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Curtis W. Marean

  • Institute of Human Origins
  • School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Curtis Marean is an archaeologist whose work focuses on the origins of modern humans, the prehistory of Africa, the study of animal bones from archaeological sites, and climates and environments of the past.

Marean has fieldwork experience in Kenya, Tanzania, and Somalia, and has focused his efforts in coastal South Africa. He is particularly interested in foraging strategies, the evolution of modern human behavior, and human occupation of grassland and coastal ecosystems.

Marean is an associate director of the Institute of Human Origins and Foundation Professor of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change.

He’s also PI for the South African Coast Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment, Paleoecology, Paleoanthropology project based in Mossel Bay at Pinnacle Point. The project employs a transdisciplinary approach to modern human origins, climate, and environment. Under his leadership, Pinnacle Point has become one of the world’s most important locations for the study of modern human origins.

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In the news

Everywhere H. sapiens went, massive ecological changes followed. The archaic humans they encountered went extinct, as did vast numbers of animal species. It was, without a doubt, the most consequential migration event in the history of our planet.

— Curtis Marean, Scientific American