via China Daily, 05 October 2023: Renaud Joannes-Boyau, an associate professor at Australia’s Southern Cross University, has been exploring the Tam Pa Ling cave in northern Laos to trace human evolution in Southeast Asia. Specializing in geochronology, he is part of a global team of scientists working to date rocks, fossils, and sediments in the cave.
He has been working on and off at Tam Pa Ling for around 10 years, and each visit is as “exciting as the last”, he said.
“The site itself is like a cathedral with the ceiling 6 to 7 meters high. And the arc lights set up around the various excavations cast an eerie glow. It is quite beautiful … almost biblical.”
Joannes-Boyau’s specialty is geochronology, which is the science of determining the age of rocks, fossils and sediments by using “signatures” embedded in the rocks.