Manuel Will

Manuel Will
University of Tuebingen | EKU Tübingen · Institute for Prehistory and Early History and Medieval Archaeology

Dr. rer. nat.

About

61
Publications
24,006
Reads
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622
Citations
Additional affiliations
November 2012 - June 2016
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
October 2010 - September 2011
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Human Evolutionary Studies
October 2008 - July 2010
University of Tuebingen
Field of study
  • Prehistoric Archaeology

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
Coastal adaptations have become an important topic in discussions about the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens. However, the actual distribution and potential relevance of coastal adaptations (broadly, the use of coastal resources and settlement along shorelines) in these processes remains debated, as is the claim that Neanderthals exhibited s...
Chapter
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The period from 200,000 to 30,000 years ago in Africa encompasses the archaeological background for the early evolution and global dispersal of Homo sapiens. Here we provide an overview of current models of behavioral change and cultural evolution in this timeframe, followed by a review on the timing and temporal tra-jectory of relevant empirical d...
Article
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Considerations of materiality and object-oriented approaches have greatly influenced the development of archaeological theory in recent years. Yet, Palaeolithic archaeology has been slow in incorporating this emerging body of scholarship and exploring its bearing on the human deep past. This paper probes into the potential of materiality theory to...
Article
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Increasing body and brain size constitutes a key macro-evolutionary pattern in the hominin lineage, yet the mechanisms behind these changes remain debated. Hypothesized drivers include environmental, demographic, social, dietary, and technological factors. Here we test the influence of environmental factors on the evolution of body and brain size i...
Article
The MSA/LSA transition is a major shift in the African archaeological record, but questions on its beginning remain debated. In southern Africa, most sites suggest an origin of LSA technology after about 30.000 years BP. The single exception is Border Cave situated at the border between South Africa and Eswatini, with surprisingly old dates of ∼43....
Article
Coastal adaptations have been considered to play an important role in the bio-cultural evolution of early Homo sapiens and their dispersal out of Africa. In line with this assessment, recent years have seen increasing evidence for the exploitation of seafood from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) of northern and southern Africa. Yet, chronological control...
Article
Full-text available
The study of raw materials is an essential step in lithic analysis, regardless of the age, provenance, and technology of the assemblages. As in many other contexts of the Paleolithic, researchers of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in southern Africa have often focused their attention on fine-grained, non-local rock types, such as silcrete. Here, I spotl...
Article
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Objective To investigate reported extreme temperature-related catastrophic events and associated mortality on the European continent including the Russian Federation. Design Cross-sectional respecting Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) criteria. Settings Data source: Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT)....
Article
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Since more than 80 years, the University of Tübingen hosts the archaeological collections excavated by Margit and Ludwig Kohl-Larsen between 1934 and 1939 in modern-day Tanzania. Despite the great scientific relevance of these collections, most of them were never published on an international scale and were thus unavailable for the broader Africani...
Article
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The Howiesons Poort (HP) of southern Africa plays an important role in models on the early behavioral evolution of Homo sapiens. The HP is often portrayed as a coherent MSA industry characterized by early complex material culture. Recent work has emphasized parallel technological change through time across southern Africa potentially driven by ecol...
Book
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Dieses essential gibt einen Überblick über aktuelle Analysemethoden von Gesteinsartefakten von der Attributanalyse ganzer Inventare bis hin zu mikroskopischen Gebrauchsspurenanalysen einzelner Artefakte. Dabei zeigen die vorgestellten Ansätze die Bandbreite der Analyse urgeschichtlicher Steinartefakte im deutschsprachigen Raum. Einfache Anwendungsb...
Chapter
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Stone artefacts are frequently used to identify and trace human populations in the Paleolithic. Convergence in lithic technology has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups. To further the general theoretical debate on this issue, we first delineate the concepts of independent innovation, diffus...
Chapter
Mikroskopische Gebrauchsspurenanalysen an Steinartefakten besitzen ein großes Erkenntnispotenzial. Denn so können unter Umständen die konkrete Nutzungsweise eines Steinwerkzeuges im Sinne der mit ihm ausgeführten Bewegungen, das damit bearbeitete Material und, falls zutreffend, teils auch die Art der Schäftung nachempfunden werden. Dies ist sehr au...
Chapter
Die im deutschsprachigen Raum unter dem Begriff Transformationsanalyse bekannte Methode zur Rücksortierung von Steininventaren in ursprüngliche Gesteinseinheiten wurde von dem Erlanger Urgeschichtsforscher W. Weißmüller (1950–2005) als standardisiertes Modell zur Auswertung von Steinartefakten definiert. Eine auf makroskopischen Untersuchungen der...
