Lucinda Backwell

Senior Researcher - PhD., Palaeoanthropology

PROFILE

Position: SENIOR RESEARCHER
Qualifications: PhD., MSc. Palaeoanthropology, University of the Witwatersrand and University of Bordeaux.
Phone: 0117176672
Email: lucinda@lucindabackwell.com
Organizational Unit: Evolutionary Studies Institute.

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Vertebrate taphonomy and the fossil record.
  • Early hominin cultural and behavioural evolution.
  • Tracing the emergence of modern human behaviour.
  • Correlating archaeology, palaeontology and climate change.
  • Ethnoarchaeology amongst Kalahari Bushmen.
  • Origin(s) of ritual mortuary practice.

MAIN FIELDS OF SPECIALIZATION

  • Origin and evolution of bone tool technology.
  • Microscopic analysis of bone surface modifications.
  • San material culture, past and present.

CURRENT RESEARCH

  • Border Cave Middle Stone Age site excavation and analysis, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
  • Working on a book and digital archive of a century-old collection of traditional San material culture, and subtitled film of Kalahari San elders describing in their own words, and demonstrating the use of the items, now housed at Museum Africa in South Africa.
  • Taphonomic analysis of hominin remains from the Rising Star site, South Africa.
  • Taphonomic analysis of Australopithecus sediba and associated Plio-Pleistocene fauna from Malapa, South Africa.
  • Taphonomic analysis and description of a Holocene large mammal mass death assemblage from the South African interior.
  • Experimental taphonomy: ongoing invertebrate modification of bone in South Africa.
  • Experimental taphonomy: Refining the functional interpretation of early hominin bone tools: new experiments and texture analyses.
  • Experimental taphonomy: interpreting breakage patterns on large mammal bones.
  • Longitudinal studies of modern mammal carcass modification, disarticulation, dispersal and burial in a semi-arid grassland environment in South Africa.
  • Description of Middle Stone Age bone artefacts from Sibudu Cave, South Africa.
  • Description of Middle and Later Stone Age bone artefacts from Bushman Rock Shelter, South Africa.
  • Origin(s) of ritual mortuary practice, a reappraisal of the fossil evidence.
  • Holocene mortuary practices in Northwest Argentina.

Publications

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2016. Earliest evidence of personal ornaments associated with burial: the Conus shells from Border Cave. Journal of Human Evolution. 93: 91-108.

Zhang, S., d’Errico, F., Backwell, L.R., Zhang, Y., Chen, F., Gao, X. 2016. Early evidence of complex bone tool technology from the Late Pleistocene site of Ma’anshan, southern China. Journal of Archaeological Science. 65: 57-69.

Wadley, L., Trower, G. Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F. 2015. Traditional glue, adhesive and poison used for composite weapons by Ju/’hoan San in Nyae Nyae, Namibia. Implications for the evolution of hunting equipment in prehistory. Plos ONE. (10(10):e0140269. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140269

Val, A., Dirks, P.H.G.M., Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F. & Berger, L.R. 2015. Taphonomic analysis of the faunal assemblage associated with the hominins (Australopithecus sediba) from the early Pleistocene cave deposits of Malapa, South Africa. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0126904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126904

Dirks, P.H.G.M., Berger, L.R., Roberts, E.M., Kramers, J.D., Hawks, J., Randolph-Quinney, P.S., Elliott, M., Musiba, C.M., Churchill, S.E., de Ruiter, D.J., Schmid, P., Backwell, L.R., Belyanin, G.A., Boshoff, P., Hunter, K.L., Feuerriegel, E.M., Gurtov, A., Harrison, J., Hunter, R., Kruger, A. Morris, H., Makhubela, T.V., Peixotto, B. & Tucker, S. 2015. Geological and taphonomic evidence for deliberate body disposal by the primitive hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa. eLife. 4: e09561.

