Zooarchaeological Analysis of a Late Pleistocene Interglacial-Glacial Transition at Pinnacle Point Site 5-6, South Africa

Summary

Understanding if and to what extent early anatomically modern humans adapted to dramatic climatic events is essential to human origins research. Pinnacle Point — a complex of cave sites and rockshelters along the southern coast of South Africa — offers a unique opportunity to study human adaptability through time. The long sequence at Pinnacle Point Site 5-6 (PP5-6) spans 164 - 44 thousand years ago and encompasses two Interglacial to Glacial Marine Isotope Stage transitions (Stages 5-4-3). This study analyzes faunal remains dated to the MIS 5-4 transition occurring early in the sequence at PP5-6. The change in climate during this transition caused the Paleolithic coast to retreat, possibly necessitating a change in resource procurement strategies by humans occupying the cave. The extent and nature of this change is examined through surface modifications (i.e., cut marks, percussion marks and notches), extent and location of burned remains, and the species composition of fauna transported to the site. Preliminary results suggest that the frequency of surface modification and burning increased during the transition. This zooarchaeological analysis will add to research on the adaptability of early humans to environmental shifts at Pinnacle Point.

Cite this Record

Zooarchaeological Analysis of a Late Pleistocene Interglacial-Glacial Transition at Pinnacle Point Site 5-6, South Africa. Sarah Simeonoff, Curtis W. Marean, Jamie Hodgkins. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442997)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: 9.58; min lat: -35.461 ; max long: 57.041; max lat: 4.565 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22581