Chapter
Die Attribut- oder Merkmalsanalyse ist ein methodischer Ansatz der ein Inventar in einzelne Steinartefakte und Steinartefakte in einzelne Elemente (Attribute oder Merkmale) zerteilt, die jeweils die grundsätzlichen analytischen Einheiten bilden. Die Attribute, die die komplexe Morphologie und Metrik von Steinartefakten erfassen, werden individuell...
Chapter
Steinwerkzeuge erscheinen auf den ersten Blick als statische Objekte. Auf ihren Oberflächen haben sich jedoch dynamische Prozesse in Form von Negativen der Steinbearbeitung erhalten. Die Methode der Arbeitsschrittanalyse dient dazu, aus diesen Negativen den Herstellungs- bzw. Umformungsprozess zu rekonstruieren. Jedes Artefakt bildet eine analytisc...
Chapter
Jedes von Menschenhand hergestellte Werkzeug ist das Produkt eines Gestaltungsprozesses und erfüllt einen bestimmten Nutzungszweck. Die Funktionalität des Werkzeuges ist somit in dessen Gestalt angelegt. Mit der in der französischsprachigen Forschung entwickelten Methode der Analyse von techno-funktionalen Einheiten (unités techno-fonctionelles) we...
Chapter
Beim Chaîne opératoire-Ansatz geht es darum, durch das Heranziehen der Gesamtheit eines Steinartefaktinventars die verschiedenen Stufen von der Rohmaterialbeschaffung über Grundformproduktion, Werkzeugfertigung und Recycling bis hin zum Verwerfen nachzuvollziehen. Damit können einerseits Aussagen zur zeitlichen Abfolge sowie Gestaltung und anderers...
Article
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Conference Paper
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Phenotypic plasticity is common among metazoans. We have previously argued that enhanced phenotypic plasticity is a characteristic of the hominin lineage (Wells and Stock, 2007). This hypothesis remains challenging to test as phenotypic correlates of environmental variation may result from either natural selection or plasticity. Recent evidence sug...
Article
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The open-air archaeology of southern Africa is extremely rich, yet has been only modestly influential in constructions of Late Pleistocene human behavior. Here we report on two seasons of work conducted as part of the Doring River Archaeology Project, which aims to reveal patterns of human land use and technological decision-making from the Earlier...
Article
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The Swabian Jura has long played a crucial role in key debates about the European Paleolithic. One of the best-known sites, Geißenklösterle Cave in the Ach Valley, has yielded a stratigraphic sequence including both Middle and Upper Paleolithic find horizons separated by a largely geogenic horizon. Here we present combined techno-economic and attri...
Preprint
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This study investigates patterns of extreme temperature-related events in Europe and its significance for the public health, with a focus on the vulnerable pediatric population. A generalized additive model of average surface temperature development for the European countries is described and discussed with an in-depth analysis of the influence of...
Article
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The fossil record of early Homo sapiens in the African Pleistocene remains sparse. In contrast to its prominent position regarding the cultural evolution of our species, southern Africa plays a secondary role in narratives regarding human biological origins. Reasons for this are a limited and fragmentary fossil record from the Middle Stone Age (MSA...
Article
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Building on the important work of Lyn Wadley at Sibudu, archeologists from the University of Tübingen have excavated the upper stratigraphic units of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) sequence down to the Howiesons Poort (HP). Here, we present the main results from lithic analyses of the lowest part of the Sibudan sequence to assess its overall variabilit...
Article
Full-text available
The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa is central to current discussions on the early behavioral evolution of modern humans. Recent MSA research has focused on two technocomplexes, the Still Bay (SB) and Howiesons Poort (HP) that are associated with the early appearance of many cultural innovations. Apart from this temporal emphasis, a regio...
Data
The database of hominin body size estimates in Excel format used in Will et al. (2017).
Article
Full-text available
Body size is a central determinant of a species’ biology and adaptive strategy, but the number of reliable estimates of hominin body mass and stature have been insufficient to determine long-term patterns and subtle interactions in these size components within our lineage. Here, we analyse 254 body mass and 204 stature estimates from a total of 311...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Body size is one of the most important determinants of the biology of a species, as it correlates with life history, energetic expenditure, diet, thermoregulation, and home range size, among other factors. Although the evolution of body size within the genus Homo is an important issue, the most influential large-scale studies have been performed ov...
Article
Full-text available
The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of Africa documents the earliest and longest record of marine resource use and coastal settlements by modern humans. Here, we provide a long-term and evolutionary perspective of these behaviors. We propose a definition of " coastal adaptations " rooted in the principles of evolutionary biology as a workable analytical dev...
Article
