Environmental implications of marine bird remains in the late Holocene of Pinnacle Point.

Author(s): Leesha Richardson

Year: 2015


Marine bird remains are common in late Holocene coastal sites in South Africa. The Pinnacle Point Shell Midden Complex (PPSMC) is such a site. Marine bird remains from the PPSMC were studied to better understand their role in the foraging and mobility patterns of late Holocene stone age people on the Mossel Bay coast. The PPSMC has four separate excavation areas and marine bird remains are present and were studied in each. Microscopic analyses for signs of surface modification proved to be difficult as root damage was extensive. However some signs of cutting and tool manufacture were found. Research of modern bird wash-ups by Avery have shown that certain marine bird species are more commonly found washed out along the South African coast during certain times of the year. A comparison of the PPSMC analyses to these modern data shows that the four excavated areas were exploited on a seasonal basis. The strong seasonality of marine birds provided a predictable food and raw material resource for hunter-gatherers.

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Cite this Record

Environmental implications of marine bird remains in the late Holocene of Pinnacle Point.. Leesha Richardson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396826)


Spatial Coverage

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