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Hearth Features at Knysna Eastern Heads Cave 1, Southern Coast of South Africa

Author(s): Naomi Cleghorn ; Ximena Villagran ; Benjamin Schoville ; Daniel Peart ; Hannah May Keller

Year: 2017

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The Agulhas Bank Paleoscape (ABP), a broad coastal plain that is now a submerged continental shelf off the south coast of Africa, would have presented early modern humans with a variety of potential foraging options. A rich Middle Stone Age record documents the presence of early coastal foragers as well as terrestrial hunter-gatherers in the ABP. At Knysna Eastern Heads Cave 1, both strategies are represented in a sequence spanning the end of the Middle Stone Age (about 40 ka) through to the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (about 19 ka), and through the technological transition to the Early Later Stone Age. Use of the cave throughout this period produced a dense sequence of well-preserved hearth features showing evidence of advance preparation of surfaces and frequent re-use. Here we report on the morphology, distribution, dating, and associated finds related to these features. Through an analysis of hearths, we investigate the issue of continuity of site use by groups with differing foraging strategies.

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Hearth Features at Knysna Eastern Heads Cave 1, Southern Coast of South Africa. Naomi Cleghorn, Ximena Villagran, Benjamin Schoville, Daniel Peart, Hannah May Keller. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430157)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16832

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