Late Holocene occupations at the Pinnacle Point Shell Midden Complex
Author(s): James McGrath
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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This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Building the Hunter-gatherer’s Paleoscape on the South African Coast: the archaeological record •
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)
Cite this Record
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)
min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;