TAAL DIRECTOR, A. Prof. Andy I.R. Herries
I am the head of the Australian Archaeomagnetism Laboratory (TAAL), an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow in the Department of Archaeology, Environment & Community Planning at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. I am also the La Trobe AINSE Councillor.
I have a wide ranging background in the Excavation of Palaeolithic Caves, Palaeoanthropology, Geoarchaeology, Speleology, Geochronology, Archaeological Geophysics, & Archaeomagentism (inc. Palaeomagentism, Mineral [Rock] Magnetism & Environmental Magnetism).
TAAL is the only dedicated archaeomagnetic facility in Australia and one of the few magnetics laboratories in the world with a focus on the archaeological and palaeontological applications of palaeomagnetic and mineral magnetic methods of analysis. TAAL has close links with the Geomagnetism Laboratory at the University of Liverpool (UK), where inter-laboratory visits are undertaken as part of joint research into Southern Hemisphere Geomagnetic Field Change. Laboratory staff and students also undertake research at ANSTO through the AINSE funding program and at the Australian Synchrotron through their access program.
For recent information on my involvement in the discovery of: Australopithecus sediba in Africa, the Red Deer Cave People in China or early evidence for modern human behaviour at Pinnacle Point, S. Africa see either my publication page and/or media page. For current student projects and opportunities see 4-Students page. For information on my current ARC Future Fellowship Project (A new chronological framework to access regional variability in mid-Pleistocene archaeological, palaeoecological and palaeoclimatic data from Africa) and information on how to get involved see ‘Future Fellowship’ page or the ‘4-student‘ page.
Melbourne Human Origins Network
The Melbourne Human Origins Network is a research network consisting of scientists from Melbourne’s three oldest Universities (La Trobe University, the University of Melbourne and Monash University) who research different aspects of Human Origins, Hominin Evolution and Palaeoanthropology. This includes field excavations, hominin palaeobiology, palaeoecology, palaeoenvironment and palaeontological studies, Geochronology and Geoarchaeology and Archaeology; with a strong focus on southern Africa.
The Australian Palaeoanthropological Field School at Drimolen (South Africa)
Drimolen palaeocave is the third richest richest hominin bearing deposit in South Africa and has yielded fossils of Paranthropus robustus, early Homo and a wealth of other species, including a vast collection of non-human primates. The site has also yielded evidence for early bone tool use.
Excavations will be taking place at Drimolen in collaboration between La Trobe University Department of Archaeology, Environment and Community Planning and the Centre for Anthropological Research at the University of Joahnnesburg. Excavations will be directed by Assoc. Professor Andy Herries and Dr Colin Menter and will take place in July 2013. For information about attending the field school please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
TAAL & MHON Research Interests
1) Archaeomagnetism, Palaeomagnetism and Environmental Magnetism of archaeological and fossil localities
2) Modern Human Origins (focusing on Africa, S.E. Asia and Eastern Europe)
3) Palaeoanthropology and hominin evolution
4) Geochronology of Palaeolithic and hominin sites and the cross correlation of various geochronological techniques (last 7 Million years)
5) Cave Archaeology, excavation and stratigraphy and climatic reconstruction from speleothems
6) The use of fire in the archaeological record and the heat treatment of stone tools.
7) Excavation of logistically challenging sites
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