Wednesday, May 3, 7:00am - 8:00am
Room 601, Nedderman Hall,
UT Arlington campus
Texas P.E.s: Attending these presentations counts toward your professional development hours requirement.

Sea Level Change and Human Resilience


Naomi Cleghorn, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology and Anthropology 
University of Texas at Arlington

32,000 years ago on the southern coast of Africa, a group of people sat in the mouth of a high cave around a fire eating a meal of cooked mussels and sea snails, and looked down over the coastline that had provided them with a rich, dependable supply of food. Those coastal foragers made tools similar to the people who had lived on that coast for the preceding 100,000 years or more. If they could have returned to the same place a thousand years later, they would have been surprised by the view. The coastline was gone, and a broad plain cut by a river stretched out to the horizon. For another 10,000 years, new groups of people came, hunters that did something new with their technology. Why did they change and did the change in the coastline play any part in that shift?

In this presentation, Dr. Cleghorn describes her investigations at the cave site, Knysna Eastern Heads 1, which has provided a window on a period of time never before documented, revealing what it means for a people when their foraging territory is constantly shifting.

Naomi Cleghorn received a B.A. from the UT Austin Plan II Honors Program, a M.A. in Physical Anthropology from UT Austin, and a Ph.D. in Anthropological Sciences from Stony Brook University. Her dissertation and post-dissertation research was on the Neanderthal-to-Early-Modern-Human transition. In 2011, Dr. Cleghorn began fieldwork in archaeological sites from the same time period on the coast of South Africa and currently directs a field project in conjunction with that work at a site found during a 2012 survey. She is primarily interested in the ways human societies respond to environmental change.


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