Université de Bordeaux
LabEx LaScArBxCluster of Excellence
Cluster of excellence


Anne Delagnes and Arnaud Lenoble (PACEA)


iPHEP Poitiers; OGRE (Omo Group Research Expedition, resp. J.-R. Boisserie); 

UMR 7055, Préhistoire et Technologie Nanterre ;

MPK (Mission Préhistorique au Kenya, resp. S. Harmand)

Finance: €8,945 and a doctoral contract €98,000

Duration: 3 years (1st September 2013-31 December 2016)

Doctoral contract recruitment: Tiphaine Maurin. Subject: “Human establishments, bio-environmental factors and the emergence of ancient material cultures: the interrelation and evolution starting from archaeological groupings in the Shungura Formation (Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia)”. Under the direction of Anne Delagnes.

The first objective of this project is to clarify the relationship between the establishment of archaeological sites of very ancient East-African Plio-Pleistoscene hominids and the biotic deposits and resources associated with them, from geoarchaeological, palaeontological and archaeological data obtained from the Shungura and Nachukui formations. These formations, both located in the Omo-Turkana basin (in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia), are part of four complexes of East African archaeological sites older than 2 million years. They therefore document the oldest cultural expressions of humanity as well as how the ancient hominids adapted to their environment. These formations have different yet complementary advantages to offer when considering the question of how ancient hominids related to their physical environment.

The final objective of the project will be to establish, from joint methodological and analytical bases, bases summarising the comparison of how very ancient archaeological sites in the Omo-Turkana basin were established, taking account of the specific factors pertaining to each of these contexts of volcanic rift basins. This project will also lead to the drafting of a detailed map of the sites, outcrops and high risk zones for the whole Shungura formation. This research comes under Theme Group 1 (“Settlement and Territories”) of the LaSaArBx programme. Its feasibility is well established, since it is part of research programmes already underway, in particular the OGRE programme (dir. J.?R. Boisserie) and the MPK programme (dir. S. Harmand), that are largely using permanent staff already in place. The project combines doctoral research and a Master’s 2 internship. Finance for these is backed by the project, and they will be part of closely-collaborative work with and between the different specialists involved in each of the components of the project.