Christopher Henshilwood is the Director of Early Human Behaviour Centre of Excellence, University of Bergen, Norway and Head of Division for Middle to Late Stone Age, Evolutionary Studies Institute, University of the Witwatersrand.
Since 1991 Henshilwood has directed excavations at Stone Age sites in South Africa. With his research team he increasingly provides evidence for an African origin for behavioural and technological modernity associated with Homo sapiens from about 100 000 years ago and has decisively shown that Africa is the birthplace for the early development of modern human cognition. He has published more than 40 papers in leading peer reviewed journals, volumes and books on aspects of African archaeology, especially the Middle and Later Stone Age; on the origins of language and symbolism; the effects of climatic variation on human demographics; the epistemology of early behavioural evolution. His publications, including four in Science, and an edited book published in 2011 titled ‘Homo symbolicus: the dawn of language, imagination and spirituality’. Henshilwood recently earned the distinction of being named among the “highly Cited Researchers” by renowned Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading source of intelligent information for professionals.
Henshilwood is an A-rated researcher by the South African National Research Foundation and the European Research Council. The European Research Council awarded a FP7 Advanced Grant to carry out research on the Middle Stone Age in South Africa. Over the past decade Henshilwood and his co-researchers have made a significant major contribution to archaeological research at a national and international level. His research contributions have significantly highlighted Bergen and Wits Universities as centres of international research excellence.