). Journal of Human Evolution, 37: 755-765.
  55. Henshilwood, C.S. & Sealy, J.C. 1997. Bone artefacts from the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa. Current Anthropology 38(5):890-895.
  56. Henshilwood, C.S. 1997. Identifying the collector: Evidence for human consumption of the Cape dune mole-rat, Bathyergus suillus, from Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science 24:659-662.
  57. Henshilwood, C. S. 1996. A revised chronology for the arrival of pastoralism in southernmost Africa: new evidence of sheep at ca. 2000 b.p. from Blombos Cave, South Africa. Antiquity 70:945-949.
  58. Henshilwood, C.S., Nilssen, P. & Parkington, J. 1994. Mussel drying and food storage in the Late Holocene, sw Cape, South Africa. Journal of Field Archaeology 21:103-109.
  59. Parkington, J.E., Nilssen, P., Reeler, C. & Henshilwood, C. 1992. Making sense of space at Dunefield Midden campsite,Western Cape, South Africa. Southern African Field Archaeology 1: 63–70.
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  • Reynard, Jerome; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2018. Using trampling modification to infer occupational intensity during the Still Bay at Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa. African Archaeological Review. 35: 1-19. doi: 10.1007/s10437-018-9286-2
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  • Haaland, Magnus Mathisen; Friesem, David; Miller, Christopher; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2017. Heat-induced alteration of glauconitic minerals in the Middle Stone Age levels of Blombos Cave, South Africa: Implications for evaluating site structure and burning events. Journal of Archaeological Science. 86: 81-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2017.06.008
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  • Ryano, Kokeli Peter; Wurz, Sarah Jacoba Deborah; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2017. The Technology of the Early Oakhurst Lithic Techno-Complex from Klipdrift Cave, Southern Cape, South Africa. African Archaeological Review. 34: 93-119. doi: 10.1007/s10437-017-9246-2
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Banks, William E.; Warren, Dan L.; Sgubin, Giovanni; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher; Daniau, A; Goñi, María Fernanda Sánchez. 2017. Identifying early modern human ecological niche expansions and associated cultural dynamics in the South African Middle Stone Age. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 114: 7869-7876. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1620752114
  • Badenhorst, Shaw; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2016. Large mammal remains from the 100 ka Middle Stone Age layers of Blombos Cave, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin. 71: 46-52.
  • Delagnes, Anne; Schmidt, Patrick; Douze, Katja; Wurz, Sarah Jacoba Deborah; Bellot-Gurlet, Ludovic; Conard, Nicholas J.; Nickel, Klaus; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2016. Early evidence for the extensive heat treatment of silcrete in the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter (layer PBD, 65 ka), South Africa. PLoS ONE. 11:e0163874. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163874
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    • Nørskov, Vinnie; Pentz, Peter. 2016. 50 fund: Højdepunkter i arkæologien. Aarhus Universitetsforlag. 360 pages. ISBN: 9788771249286.
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    • Nørskov, Vinnie; Pentz, Peter. 2016. 50 fund: Højdepunkter i arkæologien. Aarhus Universitetsforlag. 360 pages. ISBN: 9788771249286.
  • Moyo, Stanley; Mphuti, Dikeledi; Cukrowska, Ewa; Henshilwood, Christopher; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Chimuka, Luke. 2016. Blombos Cave: Middle Stone Age ochre differentiation through FTIR, ICP OES, ED XRF and XRD. Quaternary International. 404: 20-29. doi: doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.09.041
  • Nel, Turid Hillestad; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2016. The Small Mammal Sequence from the c. 76 – 72 ka Still Bay Levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa – Taphonomic and Palaeoecological Implications for Human Behaviour. PLoS ONE. 11:e0159817. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159817
  • Reynard, Jerome; Discamps, Emmanuel; Badenhorst, Shaw; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2016. Subsistence strategies in the southern Cape during the Howiesons Poort: Taphonomic and zooarchaeological analyses of Klipdrift Shelter, South Africa. Quaternary International. 404: 2-19. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.07.041
  • Reynard, Jerome; Discamps, Emmanuel; Wurz, Sarah Jacoba Deborah; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Badenhorst, Shaw; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2016. Occupational intensity and environmental changes during the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter, southern Cape, South Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 449: 349-364. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.02.035
