Down Ancient Trails: Archaeology Forum

Down Ancient Trails is a forum of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education for online discussions, workshops, lectures, and activities on topics related to archaeology and associated Quaternary sciences. It began with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, during which period we started a small online discussion group to exchange ideas and ongoing research amongst archaeologists. This gradually evolved into regular discussion meetings, short online courses and a lecture series, that we share with you here. Read more about it here in a blog for the Leakey Foundation and in this Antiquity editorial:  Click here to read about this forum and some important guidelines for participating.  At present, we can accomodate only 100 participants, and registrations close once this limit is reached, so please check this page regularly for updates. Unless otherwise specified, no certificates are provided to participants. 


*Speakers: May 2020  Speakers: June 2020 *  Speakers:July 2020 *Speakers:August 2020*  Speakers: September 2020 * Speakers:October: ECRs * Conference *  Workshop on R *

OCTOBER 2020 (being updated! so please keep visiting this page)

Read more about our Speakers:October

6th October, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST): Dr. Rebecca Wragg Sykes, Honorary Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool and Honorary Researcher at PACEA UMR-5199, Université de Bordeaux. Topic: Full Spectrum Neanderthals

9th October, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST) : Professor Maria Martinon-Torres, Director, CENIEH, Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana, Burgos, Spain. Topic: The Atapuerca sites. Over one million years of hominin evolution in Europe

16th October, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST) : Professor Saman Heydari-Guran, Stiftung Neanderthal Museum, Talstr. 300, 40822 Mettmann, Germany & Diyarmehr Institute for Palaeolithic Studies  Topic: Human evolution in the Zagros Mountains

19th October, 2020,6.30 pm (IST) : Professor Rosalia Gallotti, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, CNRS, UMR 510 ASM. Topic: African Acheuleans: techno-economic behaviors in East Africa and Maghreb during the Early and early Middle Pleistocene

22nd October, 2020. 12.30 pm (IST) Professor Chris Clarkson, ARC Future Fellow, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, Australia.

30th October, 6.30 pm (IST) 2020: Professor P.K. Behera, Associate Professor, P.G. Dept. of History, Sambalpur University, Burla, Odisha, India. Topic: Provenancing Red Ochre Milling Stone from the Late Middle Palaeolithic Context at Torajunga, Bargarh Uplands, Odisha, India: Results of Preliminary Investigation.

Dates to be confirned: Dr. Pontus Skoglund, Ancient Genomics Laboratory, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK.

Dates to be finalized: Profesor Shanti Pappu, Dr. Kumar Akhilesh & colleagues on 'The Palaeolithic of South India: Attirampakkam and beyond" 


*Speakers: May 2020  *  Speakers: June 2020 *  Speakers:July 2020 *Speakers:August 2020*  Speakers: September 2020 *ECRs * Conference *  Workshop on R *


30th September. 6.30 pm (IST) Dr. Irit Zohar, Beit Margolin, Oranim Academic College, Kiryat Tivon, and Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Israel. Topic: Identifying the roots of the “Blue Revolution”: Early evidence for fish proto aquaculture and trade in the Levant  (This study was performed in the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany in collaboration with Dr. Guy Sisma-Ventura from the Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, Haifa, Israel and, with Prof. Thomas Tütken from the Institute of Geosciences, Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany)

28th September, 6.30 pm (IST). Professor Patrick S. Randolf Quinney, Associate Professor, Forensic & Biological Anthropology, Department of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle. Topic: The Past, Present and Future of Cave and Landscape Palaeoarchaeology at Makapansgat, South Africa

26th September, 6.30 pm (IST). Professor Atsushi Noguchi, Director-cum-Secretary General, NPO-JCSACH (Japanese Centre for South Asian Cultural Heritage), Tokyo, Japan. Topic: The Late Pleistocene Human Population History in the Japanese Archipelago.

16th September, 6:30 pm IST. Professor Miguel Vilar, Department of Anthropology University of Maryland, and Senior Program Officer, Human Journey, National Geographic Society. Topic: The Origins and Genetic Distinctiveness of the Mariana Islanders of Micronesia

15th September, 6.30 pm (IST), Professor Gonen Sharon, Multidisciplinary Studies, East Campus, Tel Hai College, Upper Galilee, Israel. Topic: Fishing for change – changing lifeways in changing environments during the Levantine Epipaleolithic

9th September, 6.30 pm (IST). Professor Sheila Mishra, , Retired Professor, Deccan College, deemed to be University, Pune, India. Topic: Constructing a “World Prehistory” in 2020.  


*Speakers: August 2020*

27th August, 2020. 6.30 pm (IST). Dr. Olaf Joris, senior researcher at MONREPOS Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum Mainz, Germany. Topic: Human Learning Environments in evolutionary context. 

August 19, 2020, 4.30 pm (IST). Dr. Radu Iovita, Department of Anthropology at New York University and in the Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology at the University of Tübingen. Topic: Reconstructing the Silk Road in the Pleistocene: new research from Kazakhstan.

