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Micromorphology reveals changing levels of site occupation intensity at Pinnacle Point 5-6

Author(s): Panagiotis Karkanas

Year: 2015

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Summary

Using simultaneously fine and coarse resolution sedimentary studies of the deposits of the MSA site of PP5-6 at Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay, South Africa, it was able to reveal different patterns of anthropogenic input and behavior and how these changed through time. Through the microfacies approach using micromorphology it was documented that the PP5-6 sequence shows occupations characterized by small groups and short visits during MIS5. This part of the sediments is dominated by numerous single and mostly intact hearth structures in a roofspall-rich matrix. The sea was very close to the site and the people were focused on exploiting the rocky shores. With the beginning of the glacial conditions of MIS4, the occupation of the site becomes much more intense. This part of the sequence is characterized by the occurrence of thick palimpsests of burnt remains, sometimes disturbed by small-scale sedimentary gravity processes. As sea level dropped and the coastline retreated, the geogenic input shifted to predominately aeolian sediments implying an exposed shelf probably associated with a rich but more distant coastal environment. Since sites dating to MIS4 are abundant in the Cape, we suggest that populations during MIS4 responded to glacial conditions with population growth and technological change.

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Micromorphology reveals changing levels of site occupation intensity at Pinnacle Point 5-6. Panagiotis Karkanas. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396805)


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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