Backwell, L., McCarthy, T., Wadley, L., Henderson, Z., Steininger, C., deKlerk, B., Barre, M., Lamothe, M., Chase, B.M., Woodborne, S., Susino, G., Bamford, M., Sievers, C., Brink, J., Rossouw, L., Pollarolo, L., Trower, G., Scott, L. & d’Errico, F. 2014. Multiproxy record of late Quaternary climate change and Middle Stone Age human occupation at Wonderkrater, South Africa. Quaternary Science Reviews. 99: 42-59. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.06.017.

Taru, P. & Backwell, L. 2014. Hair morphology of some artiodactyls from southern Africa. Annals of the Transvaal Museum. 4: 26-32.

Taru, P. & Backwell, L. 2013. Identification of fossil hairs in Parahyaena brunnea coprolites from Middle Pleistocene deposits at Gladysvale cave, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science. 40(10): 3674-3685. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.04.031.

Backwell, L.R., Parkinson, A., Roberts, E., d'Errico, F. & Huchet, J-B. 2012. Criteria for identifying bone modification by termites in the fossil record. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 337-338: 72-87. DOI:10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.03.032

d’Errico, F., Backwell, L.R., Villa, P., Degano, I., Lucejko, J., Bamford, M., Higham, T., Colombini, M.P., Beaumont, P. 2012. Early evidence of San material culture represented by organic artifacts from Border Cave, South Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(33): 13214-13219. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1204213109

d’Errico, F., Backwell, L.R., Villa, P., Degano, I., Lucejko, J., Bamford, M., Higham, T., Colombini, M.P., Beaumont, P. 2012. Reply to Evans: use of castor bean for poison still the most parsimonious argument. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(48): E3291–E3292. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1214711109

Villa, P., Soriano, S., Tsanova, T., Higham, T., d’Errico, F., Backwell, L.R., Lucejko, J., Beaumont, P. 2012. Border Cave and the beginning of the Later Stone Age in South Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(33): 13208-13213. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1202629109

d’Errico, F. Backwell, L.R. & Wadley, L. 2012. Indentifying regional variability in Middle Stone Age bone technology. The case of Sibudu Cave. Journal of Archaeological Science. 39: 2479-2495. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2012.01.040

Barré, M, Lamothe, M., Backwell, L.R. & McCarthy, T. 2012. Optical dating of quartz and feldspars: A comparative study from Wonderkrater, a Middle Stone Age site in South Africa. Quaternary Geochronology. 10: 374-379. DOI:10.1016/j.quageo.2012.01.009

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2010. Comment on Shipman “The animal connection and human evolution”. Current Anthropology. 51(4): 525-526.

McCarthy, T.S., Ellery, W.N., Backwell, L.R., Marren, P., de Klerk, B., Tooth, S., Brandt, D., Woodborne, S. 2010. The character, origin and palaeoenvironmental significance of the Wonderkrater spring and peat mound, South Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences. 58: 115-126.

Backwell, L.R., Pickering, R., Brothwell, D., Berger, L.R., Witcomb, M., Martill, D., Penkman, K. & Wilson, A. 2009. Probable human hair found in a fossil hyaena coprolite from Gladysvale cave, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science. 36(6): 1269-1276.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2009. Assessing the function of early hominin bone tools. Journal of Archaeological Science. 36: 1764–1773.

de Ruiter, D.J., Pickering, R., Steininger, C.M., Kramers, J.D., Hancox, P.J., Churchill, S.E., Berger, L.R., Backwell, L.R. 2009. New hominin fossils from Cooper’s Cave (Gauteng, South Africa) and the first U-Pb date for Australopithecus robustus. Journal of Human Evolution. 56(5): 497-513.

Berger, L.R., Pickering, R., Kuhn, B., Backwell, L.R., Hancox, J. & Kramers, J.D. 2009. A Mid-Pleistocene in situ fossil brown hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea) latrine from Gladysvale Cave, South Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 279(3-4): 131-236.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2008. Early hominid bone tools from Drimolen. Journal of Archaeological Science. 35(11): 2880-2894.

Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F. & Wadley, L. 2008. Middle Stone Age bone tools from the Howiesons Poort layers, Sibudu Cave, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science. 35(6): 1566-1580.

Cukrowska, E., Pole, S., McCarthy, T.S., Backwell, L.R. & Steininger, C. 2005. The chemical removal of manganese dioxide coatings from fossil bones. South African Journal of Science. 101(1/2): 101-103.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2004. The first use of bone tools: a reappraisal of the evidence from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Palaeontologia africana. 40: 95-158.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2003. Additional evidence on the early hominid bone tools from Swartkrans with reference to spatial distribution of lithic and organic artefacts. South African Journal of Science. 99(5/6): 259-267.

d’Errico, F., Henshilwood, C., Lawson, G., Vanhaeren, M., Bresson, F., Soressi, M., Tillier, A.M., Maureille, B., Nowell, A., Lakarra, J., Backwell, L.R. & Julien, M. 2003. Archaeological evidence for the emergence of language, symbolism and music – an alternative multidisciplinary perspective. Journal of World Prehistory. 17(1): 1-70.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2003. Possible evidence of bone tool shaping from the early hominid site of Swartkrans, South Africa. Journal of Archaeological Science. 30: 1559-1576.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2001. Evidence of termite foraging by Swartkrans early hominids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. United States of America. 98(4): 1358-1363.

d’Errico, F., Backwell, L.R., & Berger, L.R. 2001. Bone tool use in termite foraging by early hominids and its impact on understanding early hominid behaviour. South African Journal of Science. 97: 71-75.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2001. Les premiers outils en os. Pour la Science. 284: 24.

Backwell, L.R., Dane, G. H., Gabamondi, K. J., Fenn, G.J., Names, C.M., Pennifer, P.M. 1996. Report on the Late Iron Age site of Twyfelpoort, Free State, South Africa. Southern African Field Archaeology. 5: 84-95.

Books

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. (Eds) 2005. From Tools to Symbols. From Early Hominids to Modern Humans. Proceedings of a conference in honour of Professor Phillip Tobias. Wits University Press.

Chapters in Books

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2015. Osseous projectile weaponry from Early – Late Middle Stone Age Africa. In "Osseous Projectile Weaponry: Towards an Understanding of Pleistocene Cultural Variability", M.C. Langley (Ed.), Cambridge University Press. (In press).

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2014. Palaeolithic bone tools. In C. Smith (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, Vol. 2. Springer, New York, pp. 950-962. Print: ISBN 978-1-4419-0426-3; Online: ISBN 978-1-4419-0465-2

Caruana, M., d’Errico, F., Backwell, L.R. 2013. Early hominin social learning strategies underlying the use and production of bone and stone tools. In: C. Sanz, C. Boesch, J. Call (Eds.). Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology. Cambridge University Press, pp. 242-285.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2007. From Swartkrans to Arcy-sur-Cure. The use of bone tools in the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic. In E. Baquedano (Ed.), El Universo Neanderthal. Fundacion Duques de Soria, Spain, pp. 101-143. ISBN 978-84-95803-56-6

McCarthy, T.S. & Rubidge, B. 2005. The Story of Earth and Life. A South African Perspective on a 4.6 Billion Year Journey. Contributing author to Chapter 10, Arrival of Humans, pp. 274-295. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2005. The origin of bone tool technology and the identification of early hominid cultural traditions, pp. 238-275. In F. d’Errico & L.R. Backwell (Eds), From Tools to Symbols. From Early Hominids to Modern Humans. Wits University Press.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2005. Searching for common ground in Palaeoanthropology, Archaeology and Genetics, pp. 1-8. In From Tools to Symbols. From Early Hominids to Modern Humans, F. d’Errico & L.R. Backwell (Eds). Wits University Press.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2004. Additional evidence on early hominid bone tools from Swartkrans. In C.K. Brain (Ed.), Swartkrans, a Cave’s Chronicle of Early Man, 2nd edition, pp. 279-295. Transvaal Museum Monograph No. 8.