August 17, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST): Professor Tom Higham, Professor of Archaeological Science, University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit. Topic: What happened when Europe’s Neanderthals met Homo sapiens between 50-40,000 years ago?

August 11, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST). Professor Leore Grosman, Institute of Archaeology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Topic: Computational Archaeology - 3D Tools for Investigating Artifacts. 

August 10, 2020, 7 pm (IST): Professor Ran Barkai, Professor, Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University. Topic: The elephant in the handaxe: An ontological perspective.

JULY 2020 

*Speakers:July 2020*

July 31st, 6.30 pm (IST) Dr. James Cole, Principal Lecturer in Archaeology, School of Environment and Technology, University of Brighton. Topic: A history of Investigations into the Stone Age site of Isimila, Tanzania.  

July 24th , 6.30 pm (IST) Dr. Joseba Rios Garaizar, Scientist / Curator Lithic Collection, Archeology Group, CENIEH (Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana), Technologist and traceologist, Excavation Director at Aranbaltza and Amalda III neandertal sites. Topic: Last Neandertal populations in Western Europe. 

July 22nd, 2020, 7.30 pm (IST). Professor Michael Chazan, Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto. Topic:  The Kalahari and Human Evolution:  The view from Wonderwerk Cave and Kathu Complex. 

July 21st, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST). Professor Prakash Sinha, Professor in archaeology, Department of Ancient History, Culture & Archaeology, University of Allahabad, India. Topic: Piecing together production behavior cum cognition, movements and socio-economic life in the Northern Vindhyas and the Middle Ganga plains. 

July 15th, 2020, 10 am (IST). Dr. Arina M. Khatsenovich, Senior Researcher, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography,Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk. Topic: Paleolithic Crossroads: Hominin dispersals in eastern Central Asia. 

July 14, 2020, 10.30 am (IST): Professor Rick Potts, Peter Buck Chair in Human Origins and Director of the Human Origins Program, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC. Topic: The Environmental Dynamics of East African Human Evolution. 

July 8, 2020,  6:30 pm (IST). Professor John Hawks, Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Topic: Latest research from the Rising Star cave system, South Africa. 

JUNE 2020 

*Speakers: June 2020 * 

June 25, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST), Dr. Matthew Pope,  UCL Institute of Archaeology, London. Topic: Neanderthal Adaptations on the Edge of their World: Evidence from La Cotte de St Brelade and the La Manche Palaeolandscape. MIS 8-3.  

June 21, 2020, 2 pm (IST), Dr. Sonia Shidrang, National Museum of Iran, Tehran. Topic: The Middle-to-Upper Paleolithic Transition in Zagros: Where do we stand?  June 20, 2020, 6.00 pm (IST). Professor John Gowlett, Professor of Archaeology and Evolutionary Anthropology in the University of Liverpool. Topic: The unfolding archaeology of Kilombe Volcano, Kenya. 

June 19, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST) Dr. Patrick Roberts, Research Group Leader,  Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany. Topic: A novel Pleistocene niche for Homo sapiens?: Comparing the ecological and environmental contexts of our species and its closest relatives.

June 18, 2020, 3.30 pm (IST) Dr. Yossi Zaidner,Senior Lecturer of Prehistoric Archaeology, Institute of Archaeology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Topic: Misliya Cave, early Homo sapiens, and Lower to Middle Paleolithic transition in the Levant.

June, 15, 2020, 5 pm (IST) Professor Andy I.R. Herries,  Head of Department of Archaeology and History at La Trobe University, Australia. Topic: Human Evolution in southern Africa from the earliest occurrence of Homo erectus to modern humans: insights from the archaeological sites of Drimolen Cave and Amanzi Springs (South Africa). 

June 12, 2020, 6.30 pm (IST) Professor Jaafar Jotheri, assistant professor and vice-dean, Faculty of Archeology, University of Al-Qadisiyah, Iraq. Topic:Holocene avulsion history of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the Mesopotamian floodplain. 

June 10, 2020, 3.30 pm (IST), Professor Chris Stringer, Research Leader-Human Evolution, Department, Earth Sciences, Division,  ES Vertebrates and Anthropology Palaeobiology Natural History Museum, London. Topic: Some current issues in Middle-Late Pleistocene human evolution. 

June 8, 2020, 6 pm (IST). Professor Ravi Korisettar, ICHR-Senior Academic Fellow, India. Topic: Robert Bruce Foote’s Legacy in Southern India. 

June 5, 2020, 6 pm (IST) Professor Nena Galanidou, Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology, the University of Crete, Greece. Topic: 'Τhe Acheulean archaeology of Lesbos, Greece and the Aegean corridors connecting east and west Eurasia'. 