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While the majority of research on the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in southern Africa has been conducted in the southern and western Cape, studies of the east coast of South Africa have become increasingly important due to the existence of well-stratified sites such as Sibudu. Because of the scarcity of comparable localities, however, we still know littl...
Article
Full-text available
Lithic technologies have been used to trace dispersals of early human populations within and beyond Africa. Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations , implying connections between unrelated groups. Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in...
Article
Full-text available
Sibudu in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) with its rich and high-resolution archaeological sequence provides an ideal case study to examine the causes and consequences of short-term variation in the behavior of modern humans during the Middle Stone Age (MSA). We present the results from a technological analysis of 11 stratified lithic assemblages whic...
Article
Full-text available
The estimation of body size among the earliest members of the genus Homo (2.4–1.5Myr [millions of years ago]) is central to interpretations of their biology. It is widely accepted that Homo ergaster possessed increased body size compared with Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, and that this may have been a factor involved with the dispersal of Homo...
Article
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Hoedjiespunt 1 has long been recognized as one of the earliest Middle Stone Age (MSA) shell-bearing sites on the southwestern Cape coast. Together with the closely adjacent and roughly contemporary site at Sea Harvest, and the extensively documented site of Ysterfontein, Hoedjiespunt provides a record of MSA people’s adaptations to coastal environm...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of sub-Saharan Africa currently provides the earliest and longest record of marine resource exploitation by modern humans. Here we present data on coastal settlement systems from our excavations at the shellfishbearing MSA locality of Hoedjiespunt 1 (HDP1), Western Cape, South Africa. We also review recent advances in res...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of the African Middle Stone Age (MSA) have become central for defining the cultural adaptations that accompanied the evolution of modern humans. While much of recent research in South Africa has focused on the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort (HP), periods following these technocomplexes were often neglected. Here we examine lithic assemblages...
Article
Studies of the African Middle Stone Age (MSA) have become central for defining the cultural adaptations that accompanied the evolution of modern humans. While much of recent research in South Africa has focused on the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort (HP), periods following these technocomplexes were often neglected. Here we examine lithic assemblages...
Article
Full-text available
Prior to the 1990s, archaeologist often viewed the Middle Stone Age (MSA) as a period less important for research than the Earlier Stone Age in which early Homo evolved and the Later Stone Age in which scholars envisioned a high degree of archaeological continuity with recent hunters and gatherers. With the realization that modern humans evolved in...
Article
Full-text available
New excavations at the Middle Stone Age (MSA) open-air site of Hoedjiespunt 1 (HDP1) on the west coast of South Africa advance our understanding of the evolution of coastal adaptations in Homo sapiens. The archaeological site of HDP1 dates to the last interglacial and consists of three phases of occupation, each containing abundant lithic artifacts...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa plays a crucial role in the study of the early behavioral evolution of our species. This research project aims at characterizing the lithic technology and subsistence strategies of early modern humans during and before the Still Bay at Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Although much research in the southern African MSA has concentrated on the Still Bay (SB) and its potential role in the behavioral evolution of Homo sapiens as a period of cultural fluorescence, the definition, variability and temporal duration of this technocomplex is still open to debate. This project intends to further research into the SB and industries with bifacial technology in general by focusing on the SB and “pre-SB” deposits from Sibudu Cave. The site preserves a high-resolution, well-dated SB sequence but also deeper and so-far unstudied strata, with both deposits being rich in stone artifacts and faunal remains. The lithic and faunal analyzes of these layers will employ multiple methods to identify the features and temporal variability of this part of the cultural stratigraphic sequence. The project is particularly interested in questions on the nature and duration of bifacial technologies at Sibudu, whether or not these phases are associated with similar hunting strategies, and how these features compare to other sites within and beyond southern Africa. Finally, we aim to critically evaluate the status of the SB as a technocomplex and the role of bifacial technology with regard to the cultural evolution of early modern humans within Africa. The projected is funded by the DFG (CO 226/34-1/WI 4978/1-1).
Project
DRAP (formally the Doring River Palaeo-Landuse Project [DRPLP]) focuses on the archaeology of the Cederberg's Doring River Valley and what it can tell us about past human land use in Southern Africa's marginal interior. This river-carved landscape yields a wealth of stone tools that span hundreds of thousands of years. Employing geoarchaeological, geospatial and chronometric techniques, DRAP explores both the post-depositional processes involved in the formation of surface archaeology as well as the temporal, behavioural and evolutionary shifts of human interaction with an interior river system.