(PhD, U California-Berkeley, 1985; Prof Emeritus, Evolutionary Anthropology) Old World prehistory, zooarcheology, hominid ecology and social organization; Africa
Read the abstract or full text of the following article in Science written by Dr. Blumenschine and his associates:
R.J. Blumenschine, C.R. Peters, F.T. Masao, R.L. Clarke, A.L. Deino, R.L. Hay, C.C. Swisher , I.G. Stanistreet, G.M. Ashley, L.J. McHenry, N.E. Sikes, N.J. van der Merwe, J.C. Tactikos, A.E. Cushing, D.M. Deocampo, J.K Njau, and J.I Ebert. Late Pliocene Homo and hominid land use from western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Science, 299, 1217-1221.
Professor of Anthropology
Undergraduate Program Director
Director of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies
B.A. in Anthropology, Wesleyan University
Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley
Topics: Paleoanthropology, taphonomy, zooarchaeology
Courses Taught Recently:
Undergraduate: Introduction to Human Evolution; Survey of Old World Prehistory; Faunal Analysis in Archaeology; Quantification of Archaeological Data; Topics in African Prehistory and Paleoanthropology
Graduate: Evolution of the Hominidae; Problems in Archaeology; Paleoecology and Archaeology (Taphonomy and Zooarchaeology).
My interests lie in the evolution of human behavior, particularly the dietary and subsistence behavior of our early stone-tool-using ancestors. I have conducted zooarchaeological and taphonic research in India and throughout sub-Saharan Africa, focusing since 1983 on the Serengeti region of northern Tanzania. One thrust of my research uses wildlife studies to help decode the hominid behavioral signal contained in fragmented animal bones found at two million year old archaeological localities in East and South Africa. My long-term observations on the food remains at large carnivore kills in the Serengeti, and of ecological factors that affect competition for carcass foods, suggest that human behavioral origins may owe more to a scavenging way of life than to hunting. Recent analyses of early archaeological bone assemblages from Olduvai Gorge also suggest that scavenging was the dominant means by which early members of the genus Homo acquired the nutricious foods of animals found at this locality.
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