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Behavior Change in Hunter-Gatherers of the Namib: A Re-Analysis of the Terminal Pleistocene Lithic Technology at the Mirabib Hill Rockshelter, Western Namibia

Author(s): Andrew Schroll ; Grant McCall ; Theodore Marks ; James McGrath

Year: 2017

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Summary

Originally excavated in the early 1970s by Beatrice Sandelowsky, the Mirabib Hill Rockshelter is located roughly 250km southwest of Windhoek, Namibia, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. This poster describes our re-analysis of the lithic technology recovered from Mirabib during the Sandelowsky excavations. The lithics examined in this poster were recovered from the lowest levels of the Sandelowsky excavation, just above bedrock, and date to around 19.5ka. This poster discusses the knapping strategies, patterns of tool design, and technological organization inferred from the Mirabib lithic assemblage in relation to shifting settlement systems between the last glacial maximum (LGM) and the termination of the Pleistocene. When other sites in the region are considered, we argue that the millennia surrounding the LGM were a turning point in the life ways of hunter-gatherer populations in the Namib Desert. In this respect, we propose a model in which ecological and demographic changes induced local populations to move around the landscape in increasingly extreme ways and to occupy residential sites with greater intensity. Finally, we discuss some ways in which Namib Desert foragers may have coped with problems caused by increasingly extreme mobility patterns through the organization of their technological systems.


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Behavior Change in Hunter-Gatherers of the Namib: A Re-Analysis of the Terminal Pleistocene Lithic Technology at the Mirabib Hill Rockshelter, Western Namibia. Andrew Schroll, Grant McCall, Theodore Marks, James McGrath. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429322)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16428

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