Research

Current field research

The contribution of Northwest Africa to the cultural origins of modern humans: Archaeological excavations at Jorf el Hamam, southwest Morocco

  • Map with location of Jorf el Hamam along the southern coast of Morocco

    Map of site location

    Jorf el Hamam and Bizmoune Cave (a nearby site with similar age deposits) are located north of the Moroccan city of Essaouira

  • Excavations at Jorf el Hamam

    Excavations at Jorf el Hamam

    Test excavations in November of 2019 unearthed artifacts characteristic of the Middle and Late Stone Age

  • Backed bladelet

    Backed bladelet

    Backed bladelets, like this one excavated at the site, are characteristic of the Iberomaurusian technocomplex (Later Stone Age).

My current field research is focused on the Middle Stone Age in Morocco. In November 2019, in collaboration with Dr. Jalil Bouzouggar (Institut National des Sciences de l'Archéologie et du Patrimoine, Rabat, Morocco), I conducted test excavations at the site of Jorf el Hamam along the southern Atlantic coast in Morocco. We found artifacts diagnostic of the Middle and Later Stone Age in well stratified deposits.

We returned in the summer of 2022, expanding and connecting several of the test units we opened in 2019. We found many more artifacts characteristic of the Middle Stone Age, and a few from the Later Stone Age. We also found a line of cemented hearths towards the back of the shelter. We are still in the midst of analyzing the artifacts and dating the deposits but we are very encouraged by the outcome of this field season. 

This research is funded by the Leakey Foundation, the American School of Prehistoric Research, and the National Institute of Archaeology and Heritage Science (Rabat, Morocco).