Coring in Ethiopia to create a half million year sedimentary record
How was human evolution and migration influenced by past changes in climate? This question has led researchers to drill to great depths in a dried up lake in east Africa.
The Chew Bahir Drilling Project, in a remote part of south Ethiopia, will provide a sedimentary record of changes in rainfall, temperature and vegetation, spanning the last 500,000 years of human evolution.
Chew Bahir, is one of a chain of lake basins in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, close to the sites of the earliest known fossils of modern human, Homo sapiens.
Speaking of the importance of the project, Professor Henry Lamb, of Aberystwyth University’s Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, said:
“Ideas about how climatic change may have influenced the emergence and dispersal of modern humans have remained largely speculative. We are now going to be able to place the fossil and archaeological data against a detailed record of climatic variation. This will allow us to make more rigorous tests of these hypotheses.” Read more.