Prof Christopher S Henshilwood

Ambassador for Archaeology
Date of appointment: 12 Feb 2020

Christopher Henshilwood’s research focus is the development of complex technology, social systems, subsistence, environment, syntactic language, and material culture associated with early Homo sapiens, especially the people who evolved in southern Africa between 100,000–50,000 years ago. He concentrates on finding archaeological sites that were occupied by H. sapiens during the Later- and Middle Stone Age and has excavated 20 of these sites in southern Africa.

He has authored or co-authored more than 120 wide-ranging papers and chapters on the origins of language and symbolism, the effects of climatic variation on human demographics, and on the theory of human behavioural evolution and published two books.

Christopher is a Distinguished Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he is an A-rated scientist. He is a Professor and Director of a 10-year Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE) at the University of Bergen, Norway funded by the Research Council of Norway (2017-2027). Through the centre he leads research involving more than forty foremost scientists in diverse fields in Europe, Africa, the UK, and USA. He is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, Academia Europaea and of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Chris Henshilwood