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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1944

Title: On a timescale for the past million years of human history in central South Africa
Authors: Beaumont, PB
Vogel, JC
Keywords: Biocultural evolution
Middle stone ages
Acheulean assemblage
Homo rhodesiensis
Major units
Wonderwerk caves - South Africa
Historical sciences
Issue Date: May-2006
Publisher: Academy of Science South Africa (ASSAF)
Citation: Beaumont, PB and Vogel, JC. 2006. On a timescale for the past million years of human history in central South Africa. South African Journal of Science, vol. 102, 6 May, pp 217-228
Abstract: Located between Danidiskuil and Kuruman in the Northern Cape province of South Africa is Wonderwerk Cave, where excavations from 1978 to 1996 revealed a similar to 6-m depth of deposits made up of nine Major Units (MUs), of which some have been dated by radiocarbon, the U-series method and palaeomagnetism. The lithic succession in those sediments was found to be Later Stone Age in MU1 at 1.0-12.5 kyr ago, Middle Stone Age in MU2 at similar at 70 to > 220 kyr ago, Fauresmith in MUs 3-4 at similar to 270-c. 500 kyr ago, and very sparse biface assemblages before then to > 0.78 Myr BR Associated behaviours are represented by collected exotic river pebbles and quartz crystals in MUs 2-4, incised lines on portable stones in MUs 1-4, a grass bedding area in MU4, red pigment pieces in MUs 1-7, and traces of the use of fire in MUs 1-9. These findings, as a whole, are taken to support a scenario that sees the upland savannas at the southern end of Africa as a focal region of biocultural evolution over a period extending back to before the onset of the Middle Pleistocene.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1944
ISSN: 0038-2353
Appears in Collections:Mining and geoscience
General science, engineering & technology

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