The project

During the last two million years, the geographic range of the human species expanded in several waves from its original African homeland to encompass Eurasia – – and possibly back into Africa. Of these hominin species, only anatomically and behaviorally modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens, have been able to overcome the impediments imposed by the physical geography of this planet. Within a few tens of thousands of years, modern humans successfully inhabited the globe, settling in Australia, the Americas and even the polar regions.

Potential expansion routes between 2 million and 20.000 years before present.
Effects influencing the potential for expansion of human groups.

The project is funded by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and is projected to run for 20 years. The new research center’s aim is to reconstruct the spatial and temporal patterns of the expansions of hominins between three million and 20,000 years ago in Africa and Eurasia.

The main goal of the project is to explain the reasons for different hominin expansions. Implicit in the current working hypothesis is the assumption that the influence of changing environmental conditions decreased as the importance of cultural and technological innovations grew.

News and Announcements


Bolus, M. und Conard, N. J. (2019): Paläolithforschung in den Höhlen der Schwäbischen Alb. Forschungsgeschichte – Kenntnisstand – Ausblick. In: M. Baales und C. Pasda (Hrsg.), „All der holden Hügel ist keiner mir fremd…“. Festschrift zum 65. Geburtstag von Claus-Joachim Kind. Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 327. Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt, 43-66.


Lüdecke, T., Kullmer, O., Wacker, U., Sandrock, O., Fiebig, J., Schrenk, F., Mulch, A. (2018): Dietary versatility of Early Pleistocene hominins. PNAS 115(52) 13330-13335.


Velliky, E.C., Porr, M. & Conard, N.J. (2018): Ochre and pigment use at Hohle fels cave: Results of the first systematic review of ochre and ochre-related artefacts from the Upper Paleolithic in Germany. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0209874.


"Advanced Database Workshop for South Asia"

from June 3rd to 30th, 2019 at the ROCEEH Research Centre, University of Tübingen, Germany


Taller, A., Kieselbach, P. & Conard: Reconstructing technology, mobility and land use via intra- and inter-site refits from the Gravettian of the Swabian Jura. N.J. Archaeol Anthropol Sci (2019).


Will, M., El-Zaatari, S., Harvati, K. et al.: Human teeth from securely stratified Middle Stone Age contexts at Sibudu, South Africa. Archaeol Anthropol Sci (2019)


Will, M., Kandel, A.W. & Conard, N.J.: Midden or Molehill: The Role of Coastal Adaptations in Human Evolution and Dispersal. J World Prehist (2019).


Märker, M. und M. Bolus (2018): Explorative Spatial Analysis of Neandertal Sites using Terrain Analysis and Stochastic Environmental Modelling. GI_Forum 2018/2, 181-198


between May 6th and August 9th 2019.


ROCEEH co-organizes two sessions at the INQUA 2019 in Dublin, Ireland on July 25-31, 2019