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The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria is a group that promotes the study of archaeology, anthropology, ethno-archaeology and ethno-history in both Australia and further abroad. Lectures, from a range of talented presenters, are held every third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the The Kathleen Syme Library & Community Centre – 251 Faraday St, Carlton.
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**Notice: regular AASV lectures will proceed online via Zoom for the time being while in-person lectures at the KSLCC are suspended.

Please register via Eventbrite at least 48 hours before the lecture, as the AASV cannot guarantee last-minute confirmation**

AASV has been advised by the KSLCC in Carlton that new COVID restrictions mean that, while they can reopen their venues to the public at limit of 1 person/2m², this is only as long as they have a COVID Check-in Marshal. They can only appoint a COVID Check-in Marshal during Library business hours, so they are only reopening the spaces to bookings within opening times. The spaces will remain closed to all after-hours bookings, which unfortunately includes AASV.

Next Online Lecture: Thursday 21st of October, 2021, @ 6.30pm

How our ancestors breastfed their babies

Presented by Associate Professor Luca Fiorenza
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University

The last three million years have been characterised by strong climatic instability that drove many species to extinction. Australopithecus africanus lived in highly seasonal environments mostly dominated by open grasslands and wooded habitats. We have reconstructed the early life of this hominin species through an innovative approach based on tooth biogeochemistry that allows us to accurately measure dietary, physiological and behavioural responses to seasonal fluctuations in food availability. Our results suggest that A. africanus were cyclically breastfeeding their babies for their first 4 to 5 years of their life, similar to what we see today in great apes. The extended breastfeeding probably led to prolonged interbirth intervals, and ultimately may have had a negative effect on the reproductive rate of this species.

Biography
A/Prof Fiorenza is the Head of the Palaeodiet Research Lab and his research focuses on functional morphology of the masticatory apparatus in human and non-human primates, and on the importance of the role of diet in human evolution. He has published peer-reviewed articles in top science journals such as Nature and Nature, Ecology & Evolution, and he has been listed among the Australia’s Top Researchers by The Australian’s Research 2020 Magazine as Leader in the field of Anthropology.


Notices

Post Office Boxes

We advise all members that AASV now has two mailing addresses. Membership address: PO Box 200, Benalla VIC 3672.

General Correspondence and Artefact subscription enquiries: PO Box 203, Carlton VIC 3053.