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Given the apparent chronological association between the Howieson’s Poort (HP; ~65–60 ka)—a sub-stage of the southern African Middle Stone Age (MSA) showing evidence for advanced technology and material culture—and a glacial period, the innovations evidenced in the HP have long been modeled as an adaptation to a particular set of environmental conditions. In this paper, I use faunal data from the HP and post-HP MSA deposits at Sibudu Cave to explore the relationship between environmental and cultural change at the end of the HP. The data indicate that despite the seemingly abrupt shifts in material culture and technology, changes in the local environment and in animal procurement strategies were more gradual in nature, with the most marked changes taking place during the course of the post-HP MSA. These data suggest the need for a greater focus on demographic and/or social explanations for behavioral change during this period.
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- Exploring the Relationship Between Climate Change and the Decline of the Howieson’s Poort at Sibudu Cave (South Africa)
Jamie L. Clark
- Springer Netherlands
- Chapter 2