  • Rifkin, Riaan; Linda C., Prinsloo; Laure, Dayet; Haaland, Magnus Mathisen; Henshilwood, Christopher; Diz, Enrique Lozano; Moyo, Stanley; Vogelsang, Ralf; Kambombo, Fousy. 2016. Characterising pigments on 30 000 year-old mobiliary art form Apollo 11 Cave, Karas Region, southern Namibia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. 5: 336-347. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.11.028
  • Roberts, Patrick; Henshilwood, Christopher; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Keene, Petro; Gledhill, Andrew; Reynard, Jerome; Badenhorst, Shaw; Lee-thorp, Julia. 2016. Climate, environment and early human innovation: Stable isotope and faunal proxy evidence from archaeological sites (98-59ka) in the southern Cape, South Africa. PLoS ONE. 11:e0157408. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157408
  • Archer, Will; Gunz, Philipp; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher; McPherron, Shannon P. 2015. Diachronic change within the Still Bay at Blombos Cave, South Africa. PLoS ONE. 10:e0132428. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132428
  • Discamps, Emmanuel; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2015. Intra-site variability in the still bay fauna at Blombos cave: Implications for explanatory models of the middle stone age cultural and technological evolution. PLoS ONE. 10:e0144866. 21 pages. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144866
  • Douze, Katja; Wurz, Sarah Jacoba Deborah; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2015. Techno-cultural characterization of the MIS 5 (c. 105 - 90 Ka) lithic industries at Blombos Cave, Southern Cape, South Africa. PLoS ONE. 10:e0142151. 29 pages. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142151
  • Harvati, Katerina; Bauer, Catherine C.; Grine, Frederick E.; Benazzi, Stefano; Ackerman, Rebecca Rogers; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2015. A human deciduous molar from the Middle Stone Age (Howiesons Poort) of Klipdrift Shelter, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution. 82: 190-196. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.03.001
  • Rifkin, Riaan; Henshilwood, Christopher; Haaland, Magnus Mathisen. 2015. Pleistocene figurative art mobilier from Apollo 11 Cave, Karas Region, Southern Namibia. South African Archaeological Bulletin. 70: 113-123.
  • Soriano, Sylvain; Villa, Paola; Delagnes, Anne; Degano, Ilaria; Pollarolo, Luca; Lucejko, Jeanette J.; Henshilwood, Christopher; Wadley, Lyn. 2015. The still bay and howiesons poort at Sibudu and Blombos: Understanding middle stone age technologies. PLoS ONE. 10:e0131127. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131127
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Vanhaeren, Marian; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher; Erasmus, Rudolph M. 2015. Assessing the accidental versus deliberate color modification of shell beads. A case study on perforated Nassarius kraussianus from Blombos Cave Middle Stone Age levels. Archaeometry. 57: 51-76. doi: 10.1111/arcm.12072
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    • Renfrew, Colin; Bahn, Paul G. 2014. The Cambridge World Prehistory, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. 690 pages. ISBN: 978-0-521-11993-1.
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  • Thompson, Jessica C'; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2014. Nutritional values of tortoises relative to ungulates from the Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa: Implications for foraging and social behaviour. Journal of Human Evolution. 67: 33-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.09.010
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  • Dubreuil, Benoit; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2013. Material culture and language. Part 2, pages 147-170. In:
    • Lefebvre, Claire; Comrie, Bernard; Cohen, Henri. 2013. New Perspectives on the Origins of Language. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 582 pages. ISBN: 9789027206114.
  • Dubreuil, Benoit; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2013. Archeology and the language-ready brain. Language and Cognition. 5: 251-260.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2013. New Perspectives on the Origins of Language. John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN: 9789027206114.
  • Jacobs, Zenobia; Hayes, Elspeth H.; Roberts, Richard G.; Galbraith, Rex F.; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2013. An improved OSL chronology for the Still Bay layers at Blombos Cave, South Africa: further tests of single-grain dating procedures and a re-evaluation of the timing of the Still Bay industry across southern Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science. 40: 579-594. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2012.06.037