Conference proceedings

Backwell, L.R. Wadley, L., McCarthy, T.S., Chase, B.M., Scott, L. 2015. Wonderkrater peat mound: Middle Stone Age site amid a multiproxy record of climate change. Proceedings of the 18th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa. Johannesburg. 11-14 July. Palaeontologia africana. 49: 72.

Val, A., Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F., Berger, L.R. 2012. Post-mortem in 3D: new methods to assess the spatial taphonomy of the Malapa early hominins. Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa 18th meeting, Cape Town, South Africa, 5-8 September. Palaeontologia Africana. 47: 55-56.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2009. Additional evidence of early hominid bone tools from South Africa. First attempt at exploring inter-site variability. Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa. Palaeontologia africana. 44: 91-94.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2008. Multifocus microscopy confirms bone tool utilisation by early hominids at Drimolen, South Africa. Microscopy Society of Southern Africa, 46th Annual Conference. 21-25 July, University of Botswana. 38: 80.

Backwell, L.R., Steininger, C.M, Brink, J., Neveling, J., Rossouw, L. & Pereira, L. 2007. Large mammal mass death accumulation in the Holocene of South Africa. Palaeontologia africana. 42: 118.

Mothupi, T. & Backwell, L.R. 2007. Taphonomy of the Late Pleistocene Plover’s Lake faunal assemblage. Palaeontologia africana. 42: 127-128.

Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F. 2004. Reassessing early hominid bone tool traditions through experimentation and microscopic analysis. Microscopy Society of Southern Africa, p. 91.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2002. Microscopic evidence for deliberate shaping of bone tools by South African early hominids. 15th International Congress on Electron Microscopy. Proceedings 2. Biology and Medicine, Durban. September 1-5, pp. 625-626.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2002. Possible evidence of deliberate shaping on the Swartkrans early hominid bone tools. Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, New York. April 10-14, pg. 39.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2000. A new functional interpretation of the Swartkrans early hominid bone tools. Abstract for the Paleoanthropology Society Meeting. Journal of Human Evolution. 38(3): A4-A5.

Conference abstracts

Elliott, M., Dirks, P., Roberts, E., Kramers, J., Hawks, J., Randolph-Quinney, P., Kruger, A., Backwell, L., Berger, L. 2016. Geological and taphonomic context of excavations within the Rising Star cave system. American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, 13-16 April.

Backwell, L.R., Wadley, L., McCarthy, T.S., Chase, B.M., Scott, L. 2015. Wonderkrater peat mound: Middle Stone Age site amid a multiproxy record of climate change. Proceedings of the 18th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa. Johannesburg, South Africa, 11-14 July.

Val, A., Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F., Berger, L.R. 2013. Spatial analysis of Australopithecus sediba fossils in 3D and taphonomic implications. 22nd meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society, Hawaii, 2-3 April.

Val, A., Dirks, P., Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F. and Berger, L. 2013. A forensic approach to understand the taphonomy of the hominins from the Malapa site. Fourth East African Association of Palaeoanthropology and Palaeontology (EAAPP) conference, Mombasa, Kenya, 28 July-2 August.

d’Errico, F., Backwell, L.R., Villa, P., Degano, I., Lucejko, J., Bamford, M., Higham, T., Colombini, M.P., Beaumont, P. 2012. Organic artefacts from Border Cave: earliest evidence of San material culture. European Society for the study of Human Evolution. Bordeaux, France, 21-22 September.

Taru, P., Backwell, L., 2011. Taxonomic identification of fossil hairs in Parahyaena brunnea coprolites from Middle Pleistocene deposits at Gladysvale Cave, South Africa. Third East African Asssociation of Palaeoanthropology and Palaeontology (EAAP) conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 8-12 August.

Val, A., Conforti, D., Sgrenzaroli, M., Backwell, L., d'Errico, F., and Berger, L. 2011. A 3D approach to understanding the depositional context of australopithecines from the Plio-Pleistocene cave site of Malapa, South Africa. Third East African Asssociation of Palaeoanthropology and Palaeontology (EAAP) Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 8-12 August.

