Holocene global warming, and how past foragers coped with it on the west coast of South Africa
By: 
Dr Antonieta Jerardino
Date: 
Tue, 14/09/2021 - 18:30 to 19:30
Branch: 
Western Cape
Title: Holocene global warming, and how past foragers coped with it on the west coast of South Africa
By: Dr Antonieta Jerardino
YouTube Live Event linkhttps://youtu.be/rpTh8qFJ3Sw (please note the old link was https://youtu.be/W4Os98Ley8Q and this video has been trimmed to fix the technical error)

Abstract:
Archaeologists and the general public alike are aware of the effects of climate change or global warming around the globe. While the effects vary among regions and over time, the best known are: increasing levels of CO2, melting of glaciers, drying of land, often involving protracted droughts, extreme variability in tropical weather, and also coastal erosion and higher sea levels. But interestingly, palaeoenvironmental studies have shown that global warming has taken place twice before during the Holocene, namely: during the so-called mid-Holocene Altithermal between 8200 and 4200 cal. BP, and the Medieval Warm Anomaly around 1300–650 cal BP. How were foragers affected by climate change, and how did they cope with the effects brought about by warmer atmospheric temperatures during both of these periods? This is particularly relevant in the more marginal areas of southern Africa, such as the central west coast of South Africa, where precipitation is low. Current research is showing us that coastal foragers in this region were resilient in the face of the hardships imposed by drier and warmer temperatures; however, visits were less frequent during both these periods when compared to before and after them. To a large extent, the choices for situating camps were unique to each of these warm periods. Mobility and the maintenance of long-distance networks was important during the mid-Holocene Altithermal, while repeated ritual slaughter of small carnivores were part of a range of coping mechanisms during the Medieval Warm Anomaly.

Bio:
Antonieta Jerardino graduated with a BSc (major in Biology) from the University of Chile in 1986, and then obtained her PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cape Town. Her doctoral project and later research has centered around the late Holocene archaeology of the central West Coast, involving the sampling and radiocarbon dating of several open shell middens and several field seasons at Steenbokfontein Cave near Lamberts Bay. She also worked in heritage management for Heritage Western Cape (2003 - 2007) and the South African Heritage Resources Agency (2007 - 2009) and more recently at the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies in Barcelona, Spain (2010 - 2015). Currently, she is a free-lance archaeologist and a Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology & Archaeology at University of South Africa.
 
The reconstruction of settlement patterns, mobility and diet in the context of environmental and demographic contexts are some of the core themes in Jerardino's research, along with some more specific and/or specialised fields of archaeomalacology, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and methodological approaches to such studies. More recently, she has also expanded her research into the analysis of Middle Stone Age and terminal Pleistocene marine shell assemblages, and has on occasion collaborated in the fields of palaeontology, the southern African Neolithic transition, and rock art.

YouTube Live Event linkhttps://youtu.be/rpTh8qFJ3Sw (please note the old link was https://youtu.be/W4Os98Ley8Q and this video has been trimmed to fix the technical error)