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Website first online in 2000
This version went online in 2017

PhD Dissertation (2003)

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I defended my PhD dissertation, Out of Africa: a study into the earliest occupation of the Old World on 9 October 2003 at Leiden University. My PhD committee included Prof. Dr Naama Goren-Inbar from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Prof. Dr Pierre M. Vermeersch from the University of Leuven: external referent was Prof. Dr Robin Dennell from the University of Sheffield. My promotor was Prof. Dr Wil Roebroeks.

The trade edition of this dissertation appeared in 2004, under the title Out of Africa: an investigation into the earliest occupation of the Old World as BAR International Series nr. 1244 at Archaeopress in Oxford (currently available through BAR publishing).


In this work, the author aims to arrive at a meaningful frame of reference for the earliest occupation of Eurasia. The basis for this endeavour, and the subject of the first part of this study, is a solid chronology of occupation founded on a critical assessment of the evidence. This chronology is then compared to that of various events in and aspects of the evolution of global and regional climates and ecologies, as well as various events in and aspects of hominin evolution itself. Archaeological and biological clues to changing behaviour in Africa and Eurasia over the timespan of 2.5-0.3 Ma are assessed against the background of changing climate and environments in the second part of this work. These form the background against which an attempt is made to provide a context of behavioural and cognitive evolution leading to these earliest colonizations. The primary goal of this discussion of the earliest occupation of Eurasia therefore is not to present the earliest dates with as many dots as possible in remote corners of the World map: the primary goal is to understand how, because of which factors of change, these dots appeared.

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(c) 2017 by Marco Langbroek