Lectures / Presentations

Ancient Human Evolution During the Late Middle Pleistocene in Armenia

On December 6, 2015, Dr. Daniel Adler, UConn Department of Anthropology gave a lecture at the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, on the UConn Storrs Campus. The lecture focused on the Late Middle Pleistocene (130,000–425,000 years ago), a period of profound biological and behavioral change among ancient humans that witnessed the evolution of our species, Homo sapiens in Africa and our close cousins the Neanderthals in Eurasia. These biological changes were accompanied by important changes in stone tool technology, most notably the gradual replacement of large cutting tools and hand axes by tools produced by an innovative flaking method. During 2008 and 2009, Dr. Adler and his team excavated over 3,000 artifacts produced by both methods. These artifacts chart the earliest transition from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Middle Palaeolithic between 325,000–335,000 years ago. These results are significant because they support the idea that changes in human technology resulted from a common technological ancestry rather than the expansion from Africa of a particular human species armed with a new innovative technology.

Palaeolithic Research in the Armenia Highlands and Anatolia

Workshop Date: October 20, 2015
Workshop Location:  Middle East Technical University
UConn Attendees: Daniel S. Adler
Click here for Ankara Workshop Information and Abstracts

Paleoanthropology Society 2015 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Dates: April 14-15, 2015
Annual Meeting Location: Hilton San Francisco, Union Square
Dr. Daniel Adler and his Armenia team presented two oral and two poster presentations at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in San Francisco.
Oral Presentations: 
"Early Levallois technology and the transition from the Lower to Middle Paleolithic in the southern Caucasus"
Authors: D. Adler, K. Wilkinson, S. Blockley, D. Mark, E. Frahm, B. Schmidt-Magee, P. Glauberman, Y. Raczynski-Henk, O. Joris and B. Gasparyan.
"Paleolandscape context for Lower-Middle Paleolithic activity in the Hrazdan Valley, central Armenia"
Authors: K. Wilkinson, D. Adler, S. Blockley, E. Frahm, D. Mark, C. Mallol, S. Nahapetyan, and B. Gasparyan.
Poster Presentations:
"Developing geochemical and magnetic studies of obsidian lithic assemblages: a case study in the Hrazdan, Valley, Central Armenia"
Authors: E. Frahm, D. S. Adler, J. M. Feinberg, K. N. Wilkinson and B. Gasparyan.
"Hominin population dynamics and dispersals in the Armenian highlands and Anatolia: new data from Barozh 12, a Middle Paleolithic open-air site on the edge of the Ararat Depression, Armenia"
Authors: P. Glauberman, B. Gasparyan, S. Kuhn, K. Wilkinson, E. Frahm, Y. Raczynski-Henk, H. Haydosyan, S. Napapetyan, D. Arakelyan and D. Adler.
Other presentations include oral presentations by UConn graduate students David Leslie & Nick Blegen and a poster presentation by graduate student Alison Mant-Melville.
Click here for more information

"The epidemiological status of African swine fever in domestic swine herds in the Tavush Marz region, Republic of Armenia"

Presentation Date: December 6-8, 2015
Presentation Location: 2015 Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases at Chicago, IL
Authors: T. Marsoobian, K. Sargasyan, S. Kharatyan, H. Elbakyan, V. Hakobyan, L. Simonyan, H. Voskanyan, A. Shirvanyan, T. Stepanyan, M. Khachatryan, R. Weller, G. Risatti
Abstract: African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly infectious and lethal disease of swine. Introduced in 2007, ASF significantly decreased domestic swine production in Armenia. Most of the 2007 outbreaks were recorded in the Northern areas that border Georgia. The initial onset of the disease was followed by four years of sporadic outbreaks until 2010-2011 when the disease reemerged affecting swine herds in almost the entire country, including cases in feral pigs and wild hogs. No ASF cases have occurred since then. Similar patterns of disease manifestation are observed in some areas of Sub-Saharan Africa where the disease is endemic. Here, historical reports show that ASF outbreaks tend to be sporadic, re-emerging irregularly after intervals of several years without reported cases. In Africa, ASF virus (ASFV) establishes a natural reservoir by cycling between Ornithodoros ticks, warthogs and bushpigs. In Armenia, the potential for ASFV infection of indigenous ticks or the continuous transmission of the virus between wild and domestic pigs exist, creating conditions for endemic and epidemic ASF. An active surveillance program was established in Armenia to determine the epidemiological status of ASF focusing on an area at high risk, the Tavush Marz. This Marz was the first to report the presence of ASF in the Armenia in 2007 and 2010-2011. It shares a border with Georgia, where the disease was first detected, that is subject to nearly continuous transboundary movement of people, goods and animals. Most of the pigs in Tavush are bred in small backyard operations and allowed to free-forage, making them more prone to coming in contact with wild pigs and ticks. Samples, including blood, serum and nasal swabs, were obtained from 1500 domestic pigs from 32 communities in the Marz and tested for the presence of ASF by qPCR, ELISA and IPT. Fifty nine ticks were also collected, but the Ornithodoros genus was not identified among the collected ticks. All of the samples were negative for ASFV or ASF antibodies suggesting that AFSV is not circulating in the sampled population; however, the question regarding the involvement of wild boars and ticks in ASF epidemiology in Armenia and their role as a reservoir of ASFV remains unanswered.
Click here to view the presentation.