Charting a new course - Preliminary results from the South African Middle Stone Age (MSA) during Marine Isotope Stage 5

Dr. Viola Schmid (Research group Quaternary Archaeology, Austrian Archaeological Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria)

Vortrag auf Einladung des AK Paläolithikum: 

The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 in southern Africa marks a crucial phase in human cultural evolution. Yet, until recently, research has focused on other seemingly more innovative sub-stages of the MSA, the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort technocomplexes, or on specific regions, such as the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces.

In the framework of the current Hertha Firnberg project “Time of essential changes in human history (TECH)”, three sites, Bushman Rock Shelter, Rose Cottage Cave and Sibhudu Cave that are located in different biomes and previously understudied regions, are analysed. Using a wide methodological repertoire, the research aims to draw conclusions about human behaviour during MIS 5, including technology, techno-economy and land use, as well as the occurrence of innovations, group networking and knowledge transfer. Herewith, I will address the first results and fuel the discussion on broader evolutionary perspectives.


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