  • Langejans, Geeske H.J.; Dusseldorp, Gerrit L.; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2013. A hazy shade of winter: Late Pleistocene environments and behavioural adaptations at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Chapter 2, pages 19-51. In:
    • Runge, Juergen. 2013. Palaeoecology of Africa. CRC Press. 238 pages. ISBN: 9781138001169.
  • Vanhaeren, Marian; d'Errico, Francesco; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Henshilwood, Christopher; Erasmus, Rudolph M. 2013. Thinking strings: Additional evidence for personal ornament use in the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution. 64: 500-517. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.02.001
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2012. Late pleistocene techno-traditions in Southern Africa: a review of the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort, c. 75-59 ka. Journal of world prehistory. 25: 205-237. doi: 10.1007/s10963-012-9060-3
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; Dubreuil, B. 2012. Response to Shea. Current Anthropology. 53: 1-3.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise. 2012. Middle Stone Age Chemists - a 100 000-year-old pigment processing workshop at Blombos Cave. The Digging Stick. 29: 1-5.
  • Langejans, Geeske H.J.; Dusseldorp, Gerrit L.; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2012. Terrestrial gastropods from Blombos Cave, South Africa: Research Potential. South African Archaeological Bulletin. 67: 120-144.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; Dubreuil, Benoit. 2011. The Still Bay and Howiesons Poort, 77 - 59 ka: Perspective-taking and the evolution of the modern human mind during the African Middle Stone Age. Current Anthropology. 52: 361-400. doi: 10.1086/660022
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; d'Errico, Francesco. 2011. Homo Symbolicus: The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 237 pages. ISBN: 9789027211897.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; d'Errico, Francesco; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise; Coquinot, Yvan; Jacobs, Zenobia; Lauritzen, Stein-Erik; Menu, Michel; Garcia-Moreno, Renata. 2011. A 100,000-Year-Old Ochre-Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Science. 334: 219-222. doi: 10.1126/science.1211535
  • Thompson, Jessica; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2011. Taphonomic analysis of the Middle Stone Age larger mammal faunal assemblage from Blombos Cave, southern Cape, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution. 60: 746-767. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2011.01.013
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2011. Middle Stone Age engravings and their significance to the debate on the emergence of symbolic material culture. 4, pages 75-96. In:
    • Henshilwood, Christopher; d'Errico, Francesco. 2011. Homo Symbolicus: The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 237 pages. ISBN: 9789027211897.
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2011. The origin of symbolically mediated behaviour: From antagonistic scenarios to a unified research strategy. 3, pages 49-74. In:
    • Henshilwood, Christopher; d'Errico, Francesco. 2011. Homo Symbolicus: The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 237 pages. ISBN: 9789027211897.
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2011. Introduction. Forord, pages vii-x. In:
    • Henshilwood, Christopher; d'Errico, Francesco. 2011. Homo Symbolicus: The Dawn of Language, Imagination and Spirituality. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 237 pages. ISBN: 9789027211897.
  • Mourre, Vincent; Villa, Paola; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2010. Early use of pressure flaking on lithic artifacts at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Science. 330: 659-662. doi: 10.1126/science.1195550
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2009. The origins of symbolism, spirituality and shamans: exploring Middle Stone Age material culture in South Africa. Chapter 3, pages 29-49. In:
    • Renfrew, Colin; Morley, Iain. 2009. Becoming human: innovation in prehistoric material and spiritual cultures. Cambridge University Press. 282 pages. ISBN: 978-0-521-73466-0.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; Dubreuil, Benoit. 2009. Reading the artefacts: Gleaning language skills from the Middle Stone Age in southern Africa. Chapter 3, pages 41-61. In:
    • Botha, Rudolf; Knight, Chris. 2009. The Cradle of Language. Oxford University Press. 386 pages. ISBN: 9780199545865.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; d'Errico, Francesco; Watts, Ian. 2009. Engraved ochres from the Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution. 57: 27-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.01.005
  • Villa, Paola; Soressi, Marie; Henshilwood, Christopher; Mourre, Vincent. 2009. The Still Bay points of Blombos Cave (South Africa). Journal of Archaeological Science. 36: 441-460. doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.09.028
