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Université de Bordeaux

Francesco d’Errico

Last update Wednesday 15 December 2021

University of Bordeaux, France

Francesco d’Errico

Francesco d'ERRICO is an archaeologist, CNRS Director of Research at the University of Bordeaux in France and Professor at the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour, University of Bergen. In 2014 he was awarded the CNRS silver medal. In 2015 Giorgio Napolitano, president of Italy, presented him with the Fabio-Frassetto prize from the Accademia dei Lincei.

His research interests focus on the origins of modern behaviour in Hominins and specifically the emergence of cultural innovations in the African Middle Stone Age and the transition between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon cultures. D'Errico has worked in 17 countries, including China, Botswana, Morocco, the United States, the Netherlands and South Africa. His research has indicated that jewelry, engravings, pigments and tools made from bones were used in Northern and Southern Africa at least 80000 years ago, which is earlier than the previously accepted scenarios for the development of modern behaviour. Some of his research interests are the evolution of human cognitive abilities as evidenced by the use of bone tools and symbolism, including grave goods used during burial rituals in the Paleolithic period and systems of notation from the same time period. He has studied the extinction of Neanderthals and their relations with the modern humans that replaced them; and the role climate change had on human evolution. Research at Border Cave in South Africa, conducted with Lucinda Backwell and other colleagues, showed that beads, bone tools and other artefacts reminiscent of those used by San hunter-gatherers were already present in southern Africa 44000 years ago.