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Late Holocene occupations at the Pinnacle Point Shell Midden Complex

Author(s): James McGrath

Year: 2015

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Surveys identified a series of Holocene Later Stone Age shell middens along the westernmost extent of the Pinnacle Point estate near Mossel Bay, Western Cape, South Africa. Excavations during 2006 and 2007 revealed a well-preserved record of human activity ranging from 3000 ± 75 BP to 890 ± 30 BP across six spatially and temporally distinct shell middens. Dubbed Areas 1 - 4 of the Pinnacle Point Shell Midden Complex (PPSMC), each midden presents a picture of human subsistence patterns that varies through time. Area 3, the youngest and most extensively excavated of the middens, displays a stone-lined, heat-retaining earth oven, extensive spatially patterning, and the presence of pottery. When compared against the other, older, shell midden complex occupations, Area 3 provides a unique opportunity to examine changes in subsistence patterns through the introduction of pastoralism into the southern coast of Africa. As a whole, the PPSMC represents some of the youngest Stone Age occupations within the archaeological record of Pinnacle Point.

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Late Holocene occupations at the Pinnacle Point Shell Midden Complex. James McGrath. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396799)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America