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Vanhaeren, Marian; Henshilwood, Christopher; Lawson, Graeme; Maureille, Bruno; Gambier, Dominique; Tillier, Anne-Marie; Soressi, Marie; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise. 2009. From the origin of language to the diversification of languages: What can archaeology and palaeoanthropology say? -, pages 13-68. In:
    • d'Errico, Francesco; Hombert, Jean-Marie. 2009. Becoming Eloquent: Advances in the emergence of language, human cognition, and modern cultures. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 289 pages. ISBN: 9789027232694.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2008. Holocene Prehistory of the Southern Cape, South Africa Excavations at Blombos Cave and the Blombosfontein Nature Reserve. Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 75. Archaeopress. 171 pages. ISBN: 9781407303437.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2008. Holocene prehistory of the southern Cape, South Africa: excavations at Blombos Cave and the Blombosfontein Nature Reserve. 171 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4073-0343-7.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2008. Winds of change: palaeoenvironments, material culture and human behaviour in the Late Pleistocene (c. 77 – 48 ka) in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin. 35-51.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; Dubreuil, B. 2008. Reading the artefacts: Gleaning language skills from the Middle Stone Age in southern Africa. 3, pages 41-61. In:
    • Botha, R; Knight, C. 2008. The Cradle of Language, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press. 320 pages. ISBN: 978-0-19-954585-8.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2007. Fully symbolic sapiens behaviour: Innovation in the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Chapter 11, pages 123-131. In:
    • Mellars, Paul; Boyle, Katie; Bar-Yosef, Ofer; Stringer, Chris. 2007. Rethinking the Human Revolution: New Behavioural and Biological Perspectives on the Origins and Dispersal of Modern Humans. McDonald Institute. 436 pages. ISBN: 9781902937465.
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2007. Additional evidence for bone technology in the southern African middle stone age. Journal of Human Evolution. 52: 142-163. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2006.08.003
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2006. Modern humans and symbolic behaviour: Evidence from Blombos Cave, South Africa. Chapter 4, pages 78-83. In:
    • Blundell, Geoff. 2006. Origins. ISBN: 9781770130401.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; Marean, Curtis. 2006. Remodelling the origins of modern human behaviour. chapter 3, pages 31-48. In:
    • Soodyall, Himla. 2006. The prehistory of Africa: tracing the lineage of modern man. ISBN: 1868422461.
  • Jacobs, Zenobia; Duller, Geoffery A.T.; Wintle, AG; Henshilwood, Christopher. 2006. Extending the chronology of deposits at Blombos Cave, South Africa, back to 140 ka using optical dating ot single an multiple grains of quartz. Journal of Human Evolution. 51: 255-273.
  • Tribolo, Chantal; Mercier, Norbert; Sélo, Madeleine; Valladas, Hélène; Joron, Jean Louis; Reyss, Jean-Louis; Henshilwood, Christopher; Sealy, Judith; Yates, Royden. 2006. TL dating of burnt lithics from Blombos Cave (South Africa): Further evidence for the antiquity of modern human behaviour. Archaeometry. 48: 341-357. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2006.00260.x
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2005. Stratigraphic integrity of the Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave. Chapter 21, pages 441-458. In:
    • d'Errico, Francesco; Backwell, Lucinda. 2005. From Tools to Symbols. Form Early Hominids to Modern Humans. Witwatersrand University Press. ISBN: 1868144178.
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Henshilwood, Christopher; Vanhaeren, Marian; Van Niekerk, Karen Loise. 2005. Nassarius kraussianus shell beads from Blombos Cave: evidence for symbolic behaviour in the Middle Stone Age. Journal of Human Evolution. 48: 3-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2004.09.002
  • Henshilwood, Christopher. 2004. The Origins of Modern Human Behaviour – Exploring the African evidence. Chapter 6, pages 95-106. In:
    • Oestigaard, Terje; Anfinset, Nils; Saetersdal, Tore. 2004. Combining the Past and the Present: Archaeological perspectives on society. Archaeopress. ISBN: 1841715735.
  • Henshilwood, Christopher; d'Errico, Francesco; Vanhaeren, Marian; Niekerk, Karen van; Jacobs, Zenobia. 2004. Middle stone age shell beads from South Africa. Science. 304: 404-404.
  • d'Errico, Francesco; Henshilwood, Christopher; Lawson, Graeme; Vanhaeren, Marian; Tillier, Anne-Marie; Soressi, Marie; Bresson, Frédérique; Maureille, Bruno; Nowell, April; Lakarra, Joseba; Backwell, Lucinda; Julienlo, Michèle. 2004. Archaeological evidence for the emergence of language, symbolism, and music - An alternative multidisciplinary perspective. Journal of world prehistory. 17: 1-70.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