Barre, M., Lamothe, M., Backwell, L. 2011. A comparative study of two luminescence dosimeters from a Middle Stone Age site in South Africa. 13th International Conference on Luminescence and Electron Spin Resonance Dating. Torun, Poland. 10-14 July.

Backwell, L.R., McCarthy, T., Wadley, L., Henderson, Z., Lamothe, M., Barre, M., Scott, L., Steininger, C., Sievers, C., Woodborne, S., Chase, B.M., Pollarolo, L., Brink, J., deKlerk, B., Sukumar, R., Rossouw, L., Sheshashayee, M.S. 2010. Report on excavations at Wonderkrater, a late Pleistocene spring and peat mound site in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa meeting. Howick, 5-8 August.

Caruana, M., Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F. 2010. Learning strategies among early hominins. Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa meeting. Howick, 5-8 August.

d’Errico, F., Henshilwood, C., Vanhaeren, M., Backwell, L.R., Garcia Moreno, R., Rifkin, R. 2010. The origin of symbolic material culture. Models, methods, data, and research perspectives. Pleistocene Art of the World Congress 2010. International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO). Tarascon-sur-Ariège and Foix, France. 6-11 September.

Parkinson, A., Backwell, L.R., Roberts, E., d’Errico, F., Huchet, J-B. & Val, A. 2010. The effects of termites on mammal and bird bone. International Council for Zooarchaeology (ICAZ) Conference. Paris, 23-28 August.

Parkinson, A., Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F., Huchet, J.-B., Roberts, E. 2010. The microscopic effects of termite damage on mammal and bird bone. 48th Annual Conference of the Microscopy Society of Southern Africa. Bela-Bela, 26- 29 October.

Val, A., Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F. 2010. Hunting or Scavenging? Assessing subsistence strategies in the Middle Stone Age through 3D analysis of cut marks. International Council for Zooarchaeology (ICAZ) Conference. Paris, 23-28 August.

Backwell, L.R., Witcomb, M.J., Berger, L.R., Pickering, R. & Brothwell, D. 2009. Scanning electron microscopy reveals oldest known hominin hair from Gladysvale Cave, South Africa. Microscopy Society of Southern Africa. Durban, 3-6 December.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2009. Early hominin bone tools: archaeological reflection of different eco-cultural niches? Understanding Tool Use. Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Cognition and Ecology of Tool Using Behaviors. Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany. 3-5 December.

Backwell, L.R., d’Errico. 2009. Early hominids: bone tools and behaviour. Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers International Conference. Maropeng.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2008. Additional evidence of early hominid bone tool use and modification. First attempt at exploring inter-site variability. Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa Meeting, Matjiesfontein. 11-15 September.

Backwell, L.R. 2008. Africa as the Cradle of Humankind: fossil evidence of human evolution. South African Association of Science and Technology Educators (SAASTE) 4th Biennial Conference, University of the Witwatersrand. 1-4 July.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2006. Early hominid bone tool technology and utilisation in eastern and southern Africa. Abstract for the Paleoanthropology Society Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico. 24-26 April.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2006. Bone tools and the cultural adaptations of early hominids from South and East Africa. African Genesis Conference, University of the Witwatersrand Medical School. 8-14 January.

Backwell, L.R., Steininger, C.M., Brink, J., Neveling, J., Rossouw, L. & Pereira, L. 2006. Large mammal mass death accumulation in the Holocene of South Africa. Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa Meeting, Albany Museum and Rhodes University, Grahamstown. 7-10 September.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2005. The earliest use of elephant bone. A reappraisal of the Olduvai evidence. “The World of Elephants” 2nd International Congress, Hot Springs, South Dakota, USA. 22-25 September.

