lches News Research people Duckworth
  home | people | Peter Griffith


Peter Griffith
PhD student
Darwin College
Dept. of Archaeology & Anthropology
University of Cambridge



Project Supervisor Funding

The Late Quaternary Palaeoenvironments of the Nakuru-Naivasha Basin, Kenya

Robert  Foley

In-Africa Project

Refugium networks have been identified as being important systems for the evolution and diversity of early modern human in East Africa. Periods of climatic and environmental deterioration, amelioration and stability combined with a heterogeneous topography would have created many different and unique ecological niches on local and regional scales, presenting their inhabitants with a multitude of logistical and adaptive challenges. Consequently, the habitation of various refugia by modern human groups would have provided the conditions for the evolution of divergent behaviours and morphological traits to emerge, both within and between different species of hominines. However, the specific ecological conditions within and between the putative refugia of East Africa are poorly understood.

Lakes and their shoreline ecosystems are ideal candidates for refugia. During periods of increased aridity lakes could have supported human groups through prolonged droughts through the provision of water, food and biodiversity. My project aims to reconstruct vegetation changes around high altitude lakes in the Nakuru-Naivasha Basin, Central Rift, Kenya, during the Late Quaternary by employing an environmental proxy stratigraphic and chronological approach (sedimentology, XRF, fossil plant phytoliths analysis, and radiometric dating). This environmental data will be used to address questions of the variable connections of the area to other regional centres of refugia (providing insight into biogeographic and microevolutionary changes), as well as being integrated with the Middle Stone Age archaeological record of the basin, which will provide insight into the direct and indirect ecological processes affecting the behaviour and demography of populations in the Nakuru-Naivasha Basin.





¬© 2018 Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies - University of Cambridge           » Privacy policy