In 2013, the Tracking in Caves-project was initiated by Andreas Pastoors of the Neanderthal Museum and Tilman Lenssen-Erz of the University of Cologne. The purpose of the project was to better understand the late Pleistocene human footprints that can be found in some of the caves with rock art in southern France within the context of Ice Age art. For this research assistance and expertise was sought among the Ju/’hoansi San of the Namibian Kalahari. Three professional, indigenous trackers were invited to Europe and contributed substantially to the research in the caves.
When starting research into human tracks as an archaeological source, we discovered that there are many other projects around the globe where tracks play a prominent role. But at the same time it turned out that despite thorough work done on tracks there is no structured academic exchange between researchers and the various further fields of knowledge that can contribute to the analysis and understanding of tracks.
Therefore, we initiated a CONFERENCE ON PREHISTORIC HUMAN TRACKS for 2017. This conference is meant to enable broad exchange of researchers working on tracks and also to include experts from other, non-academic fields of knowledge and practice. An important contribution to the conference, therefore, will come from the invited indigenous trackers from around the globe.



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List of invitees
(preliminary program as of January 2017)

Alison Burns // The Footprints of a Prehistoric Coastal Community: life in the Holocene salt-marshes that once existed at Formby Point, Sefton Coast, Lancashire, England

Ana Isabel Ortega, Francisco Ruiz, Miguel Ángel Martín, Alfonso Benito-Calvo, Emilinao Bruner, Theodoros Karampaglidis, Isidoro Campaña // Prehistoric human tracks in Ojo Guareña Caves (Burgos, Spain)

Andreas Pastoors, Robert Bégouën, Tilman Lenssen-Erz, Tsamkxao Ciqae, Ui Kxunta, Thui Thao // Human tracks in Tuc d’Audoubert (France) and their exemplary experience-based reading

Cristina Bayón, Gustavo Politis // Monte Hermoso I site (Buenos Aires Province, Argentina)

David Raichlen, Adam D. Gordon // Interpretation of Footprints from Site S Confirms Human-like Bipedal Biomechanics in Laetoli Hominins

Duncin McLaren, Daryl Fedje, Angela Dyck // Ancient human tracks found beneath an active beach on the central Pacific Coast of Canada

Erik Trinkaus // Digital Perspectives on Pleistocene Pedal Patterns and Protection

Graham Avery // Middle and Late Pleistocene Human tracks in South African aeolianites: Langebaan Lagoon and Nahoon

Jérémy Duveau, Dominique Cliquet, Patrick Auguste, Gilles Berillon, Gilles Laisné, Norbert Mercier, Noémie Sévêque, Christine Verna, Brigitte Van-Vliet-Lanoë // Hominin footprints from the Late Pleistocene site of Rozel (Manche, France)

Karin Kulhanek, Andreas Pastoors, Tilman Lenssen-Erz, Tsamkxao Ciqae, Ui Kxunta, Thui Thao // Experience-based reading and first morphometric analysis of Pleistocene human footprints in Pech-Merle (France)

Louis Liebenberg, the late !Nam!kabe Molote, the late !Nate Brahman, Horekhwe (Karoha) Langwane, Quashe (/Uase) Xhukwe, the late Wilson Masia, the late Karel (Vet Piet) Kleinman, Karel Benadie, James Minye, the late /Ui /Ukxa, the late Dabe Dahm, the late /Kun //Xari, /Ui G/aq’o, ≠Oma Daqm, and /Ui /Kunta // The art of Tracking and Scientific Reasoning

Lysianna Ledoux, Nathalie Fourment, Gilles Berillon, Jacques Jaubert // Inventory and study of human and non-human tracks of Cussac Cave (Le Buisson-de-Cadouin, Dordogne, France)

Matthew Bennett, Sally C. Reynolds, Marcin Budka // Footprints and human evolution: homeostasis in foot function?

Nick Ashton // Stepping into Britain: Early Human footprints at Happisburgh, United Kingdom

Pamela Wong, John Kayasark, George Aklah // Inter-rater reliability and polar bear tracking techniques of Inuit hunters

Philippe Galant, Paul Ambert (†), Albert Colomer // Détermination, à partir des empreintes de pas et des vestiges d’éclairages, d’une exploration spéléologique préhistorique dans la grotte d’Aldène à Cesseras (Hérault, France)

Robin Huw Crompton, Juleit McClymont // ‚Repetition without repetition‘; a comparison of the Laetoli G-1, Ileret, Namibian Holocene and modern human footprints using pedobarographic Statistical Parametric Mapping

Steve Webb // Australian footprints in an Ice Age

Terje Stafseth // In the footprints of a neolithic fisherman

Tilman Lenssen-Erz, Tsamkxao Ciqae, Ui Kxunta, Andreas Pastoors, Thui Thao // The Tracking in Caves Project

Tuck-Po Lye, Jerung Belimbing, Jusoh Toman // Tracks in the forest: Conversations with Batek

Marco Cherin, Angelo Barili, Giovanni Boschian, Elgidius B. Ichumbaki, Dawid A. Iurino, Giorgio Manzi, Fidelis T. Masao, Sofia Menconero, Jacopo Moggi-Cecchi // New hominin footprints frozen in the Pliocene ashes of Laetoli, Tanzania

Leah Umbagai, Martin Porr, Kim Doohan // Identity, Seasons, Resources and Lalai – tracking our place and relationships in country and time

Megan Biesele // Trackers‘ Consensual Talk: Precise Data for Archaeology

Neanderthal Museum
This modern museum, some 35 km north of Cologne, is built just next to the historical site where the eponymous Neanderthal fossil was found. It is a museum that features exhibits presenting the whole human evolution, from earliest beginnings to modern times. With around 160,000 visitors per year, the Neanderthal Museum is among the most popular archaeological museums in Germany. The museum’s multimedia installations have garnered numerous national and international awards.

African Archaeology, University of Cologne
The Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Cologne fosters a focus on African archaeology and environmental history for over 50 years. Most research was conducted in eastern Sahara and Namibia, in the latter with a focus on rock art. Many pictures and documents from the rich collections of the African Archaeology are visible online.

The city and the university
Cologne is a town with more than 1 million inhabitants that was founded by the Romans. It is famous for its cathedral, a World Heritage Monument, and for its savoir vivre of Mediterranean style that is most vivid during carnival. The University of Cologne was founded in 1388 by the citizens of Cologne and today is among the largest universities in Germany. It has an international reputation e.g. in research into genetics; in the Humanities research in Africa and in ‚Digital Humanities‘ constitute a focus.