About ICArEHB

The Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeology and Evolution of Human Behavior (ICArEHB) is a new interdisciplinary research center located at Universidade do Algarve (Portugal). The ICArEHB aims to bring together a group of both foreigner and national young researchers, many with international experiences with a main objective: understanding and developing research in evolution, ecology and human behavior from an archaeological and anthropological perspective. In the last 5 years, several researchers belonging to ICArEHB have worked both individually and in collaboration to develop their own projects in the three focal research areas and within the main goal of ICArEHB: adaptation and evolution of human behavior.

Research is organized in three main groups: Prehistoric Coastal Adaptations; African Archaeology and Human Evolution; Development of Complex Societies. These groups are not independent from each other, since their scientific enquire frequently overlaps and overflows to the other lines. Research focus mostly on the emergence of Anatomically Modern Humans, hunter-gatherer coastal adaptations, the development of complex societies, and African Archaeology using different disciplines and methodological approaches, such as geoarchaeology, Use-wear analysis, zooarchaeology, paleobotany, GIS, and Earth Sciences. Currently, there are close to a dozen projects taking place in Iberia and southern Africa, which include graduate students from those countries, as well as from the United States.

 

 

Focused on the study of human coastal adaptations with the premise that coastlines, riverine and lake environments have been crucial focus for human settlement, population growth, dispersal and social complexity from the earliest period of prehistory, especially after the MIS6, and have functioned as dynamic zones of cultural interaction and social change.

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Research will take place both in Iberia and Africa. Particular attention will be addressed to the emergence and development of domestication in a narrow sense (of animal and plants), but also in a broader one, relating to the “domestication” of space through architecture and landscape building, or through funerary practices and human mobility studies.

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​Current research indicates that both the appearance of anatomically modern humans and the behavioral repertoire of our species is likely to have emerged in Africa during the last several million years, namely Modern Human Behavior (DNA studies have noted a close relation between the present Khoisan and the earliest Homo sapiens sapiens, making these populations the best ethnographic proxy for the earliest Modern human populations).

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