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Christopher Henshilwood

Professor of Evolutionary Studies, Professor of African Prehistory, University of Bergen

Christopher Henshilwood holds a 10 year South Africa National Research Foundation funded Research Chair and Professorship at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is also the Professor of African Prehistory in the Archaeology, History, Culture and Religion Institute at the University of Bergen, Norway.

Since 1991 Henshilwood has directed excavations at Stone Age sites in South Africa. With his research team he increasingly provides evidence for an African origin for behavioural and technological modernity associated with Homo sapiens from about 100 000 years ago and has decisively shown that Africa is the birthplace for the early development of modern human cognition. He has published more than 40 papers in leading peer reviewed journals, volumes and books on aspects of African archaeology, especially the Middle and Later Stone Age; on the origins of language and symbolism; the effects of climatic variation on human demographics; the epistemology of early behavioural evolution. His publications, including four in Science (3 as 1st author) in 2002, 2004, 2010, 2011, and an edited book published in 2011 titled ‘Homo symbolicus: the dawn of language, imagination and spirituality’. He has an ISI h-index = 17; 1516 citations (April, 2013).


  • –present
    Professor of Evolutionary Studies, Professor of African Prehistory , University of the Witwatersrand

Grants and Contracts

  • 2014
    Professor of Evolutionary Studies, Professor of African Prehistory
    Funding Source:
    National Research Foundation