Francis Thackeray, archaeologist. at Kromdraai, South Africa
Francis Thackeray at the remnant cave site, Kromdraai, South Africa.
His meticulous research here led to the discovery of more pieces of an Australopithicine originally discovered in 1938.

The Study

Podcast Nos.14 & 15: Interview with Francis Thackeray

by Craig Robertson

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Podcast No.14: Francis Thackeray - Part 1 (12.8 Mb mpeg-4; 53' 25")

Podcast No.15: Francis Thackeray - Part 2 (11.5 Mb mpeg-4; 48' 11")

Francis Thackeray is a South African archaeologist. He has enjoyed a long career exploring the rich history of human evolution in his home country and neighbouring Namibia. His research interests extend to various related disciplines such as palaeontology, palaeo-ecology and the quantification of palaeoclimatic indices, and also to rock art and medieval art. He is currently Director, Institute for Human Evolution. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and was formerly Director of the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria. He has contributed to a number of exhibitions and heritage activities about human evolution, particularly those at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site just outside Johannesburg. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. This interview © Copyright Francis Thackeray & Craig Robertson, 2010.

These podcasts include my two regular themes:
Introduction and final announcements: Prelude from J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C, Book 1, BWV846, played by Ronald Farren-Price, from his album Reflections, courtesy of Move Records © 1993
Prelude to the section "In my study": a movement from G.F. Handel: Suite No. 5 in E major, played by Elizabeth Anderson on her album The Convict Harpsichordist, also courtesy of Move Records © 2003

In my study Nos. 14 & 15
No. 14 (in Francis Thackeray - Part 1) notes on recent archaeological tourism and souvenirs. (3.3 Mb mp3 file; 7' 17") These notes conclude the podcast Francis Thackeray Part 1.
No. 15 (in Francis Thackeray - Part 2) notes on evolution and humanism. (2.2 Mb mp3 file; 4' 51") These notes conclude the podcast Francis Thackeray - Part 2 and the full interview.

See also:
Cradle of Humankind
Cradle of Humankind (Part 2)
Museums and Evolution
Rock art in southern Africa

Papers and articles by Francis Thackeray

Francis Thackeray's research and general interests have generated one of the most interesting lists of publications encountered in The Study. He has authored and co-authored many papers published in South African Journal of Science, Journal of Human Evolution, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa and others. Some highlights from more recent years include:

Thackeray, J.F. 2010. Comparisons between Australopithecus sediba (MH1) and other hominin taxa, in the context of probabilities of conspecificity. South African Journal of Science 106, 9-10.

Thackeray, J.F. 2010. Ancient DNA from fossil equids: A milesone in palaeogenetics. South African Journal of Science 106.

Thackeray, J.F. 2009. Teilhard de Chardin and "Piltdown Man". 2009. The Digging Stick.

Thackeray, J.F. 2009. Darwin's interest in the natural history of the Cape: from beetles to antelope, plants and granite. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 64, 79-81.

Gommery, D., Thackeray, J.F., Potze, S. and Braga, J. 2008. The first recorded occurrence of honey badger (Mellivora) at Kromdraai B, South Africa. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 45, 145-148.

Thackeray, J.F., Potze, S., Senut, B., and Gommery, D (eds). 2007. Mother Africa and Mrs Ples, an exhibition at the Northern Flagship Institution - Transvaal Museum - celebrating the discovery of Mrs Ples and other fossils from Sterkfontein. Isteg Scientific Publications, Irene.

Thackeray, J.F. 2006. Darwin, South Africa and the emergence of the genus Homo. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 61, 127-130.

THACKERAY, J.F. & Warren, J. 2005. Unicorns in stained glass windows in King's College Chapel, Cambridge: comparisons with late medieval art. The Journal of Stained Glass 29:24-29.

THACKERAY, J.F. 2005. Trance, art and literature: testing for hallucinogens.

THACKERAY, J.F. 2005. The wounded roan: a contribution to the relation of hunting and trance in southern African rock art. Antiquity 79:5-18.

THACKERAY, J.F. 2005. Eland, hunters and concepts of 'sympathetic control' expressed in southern African rock art. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15,1:27-34.

THACKERAY, J.F. 2005. Darwin's visit to South Africa in 1836. South African Journal of Science 101:218.

THACKERAY, J.F., Van der Merwe, N.J. & Van der Merwe, T.A. 2001a. Chemical analysis of residues from seventeenth-century clay pipes from Stratford-upon-Avon and environs. South African Journal of Science 97:19-21.

THACKERAY, J.F., Van der Merwe, N.J. & Van der Merwe, T. 2001b. Shakespeare's pipes? Archimedes 43,1:28-29.

THACKERAY, F. 1999g. The tenth muse: hemp as a source of inspiration for Shakespearean literature? Occasional Paper of the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa, January 1999:1-9.

All material, unless otherwise stated, is © Copyright Craig Robertson, 2010

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