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SEMINAR: Archaeology Seminar Series

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Today's date is Tuesday, March 02, 2021
Archaeology Seminar Series : Geoarchaelogical investigation of prehistoric site use, occupation intensity and settlement patterns in Blombos Cave, South Africa Other events...
The archaeological assemblage recovered from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) levels in Blombos Cave (BBC, c. 10170 ka BP), South Africa, is central to our current understanding of the technological and cultural development of early modern humans in southern Africa during the Late Pleistocene. In this paper, we demonstrate that the behavioural changes observed in the MSA record of BBC also correlate with significant shifts in physical site-use and human occupation intensity. Through a site-wide geoarchaeological and faunal taphonomic investigation of three discrete phases of MSA occupation deposits, we identify distinct human campsite activities and examine their spatial distribution throughout the MSA sequence. Considering the sedimentbased observations presented, we argue that people during the earliest MSA phases occupied Blombos Cave more continuously but less frequent. This occupation pattern is markedly different from what we see in the later MSA phases (e.g. M1), during which hunter-gatherer groups appear to have visited and revisited the cave more regularly,and for shorter periods each time. We suggest that the variation of MSA occupation intensity in BBC, which coincides with shifts in local climate,vegetation and sea-levels, can best be explained by changes in local site function and hunter-gatherer mobility and subsistence strategies. We also propose that the MSA site-use patterns observed locally in BBC may be indicative of larger shifts in the regional settlement patterns,and we hypothesize that these could have affected the nature and frequency of social interaction within prehistoric populations living in the Southern Cape during MIS 5b-4 (94 72 ka).
Speaker(s) Magnus Haaland
Location Law Lecture Room 1, Room G.31
Contact Ana Paula Motta <[email protected]>
Start Thu, 21 Mar 2019 16:00
End Thu, 21 Mar 2019 17:00
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Last Updated Thu, 14 Mar 2019 14:12
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