Pole, S., Cukrowska, E., McCarthy, T.S., Backwell, L.R. & Steininger, C. 2005. The chemical removal of manganese dioxide coatings from fossil bones from the Cradle of Humankind. Fifth International Bone Diagenesis Conference. University of Cape Town. 28-31 August.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2004. Reassessing early hominid bone tool traditions through experimentation and microscopic analysis. Microscopy Society of Southern Africa 43rd Annual Conference. University of Pretoria. 30 November-3 December.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2004. New data on the early hominid bone tools from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, GeoScience Africa Conference, Johannesburg. 12-16 July.

Pole, S., Cukrowska, E., McCarthy, T. S., Backwell, L.R. & Steininger, C. 2004. The chemical removal of manganese dioxide coatings from fossil bones from the Cradle of Humankind, GeoScience Africa Conference, Johannesburg. 12-16 July.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2003. The origin of bone tool technology and the identification of early hominid cultural traditions. From Tools to Symbols. From Early Hominids to Modern Humans conference. Johannesburg. 16-18 March.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2002. What the bones tell us. New information on the Swartkrans early hominid bone tools. Palaeontological Society 12th Biennial Meeting. Bloemfontein. 3-7 October.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2001. Early hominid cultural traditions and technical systems: the full picture. Possible evidence of bone tool shaping from Swartkrans, South Africa. Knapping stone. A Unique Hominid Behaviour? International Workshop, Abbaye des Prémontrés, Paris. 21-24 November.

d’Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2000. Bone tool use and the identification of early hominid cultural traditions. New data from Swartkrans and Sterkfontein. 11th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of southern Africa. Transvaal Museum, Pretoria. 4-8 September.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 1999. A reassessment of ‘bone tools’ from the early hominid sites of Swartkrans and Sterkfontein. Archaeological Sciences 99 Conference, University of Bristol, United Kingdom. 20-22 September.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 1999. The application of SEM, confocal microscopy and image analysis to assess the first use of bone by early hominids. Microscopy Society of Southern Africa 38th Annual Conference. University of the Free State, South Africa. 1-3 December.

Research reports

Backwell, L.R. 2008. Report on 2005 – 2007 excavations at Wonderkrater, a late Quaternary spring and peat mound site in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Submitted to South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).

Backwell, L.R. 2008. Report on 2005 – 2007 excavations at Heelbo I, a large mammal mass death assemblage in Free State Province, South Africa. Submitted to South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA).

Thesis and dissertation

Backwell, L.R. 2004. Early Hominid Bone Tool Industries. PhD. submitted by publications. University of the Witwatersrand and University of Bordeaux I.

Backwell, L.R. 2000. A Critical Assessment of Southern African “Early Hominid Bone Tools”. Unpublished MSc. University of the Witwatersrand.

Other outputs

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2009. Bone tools and early hominin diet. Society of Archaeological Sciences (SAS) Bulletin, USA. 32(2): 8-12.

d'Errico, F. & Backwell, L.R. 2009. Les outils en os des hominidés d'Afrique australe. Analyse de collections inédites et nouvelle étude fonctionnelle. Eurasie, Eurafrique: quels premiers peuplements avant l'OIS 15? Meeting of the Institut de Prehistoire et de Geologie de Quaternaire, University of Bordeaux.

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2008. Bone tools and the cultural adaptations of early hominids in Africa. Wits Nano News. DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, University of the Witwatersrand.

Backwell, L.R. 2007-09. Department of Education Teacher Training Lecture Series. Syllabus and tips on teaching human evolution as part of the new school curriculum.

Steininger, C., Hardy, Y. & Backwell, L.R. 2005. Walking Tall. The Story of Human Evolution. An Educator Booklet for Senior Learners. Published by the Palaeontology Scientific Trust (PAST).

Backwell, L.R. & d’Errico, F. 2001. First evidence of termite foraging by Swartkrans early hominids. Dart. Newsletter of the Institute for the Study of Man in Africa. 2(2): 2-4.

Documentaries

2014
San ostrich trap.
2013
A Shaman's Journey. The last elders (Le voyage de Kgonta Bo, le chaman).
Documentary film produced by MC4, with the participation of France Télévisions and Planète Thalassa for France 5 Television.