June 1, 2020, 6 pm (IST). Professor Erella Hovers,  Moshe Stekelis Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology,  The Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Topic: 'Taking the High Road out of Africa? Introducing Melka Wakena, an Early Pleistocene site on the Ethiopian Highlands'  

MAY 2020  

Speakers: May 2020 * 

May 28, 2020, 4.00 pm (IST) Dr. Sileshi Semaw, Senior Research Scientist in the Archaeology Program at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), Burgos, Spain. Topic: "The Gona Palaeoanthropological Research Project (Afar, Ethiopia), highlights of the major results of field research (1999-2020) 

May 26, 2020, 11.30 am (IST).Dr. Ariel Malinsky Buller (senior researcher)  MONREPOS, Archaeological Research Centre and Museum for Human Behavioural Evolution, Schloss Monrepos,Germany. Topic: “Population dynamics and cultural trajectories in S-W  Asia during MIS 7-3 (250-29 kya) - recent contribution of the research in Armenia”  

May, 25, 2020, 5 pm (IST) Professor Michael Petraglia, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Topic: Arabia and Hominin Dispersals in the Southern Dispersal Zone.

May 20, 2020, 5 pm (IST) Dr. Josep M. Pares: Research Program Coordinator: Geochronology and Geology, National Centre for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH), Burgos, Spain, Topic:"Paleomagnetism in archaeology: Basis and applications". 

May14, 2020, 5 pm (IST). Dr. Anand Kumar Pandey, Senior Principal Scientist, CSIR - National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, India. Topic: on "Quaternary geomorphology/landscapes for earthquakes and archaeology: a perspective".

May 12, 2020, 8.30 pm (IST): Dr. Ben Marwick, Associate Professor of Archaeology and director of the Geoarchaeology Laboratory at the University of Washington, Seattle. Topic: 'How did modern humans make their way into mainland Southeast Asia? New data on the Paleolithic from excavations in China, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Australia'. 

May 11, 2020, 11.30 am (IST): Professor Naama Goren-Inbar, The Institute of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, Topic:   "The Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov: Interpreting Hominin behaviour.

May 7, 2020, 5 pm (IST): Dr. Naveen Chauhan, Reader, AMOPH, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad  will speak on 'Basics of luminescence chronology and its relevance for archaeology'.

May 5, 2020, 2.30 pm (IST): Professor Mohamed Sahnouni, National Centre for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH), Burgos, Spain. Topic: the “North African Early Palaeolithic: Recent excavations at Ain Hanech and Tighennif, Algeria. 

May 4, 2020, 5 pm: Professor J.S. Kharakwal, Head of the Department of Archaeology and also working Director of Sahitya Sansthan, JRN Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur,  Topic: on Zawar: The Oldest Zinc Production Centre.  

May 1, 2020, 5 pm (IST) Dr. Karthick Balasubramanian, Biodiversity and Palaeobiology Group, Agharkar Research Institute, Pune. Topic: on"Application of Diatoms in Archaeology: A review and way ahead"  


June 28, 2020, 10.30 am - 1 pm. Workshop on "Introduction to R in Archaeology" in collabortion with Archaeology from Home: Connecting Things & Thoughts, conducted by Dr. Ben Marwick Associate Professor of Archaeology and director of the Geoarchaeology Laboratory at the University of Washington, Seattle. 

April 28, 2020: Group discussion & short course with Dr. Paromita Bose, Workshop: Basics of QGIS: part 1 with specific examples from archaeology and with examples from her ongoing research. 


*Speakers:ECRs *  and closed group meetings 

May 2nd, 2020, 5 pm:  Dr. Arunima Pati, Archaeological Survey of India, Topic: Introduction to Ganjifa. 

April 29, 2020: Group discussion with Ms. Sutonuka Bhattacharya: Topic: Modern reuse of ringstones: A Case Study in Bargarh district, Odisha. 

April 25, 2020: Chintan Thakker, Department of Ancient History & Archaeology, Madhav University, Pindwara, Sirohi, Rajasthan: Topic: Discussion on  Archaeological explorations in the West Banas Basin, Sirohi district, Rajasthan.

April 22nd, 2020 Group discussion with Professor M.Sahnouni and Professor Sileshi Semaw, CENIEH, Burgos, Spain, Topic: Debating the Developed Oldowan.

April 18th, 2020. Group discussion with  Dr. Paromita Bose. Topic: Discussion on raw material exploitation and provenance studies for the Eastern Indian Neolithic.

April 14th, 2020: Group discussion with  Dr. Mokshada B.Salunke: Topic: Discussion on the Palaeolithic of Telangana, India.

April 11th, 2020: Group discussion with  Dr. Prachi B. Joshi .Topic: Discussion on the Acheulian with a focus on the Vidarbha region, Maharashtra, India.

April 4th, 2020:  Group discussion with Professor Mohamed Sahnouni, CENIEH, Burgos, Spain: Topic: Discussion Meeting on the Oldowan  (continued).

March 28th, 2020:Online video conference with Professor Mohamed Sahnouni, CENIEH, Burgos, Spain: Topic: Discussion Meeting on the Oldowan. 

*Speakers: May 2020  Speakers: June 2020 *  Speakers:July 2020 ECRs * Conference *  Workshop on R *