INMOZ – Quaternary environmental changes in Inhambane, Southeastern Mozambique, and their role in human evolution

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The main objective of this project is to investigate Quaternary environmental changes in the Southeastern area of Mozambique and their impacts on human evolution. Mozambique, specifically Inhambane, was chosen as the study area for two main reasons. First, from an archaeological perspective, it is a central place for modern human origins and evolution research due to its proximity to regions of great palaeoanthropological significance and where hundreds of new archaeological sites have been discovered in the recent years. The Inhambane region is rich in suitable environments for human settlement (including lakes, mangroves, beaches, providing resources such as freshwater, food and raw materials), and its great archaeological potential is being investigated by another project run by our team. Second, contrasting with the polar regions or with the middle to high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, there are very few palaeoenvironmental studies in the low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, especially in Mozambique. Integration of archaeological and paleonenvironmental research is extremely rare in the region. Thus, this project is important (i) to understand the Quaternary environmental evolution of this area and its forcing factors (including global climate change and local forcers); (ii) to better understand global spatial climate patterns and forcing processes; (iii) to understand how climate and environmental changes influenced human evolution and human settlement patterns in the Inhambane area; and (iv) to shed light on landscape modification due to human activities such as agriculture.  
Ana Gomes
Co- Principal Investigator
Nuno Bicho
FUNDING INSTITUTION Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portugal)  
DURATION 2018 - 2021