2012
San material culture PNAS podcast.
2008
Department of Science and Technology. Progress of Science, Human Origins Education (SABC 1).

2004
National Geographic Society.

2003
African Solutions (SABC 3).

2002
Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (Discovery Channel, Canada).

2001
Discovery Channel (Canada).
Technologic (Summit TV).
Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

2001
Odyssey of Mankind (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen).

Student evaluation of lecturer performance

Year Course Core items Free choice Science Faculty
Lecturer Lecturer rating
2015 GEOL1000 9.00 7.81 8.44 7.86 Top 5%
2014 GEOL1000 8.99 7.77 8.84 7.83 Top 10%
2013 APES3029 8.98 7.75 8.86 7.82 Top 15%
2013 GEOL1000 9.05 7.73 8.93 7.75 Top 15%
2012 GEOL1000 8.79 7.66 8.59 7.74 Top 20%
2011 APES3029 9.30 7.65 9.35 7.67 Top 5%
2011 GEOL1000 9.14 7.64 9.22 7.87 Top 5%
2010 GEOL1000 8.72 7.61 8.54 7.67 Top 10%
2009 GEOL1000 9.20 7.61 9.25 7.67 Top 5%
2009 APES3029 8.58 7.61 8.86 7.66 Top 15%
2008 GEOL1000 8.84 7.59 8.80 7.88 Top 5%
2007 APES3029 9.10 7.57 9.02 7.85 Top 5%
2007 GEOL1000 8.98 7.56 8.81 7.56 Top 5%
2006 APES301T 9.10 7.53 9.24 7.82 Top 5%
2006 GEOL104 9.10 7.53 9.24 7.82 Top 5%
2005 GEOL122 8.68 7.51 8.68 7.79 Top 10%
2004 GEOL122 8.65 7.48 8.63 7.71 Top 10%

Awards / Recognition

2014
Voted “Best 1st year Lecturer” by Wits University School of Geosciences Geological Student Society.

2012
Journal of Archaeological Science Top cited article 2007-2011.

2011
NRF rating: C1 (valid 2012 - 2017).
Promoted to Senior Researcher.

2010
Voted “Best Lecturer for 1st year”, by Wits University School of Geosciences Geological Student Society.
Voted “Coolest Lectures for 1st year”, by Wits University School of Geosciences Geological Student Society.

2009
Voted “Best 1st year Lecturer”, by Wits University School of Geosciences Geological Student Society.
FEI Prize (Life Sciences) for the best paper on electron microscopy published in an international journal.
“Probable human hair found in a fossil hyaena coprolite from Gladysvale cave, South Africa.”
Science Direct 6th most downloaded paper in first quarter for Journal of Archaeological Science.

2008
Top 100 Science Stories, Discover Magazine.
Certificate of Appreciation, Life Sciences Educators,
Teaching and Learning Services, Department of Education, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

2004
First South African woman to be awarded a PhD. in Palaeoanthropology at a local institution.

2003
University Postgraduate Local Merit Scholarship.

2002
University Council Postgraduate Scholarship.
University Postgraduate Merit Award.

2001
S2A3 Medal. Presented by the South African Association for the Advancement of Science:
Most distinguished Masters Degree in the Faculty of Science for 2000.
Top 100 Science Stories Discover magazine: “Evidence of termite foraging by Swartkrans early hominids”.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
University Council Postgraduate Scholarship.
Postgraduate Merit Award.

2000
MSc. in Palaeoanthropology (cum laude), University of the Witwatersrand Medical School.
Postgraduate Local Merit Scholarship.
University Postgraduate Merit Award.
Category A Award for 2000.

Lystrosaurus Shield: Best student paper presented at the 11th Biennial Conference of the Palaeontological Society of Southern Africa.

Contact

Phone
0117176672
Address
Evolutionary Studies Institute.
Palaeosciences Centre.
University of the Witwatersrand.
Private Bag 3, WITS 2050
Johannesburg, South Africa.