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Variation in Site Use through Time: Find distribution at Knysna Eastern Heads Cave 1, (Western Cape, South Africa), from Marine Isotope Stage 3 through the Last Glacial Maximum

Author(s): Daniel Peart ; Sara Watson ; Hannah Keller ; Naomi Cleghorn

Year: 2016

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Summary

Fluctuating sea levels during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS3) resulted in radically shifting environmental zones and shoreline position along the southern African coast. Investigation of the intensity of site use and find types relative to modeled coastline proximity provides insight into early human responses to such environmental perturbations. Knysna Eastern Heads Cave 1 (KEH1), a coastal cave site in Western Cape Province, is the only documented locality along the modern coast that preserves a significant archaeological deposit spanning the latter part of MIS3 and MIS 2 through the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). During the 2014 and 2015 KEH1 field seasons, over 10,000 finds were plotted throughout a stratigraphic sequence dating between 46,436 and 18,890 Cal BP. Plotted finds include bone, shell, ostrich eggshell, charcoal, ochre, lithic shatter, and lithic tools consistent with Early Later Stone Age assemblages. Our statistical analyses show that variation in the distribution and density of find types is indicative of changing landscape and environmental conditions. Data at KEH1 are indicative of an intense period of site occupation prior to the LGM. The KEH1 sequence provides a rare opportunity to investigate human behavioral flexibility in response to landscape and ecological change in the Late Pleistocene.


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Variation in Site Use through Time: Find distribution at Knysna Eastern Heads Cave 1, (Western Cape, South Africa), from Marine Isotope Stage 3 through the Last Glacial Maximum. Daniel Peart, Sara Watson, Hannah Keller, Naomi Cleghorn. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404760)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
AFRICA


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