CURRENT POSITIONS

  • Director: Research Council of Norway Centre of Excellence in Early Human Behaviour, University of Bergen
  • Professor of African Prehistory – Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kulturvitenskap og religionsvitenskap, University of Bergen, Norway
  • Distinguished Professor and SARChI Chair in Origins of Modern Human Behaviour – Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Executive Committee Member, NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, University of the Witwatersrand
  • Executive Committee Member, Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand

Researcher ID

 

DEGREES

B.A. (Distinction in Archaeology), University of Cape Town, 1989

B.A. Hons. (with Distinction), University of Cape Town, 1990

Ph. D. (Archaeology), University of Cambridge, U.K. 1995

 

CURRENT AND PREVIOUS RESEARCH GRANTS (2004 – 2017)

  • Research Council of Norway Centre of Excellence in Early Human Behaviour 2017-2026
  • South African Research Council Chair Initiative: Chair in ‘Origins of modern human behaviour’ at University of the Witwatersrand funded by National Research Foundation/ Department of Science and Technology, South Africa (2008-2017; renewable)
  • Principal Investigator for European Research Council, FP7 Advanced Grant - TRACSYMBOLS Project Grant 2010 - 2015
  • Franco/South Africa (National Research Foundation grant (2008 – 2010).
  • Leakey Foundation, (1997, 1998, 1999, 2008)
  • Norwegian Research Council /National Research Foundation – South Africa (2007-2010)
  • Wenner Gren (1998,1999, 2007/2008)
  • National Geographic Research and Exploration Grants (2006-2007, 2012-2014)
  • University of Bergen Research Grant (2008-2015)
  • National Science Foundation Grant, Stony Brook University, USA (1997-2000)

CREDITS & AWARDS

National (South Africa)

·                    

  • Dr. Nelson Mandela: accepts patronage of the Blombos Cave Project, 2000.

