Human evolution in Europe is among the most hotly debated aspects of paleoanthropology today. In the last decades, new discoveries and interpretations of the European paleoanthropological and Paleolithic records have drastically changed our views on the peopling of Europe. Even as they have opened up new horizons, however, these advances have also generated new questions.
Despite the importance of South-East Europe, paleoanthropological research has largely been neglected there in the past, resulting in a critical gap in the puzzle of Eurasian human evolutionary history. Recent research has sparked renewed interest in paleoanthropology and Paleolithic archaeology in Greece, with several new discoveries indicating the importance of the region for human deep prehistory.
The ERC Consolidator project CROSSROADS, awarded to Prof. Harvati in 2016, concentrates on the earlier parts of the Paleolithic and aims to address hypotheses about the earliest human settlement of Europe and the evolution and adaptations of early European hominins. This interdisciplinary, large scale, project will be a milestone in the paleoanthropology of the Balkans and will accomplish the contextualization of its fossil and Paleolithic record. CROSSROADS is conducted in collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, as well as multiple other international institutions