Presentation by Michelle Langley, Griffith University DECRA Research Fellow
The development of complex cognition and cultural behaviour in Modern Humans (Homo sapien sapiens) is
perhaps the most significant research issue in modern archaeology. Until recently, it was believed that our capacity for language, art, complex technologies, and social behaviours only developed after our ancestors reach Europe around 40,000 years ago. Discoveries first in Africa, and more recently in Southeast Asia and Australia, however, have turned such notions on their head — and it is the evidence for self-ornamentation which is largely responsible.
This talk will give a broad overview of how recent discoveries and analysis of beads and ochre from Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and Australia have illuminated the rich and complex cultural practices of the first Modern Humans in the region.
An afternoon tea will follow the talk.