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1 sete cidades azores

The project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2022-2025), examines the potential impact of climate change on early modern humans over the last 300,000 years. The region chosen contains some of the earliest Homo sapiens fossils in Africa and lies on the NW edge of the Sahara in areas that experienced extreme environmental variability in this period. The project uses archaeological and environmental records from caves in Morocco and proxy evidence from continuous marine core records to test whether periods of increased environmental variability were linked to known phases of behavioural innovation in Middle Stone Age humans. The detailed reconstruction of past environments will be achieved by a multidisciplinary approach, combining stable isotopic analyses of small mammal teeth in caves, high resolution geochemical and isotopic studies of the marine core, and comparing these sources with archaeological archives. Dated volcanic ash layers from the Canary Islands and the Azores will be employed to tie the different records together, using microscopic ash traces in the cave and marine deposits (tephrochronology). The overall objective is to provide a first, high-precision interlinked record for understanding environmental conditions during the Middle Stone Age and how periods of increased climate instability may have impacted on behavioural developments in human societies.