KLASIES RIVER AS A 120,000-YEAR-OLD ARCHIVE OF HUMAN BEHAVIOUR IN SOUTH AFRICA
Tue, 08/10/2019 - 18:30
SA Astronomical Observatory auditorium
Frequent visits by hunter-gatherer-fisher groups to the southern Cape coastal site, Klasies River main
site, a favoured refuge especially during the Middle Stone Age, led to the build-up of 21 meters of shell
midden deposits that date to between ca. 120 000 and 45 000 years ago, and also to the late Holocene.
This lecture will focus on new evidence that provides further insights into the lifeways, cognition, and
sociality of the Klasies River inhabitants. For example, the implications of cooked starchy roots and tubers
that occur in association with repeatedly used hearths and intentionally heated quartzite blocks, possibly
used for cooking, will be discussed. New analyses of MSA ll stone tools and a bone point from the
Howiesons Poort will also be discussed. Collectively such evidence indicates the dynamic ecological
expertise and ingenuity of Middle Stone Age people.