  • President Thabo Mbeki: Honourable mention in the ‘The State of the Nation’ address to the joint sitting of the Houses of Parliament, Cape Town, South Africa, February 8, 2002 and presentation by PI of Blombos Cave artefacts to Members of the Houses of Parliament.
  • Academy of Science of South Africa – admitted in 2009
  • The 75 000 year old engraved ochre and beads from Blombos Cave officially recognised as ‘Symbols of South Africa Culture’. In honour of this recognition a set of stamps featuring these artefacts was issued by the South Africa Post Office in 2013.
  • A-rated Scientist by National Research Foundation, South Africa, 2015-2020.
  • Vice-Chancellors Research Award, 2015. University of the Witwatersrand. Listed as the pinnacle of recognition in the realm of research achievement at the University.
  • Ranked in Top 10 of South Africa’s most influential scientific minds for 2002–2012. Award published in 2014, South African Journal of Science http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2015/a0121

International               

  • Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques medal and order awarded by the French Prime Minister in 2004 for distinguished contributions to French education and culture; conferred, June, 2005.
  • Colenso Invited Visiting Fellow, St. John’s College, Cambridge, 2013
  • Academia Europaea - Elected Member in 2013.
  • Thompson Reuters Lifetime Research Award in 2014 for being among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication for the period 2002 - 2012.
  • Thompson Reuters Research Award for being in the top 1% most cited in the ‘Social Sciences and General’ Category for 2013 and 2014.
  • Thompson Reuters Award for inclusion in ‘The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds’ in 2014
  • Thompson Reuters Research Award for being in the top 1% most cited in the ‘Social Sciences and General’ Category for 2016.

Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour

SapienCE

STATE OF THE ART AND KEY QUESTIONS

State of the Art

The southern Cape of South Africa has been a key locus for recovering archaeological evidence from sites occupied by early humans after 165 ka. In this region, BBC (100-72 ka), KDS (66-59 ka), and the MSA deposits at Klasies River and Pinnacle Point 13B, contain some of the best preserved evidence for the emergence of modern humans anywhere in the world. The period from 100-50 ka is an especially significant time in the development of the cultural, cognitive, and subsistence innovations that mark this transition. New evidence shows that, although modern cognitive abilities emerged slowly during the MSA, by about 100 ka H. sapiens were exhibiting some behavioural capabilities similar to us.

However, there are very few high resolution H. sapiens sites known that span the key period, and their sequences have mostly been understood at a relatively coarse scale. Part of the problem is that the MSA is currently divided into broad lithic tool ‘industries’ or ‘techno-traditions’, for example MSA II, Still Bay (SB) and Howiesons Poort (HP). These divisions are not useful for temporally examining detailed behavioural evolution as these lithic ‘types’ are not static technological entities, but display considerable variation over time and space in morphology and technology. A key line of enquiry in SapienCE will be whether these ‘techno-traditions’ are real or arbitrary divisions of the MSA.

The reliance on technological entities has direct consequences for our understanding of temporal changes in human behaviour since chronology has, at least in part, been based on lithic typology. The periods for the above lithic techno-traditions were thought to be secure and tightly constrained using single-grain optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating of quartz, but are now contested on methodological grounds. If these criticisms are valid, then most OSL ages for MSA sites are likely inaccurate, though the degree of error is unclear. Dating specialists in SapienCE will be refining and applying new and existing multiple dating techniques in an attempt to resolve these chronological issues.

Focus on typological categories has also hindered understanding of the relationship between climate and human subsistence strategies and cultural responses. Correlations have tended to link only off-site records of ‘global’ scale climatic features, such as ice and marine cores, to the poorly-defined techno-traditions discussed above. However, it is clear from our preliminary analyses of the individual, high integrity strata from BBC and KDS that there can be significant material and behavioural differences, even between single layers. In SapienCE we will directly challenge these existing issues through innovative integration of a series of state-of-the-art methodologies.

Key questions in Early Human Behaviour research.

