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Haynes examining broken elephant bone, Zimbabwe

Research Interests:

  1. Late Pleistocene human foraging;
  2. The peopling of the New World;
  3. Paleoenvironments of southern Africa;
  4. Conservation and native peoples.

sinuous edge of a Zimbabwean handaxe GiraffeMainCampLR82 Haynes in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada Fluted point from Washoe County, Nevada

Financial support for research has come from the National Geographic Society, the Leakey Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution Paleoindian Program, the U.S. National Research Council (U.S. Academy of Sciences), the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Fulbright Sub-Saharan Africa Senior Researcher Program, Zimbabwe National Museums and Monuments, and the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

a small rock balancing on two fingers Later Stone Age disc cores from one surface site in Zimbabwe Early Iron Age sherds from Kapula Vlei site, Zimbabwe

Recent Research Activities: As President (2003-2011) of INQUA's Commission on Humans and the Biosphere, I helped develop international cross-disciplinary research projects to study long-distance dispersal by the genus Homo. I am most interested in the discontinuous cycles of colonization, abandonment, and recolonization in Africa and Asia that eventually led to the settlement of Australia and the Americas.

Iron pointsMy primary fieldwork continues annually in southern Africa, where I have been carrying out actualistic studies of elephants for three decades. I am also closely collaborating with African scientists to learn more about the changing Pleistocene-Holocene paleoenvironments of northwestern Zimbabwe and the complexities of human prehistory in that part of the continent. Read more about the main study area, which is Zimbabwe's largest National Park and a wildlife reserve almost twice the size of Yellowstone National Park in the USA. In 2008 and 2009, I excavated rockshelters in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Analyses are in early stages. Download an illustrated manuscript with current results and interpretations of the rock art recorded in a cluster of rockshelters (large file, expect slow download time). Many results will be posted on this website and also presented at conferences and submitted as papers to refereed journals. Download publications.

Downloadable Data

I have also been involved for my entire career in studies of North America's Clovis era, with particular interest in trying to explain the end-Pleistocene extinctions of so many megafaunal taxa. Other major interests are the wide variability to be found in animal-bone assemblages and the complex paleoenvironmental changes of the Late Glacial interval. Download publications.

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