11 January 2024 Start
11 January 2024 End
19:00 Time
Greece Amphitheater, Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, 1 Koumbari St. & Vas. Sofias Ave., 106 74 Athens


The “Australopithecine Pebble of Many Faces”

Thursday, January 11, 2024

“The ‘Australopithecine Pebble of Many Faces’ and its Place in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa” is the Fourth Palaeolithic Seminar, presented by Dr Bernhard Zipfel (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa). Coordination: Professor Nena Galanidou (University of Crete), Dr. Andreas Darlas (Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology and Speleology, Ministry of Culture).


The “Makapansgat Pebble” is a famous archaeological artefact found in the Makapansgat
Valley World Heritage Site, Limpopo in South Africa. It is a small, naturally occurring, waterworn cobble that is significant in the study of human evolution, as it is associated
with Australopithecus, one of our early human relatives that lived more than 2.5 million
years ago. It is thought to provide evidence of early cognitive abilities and creativity in our
ancestors, who may have recognised natural chipping and wear patterns on it, resembling a crude rendition of a human face. This suggests that these early hominins displayed one of the earliest examples of symbolic behaviour and artistic expression, as it appears to have been purposefully transported from a nearby riverbed. There is however little evidence to support this hypothesis but the presence of the water worn pebble in association with hominin remains, remains a mystery.

Lectures are open to the public, free of charge. To attend the seminar pre-book your seat here: Pre-booking