International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

Groundwater archaeology – Postponed

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have to postpone tomorrow’s IAH Seminar by Emeritus Professor Michael Knight to a future date to be determined.

“The Beginnings Of Groundwater Use By Hominins And Its Key To Migrations By Homo Erectus Across And Out Of Africa”


The first humans (hominins) appeared in Africa at two locations, one in Chad in Central Africa and the other in the East African Rift Valley between 6 to 7 million years ago. They began by drinking lake and river water. Howevever, by about 2 million years ago they had discovered and begun using groundwater fed springs, wnich  were more stable in the fluctuating climates they experienced.

The first hominins to migrate belong to the species called Homo erectus (H. erectus) a long distant forerunner of our species, Homo sapiens.

H. erectus migrated from the East African Rift in waves and as small bands from about 1.8 million years ago, travelling northeast along the East African Rift Valley and crossing over the Red Sea. Some followed the coast and others continued up through Saudia Arabia to the Jordan Valley. From the Jordan Valley they eventually migrated northeast to the rest of the world by 1.77 million years ago. Those from Palaeo Lake Chad migrated to Morrocco approximately 1 million years ago.

Join the live event to learn more about groundwater archaeology.

Michael graduated with a PhD in Geology from The University of Melbourne in 1972. He is currently an Emeritus Professor in Hydrogeology, and Life Member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, and Honorary Associate in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney.

In 2019 Michael was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to scientific, education, particularly in Hydrogeology and groundwater management.
For the past 23 years Michael has had an active research interest in how ancient people understood and used groundwater.


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