First human illustrations


Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE) aims to increase our understanding of how and when Homo sapiens evolved into who we are today.

Magnus Haalnd på feltarbeid i Blombos Cave

Tracking our earliest human ancestors from microscopic remains

New type of analysis show for the first time how people who lived between 100,000 and 70,000 years ago organised their campsites and settlements. The results can explain why these people developed the ability to make jewellery and objects of art.


Working through the pandemic

Daily excavations, surveys, sampling and archaeological experiments. The SapienCE team were right in the middle of their yearly field expedition in South Africa, when the pandemic became a reality forcing the world into lockdown.

Blombos Cave

SapienCE Annual Report 2019 is out

The report provides an insight to our exciting activities taking place throughout the calendar year.

Mother Afica welcome home Exhibition from Blombos

Recreating the lives of our ancestors

New digital technology makes it possible to recreate the lives led by our ancestors 100,000 years ago.


SapienCE was established in 2017 by the Research Council of Norway in collaboration with the University of Bergen. The SapienCE Centre is cooperating closely with the University of the Witwatersrand, Norce, Royal Holloway University of London, Université de Bordeaux and Universität Tübingen.

SapienCE is part of the Research Council of Norway's Centres of Excellence (CoE) scheme. The scheme organizes the activities of Norway’s foremost scientific circles in centres to achieve ambitious scientific objectives through collaboration and long-term basic funding.