Plenary Sessions

1st session

Early humans in Africa

Becoming human – fossil hominins from Southern Africa. Bernhard Zipfel (University Curator of Collections, Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

Early modern human fossils from Eastern Africa – recent investigation on the archaeology of the Ngaloba beds, Laetoli northern Tanzania. Fidelis Masao (Professor, Dept. of History and Archaeology, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania).

African Structure: Moving Beyond Multiregional and Simple Out of Africa Models of Human Evolution. Mark Thomas (Professor, Dept. of Genetics, University College London, London, UK).

2nd session

Cultural transitions in Stone Age and Iron Age in Africa

Emergent Behavioural Diversity in the ‘Long’ Middle Pleistocene of Africa. Larry Barham (Professor, Dept. of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK).

Sequence, homesteads, and marriage in the Iron Age of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.Gavin Whitelaw (Chief Curator, KwaZulu-Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa).

Costly signalling and the Zimbabwe Culture. Gilbert Collin Pwiti (Professor, Faculty of Arts, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe).

Great Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Culture and the Nambya State, north-western Zimbabwe. Plan Shenjere-Nyabezi (Senior Postdoc, Dept. of History, Archaeology Unit, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe).

3rd session

The first human divergences: Khoekhoe and San

Khoisan diversity from a linguistic, genetic and cultural perspective. Brigitte Pakendorf (Director, DR1 CNRS, Dynamique du Langage, UMR5596 CNRS-Université de Lyon, Lyon, France).

Ancient genomes from southern Africa push modern human emergence to 300,000 years ago. Mattias Jakobsson (Professor, Human Evolution Program, Dept. of Organismal Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden).

Human Diversity — ‘forgotten’ communities of the South African mosaic. Michael de Jongh (Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa).

4th session

Biomedical research in Africa

New insights from a pan-African genome-wide association study with lipid levels: an AWI-Gen sub-study. Michele Ramsay (Director and Research Chair, Division of Human Genetics, National Health Laboratory, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

Genomic data from >5000 South Africans reveal novel sub-structure reflecting the complex demographic history within South-Eastern Bantu speaker populations. Ananyo Choudhury (Senior Researcher, Division of Human Genetics, National Health Laboratory, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

Nexus between genomics and society: a southern African perspective. Himla Soodyall (Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and Director of the MRC/NHLS/Wits Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research Unit, National Health Laboratory Service, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

5th session

Western and West-Central African diversity 

The First Bantu Speakers South of the Central-African Rainforest: New Insights from Historical Linguistics and Archaeology. Koen Bostoen (Professor, Dept. of Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, UGent Centre for Bantu Studies, Ghent, Belgium).

West-Central African diversity from the Stone Age to the Iron Age, continuities and transitions during the last 10,000 years. Bernard Clist (Researcher, Dept. of Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, UGent Centre for Bantu Studies, Ghent, Belgium).

Shum Laka, a key site to explore ancient forager diversity in North-West Cameroon: new and ongoing research. Isabelle Ribot (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada).

Genetic landscape of populations from Central Eastern Mali reveals the mystery of a language isolate and its speakers. Hiba Babiker (Researcher, Dept. of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany).

6th session

Eastern African diversity 

Beyond Ancestry and Migration: Other Ways of Exploring Diversity in Eastern Africa Through Integrated Multidisciplinary Research. Paul Lane (Professor, Dept. of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, and Dept. of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden).

Negotiating ethnicity and identity: the example of Baloi Southern Mozambique. Anneli Ekblom (Researcher, Dept. of Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden).

Settling Azania: The population history of coastal and island East Africa from the Late Pleistocene to the Late Holocene. Nicole Boivin (Director, Dept. of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany).

7th session

Southern African diversity 

Grappling with diversity in livestock-related archaeology in southern Africa, from 2300 years ago. Thembi Russell (Senior Researcher, School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

A holistic approach towards understanding the past: the example of four women from Kwa-Zulu Natal (South Africa). Maryna Steyn (Head of School, School of Anatomical Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

The Okavango River Basin as a contact zone – a linguistic perspective. Anne-Maria Fehn (Researcher, Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal).

Tracing invisible footsteps: the genetic and linguistic legacy of pre-Bantu peoples in southwestern Angola. Jorge Rocha (Assistant Professor, Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal).

8th session

Northern African diversity 

Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene human diversity from North-East Africa. Isabelle Crevecoeur (Recherche, CR1 CNRS, UMR5199 CNRS PACEA, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France).

Paleogenomics of the Neolithic transition in North Africa. Rosa Fregel (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Genetics, University of La Laguna, La Laguna, Spain).

Population structure and gene flow in the African Sahel/Savannah Belt. Victor Černý (Professor, Dept. of the Natural Sciences and Archaeometry, Institute of Archaeology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic) and Estella Poloni (Senior Lecturer and Group leader, Dept. of Genetics and Evolution, Faculty of Science, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland).

9th session

African Island diversity

From macro to micro genetic and linguistic evolution on the African shores of the transatlantic slave trade. Paul Verdu (Researcher, CR1 CNRS, CNRS-MNHN-Université Paris Diderot, UMR7206 Eco-Anthropology and Ethno-Biology, Paris, France).

Human settlement in Madagascar: combination of genetic and anthropological approaches. Chantal Radimilahy (Director, Institut des Civilisations, Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie, Université d’Antananarivo, Antananarivo, Madagascar).

Genomic landscape of human diversity across Madagascar. Denis Pierron (Researcher, CR1 CNRS, Laboratory of Molecular Anthropology and Image Synthesis, UMR5288 CNRS AMIS, University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France).