Key questions to be addressed in SapienCE are: When, why and how did humans first become ‘behaviourally modern’ and how is this defined? Did cognitive changes accelerate behavioural variability? How were these groups of hunter gatherers socially organised? Was social cohesion enhanced by the adoption of symbolic material culture and did it lead to innovation? What cognitive skills had to be in place in order for other skills to develop? How adaptable were humans to environmental change and did climate impacts act as drivers for technological innovation and subsistence adaptations? And can we determine, from our planned genetic research, the relationship of these early H. sapiens to extant human populations? Previous research on these issues has been limited by a reliance on very few archaeological sequences, chronological uncertainty, technological classification issues, and inadequate testing of the relevance of external forces, such as climatic change.

The unique location of sites dated to between 100 and 50 ka on the southern Cape coast, a region known to be particularly sensitive to regional and global climatic forces, makes them ideally placed for research into the marine and terrestrial environments utilised by H. sapiens. In SapienCE the inter-disciplinary team will carry out a macro- and micro-scale investigation of three new and two existing MSA archaeological sites by looking in detail at the evidence, layer by layer, site by site. This will permit the unprecedented integration of securely-dated, high-resolution records of early human cultural, social, technological and subsistence behaviours with global, regional and site-based palaeoenvironmental information. This holistic approach will provide ground-breaking insight into the diverse aspects of what it means to be human.

THE EARLY HUMAN BEHAVIOUR CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN

Key world-class competences exist at UiB that span the interdisciplinary requirements of our planned research. The clear advantage of SapienCE is that it will establish a unified organisational identity with latitude for independent yet focussed research projects at UiB. It will allow us to recruit a highly motivated, inter-disciplinary team that will share a research space thus promoting and facilitating the exchange of ideas, and enthusiasm, over a long enough time span that allows for innovative yet integrated insights. A shared laboratory concept allows for the constant interaction of diverse scientists, application of novel methods and the integration of diverse streams of evidence. It will provide flexibility for growth and shifts in disciplinary emphasis, while retaining the strengths of projects led by researchers who are highly competent in their specific fields. SapienCE will provide a platform for obtaining extra funding through successful bids to the RCN, ERC and other funding bodies; it will create financial controls, governance and instruments that enable us to embark on new avenues of investigation as they arise. It will minimise bureaucracy while maintaining clear lines of responsibility and accountability and thus offer a strong framework for inter-disciplinary interaction. Naturally, beneficial synergies and co-operations will be actively encouraged and planned, and it is anticipated that existing collaborative projects will continue and new ones initiated.

Drawing on the diversity of the teams’ strengths, and with the support of SapienCE, major research breakthroughs will be achieved in the examination of the links across and between innovative material culture, subsistence adaptations, the role of changes in micro- and macro- environments and climate, cognitive development, social organisation and the evolution of symbolically mediated behaviour. A cohesive research platform comprised of top scientists guided by experienced leaders can and will consolidate UiB and Norway’s position as a world leader in human origins research over the next decade. To achieve these goals will require visionary, determined and practical leadership to ensure that by 2020 SapienCE will have attained top research status.

This implies embarking on bold strategies that will: (i) pursue an ambitious internationalisation strategy that will project SapienCE as a world-class centre of intellectual engagement and a preferred destination for top-class international scholars and students; (ii) fully exploit its competitive advantages by building consistently on existing strengths and nurturing new avenues for engagement where it can produce ground breaking research; (iii) sustain and increase research output in high impact journals; (iv) increase its intake and training of postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows; (v) provide a high-quality support environment and top-class infrastructure for its core functions; (vi) become recognised among academics globally as a gateway to knowledge and understanding of early H. sapiens evolution in southern Africa. Interdisciplinarity lies at the heart of SapienCE. Data derived from each of the disciplines will be submitted to the critical thinking filters of the other groups. An ongoing process of brainstorming, discussion, re-working data and rethinking processes and methodologies within a single centre in Bergen will produce novel yet highly relevant results not ordinarily obtained from intra-discipline research. Our approach will thus facilitate an effective and creative teamwork model across and between disciplines that is specifically focussed on building scientific excellence. The results will provide ground-breaking, unique insights into the behaviours of early H. sapiens.