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Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems in Southern Africa for the Identification of Early Modern Human Dispersals.

Will M, Mackay A, Phillips N - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups.Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations.Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, University of Tubingen, Tübingen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Lithic technologies have been used to trace dispersals of early human populations within and beyond Africa. Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups. Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations. Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence. The timing and spatial distribution of their appearance in southern and northern Africa implies technological convergence, rather than diffusion or dispersal. While lithic technologies can be a critical guide to human population flux, their utility in tracing early human dispersals at large spatial and temporal scales with stone artefact types remains questionable.

No MeSH data available.


Overview of the UPK7 surface scatter indicating the distinct spatial patterning of time-sensitive cultural elements.
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pone.0131824.g004: Overview of the UPK7 surface scatter indicating the distinct spatial patterning of time-sensitive cultural elements.

Mentions: UPK7 is a dense scatter of flaked, ground and battered stone artefacts situated ~7 m above the Doring River (Fig 3). The site is actively eroding, with artefacts from multiple palaeosols deflated onto and migrating across the present surface. In spite of this, the site retains spatial structure in many of its time-sensitive elements, with distinct clustering of late Holocene (pottery), early Holocene (naturally backed knives), early Later Stone Age (small blades and platform cores), Still Bay (bifacial points), other MSA (discoidal and Levallois cores; denticulates) and Acheulean (handaxes) markers (Fig 4).


Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems in Southern Africa for the Identification of Early Modern Human Dispersals.

Will M, Mackay A, Phillips N - PLoS ONE (2015)

Overview of the UPK7 surface scatter indicating the distinct spatial patterning of time-sensitive cultural elements.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4488358&req=5

pone.0131824.g004: Overview of the UPK7 surface scatter indicating the distinct spatial patterning of time-sensitive cultural elements.
Mentions: UPK7 is a dense scatter of flaked, ground and battered stone artefacts situated ~7 m above the Doring River (Fig 3). The site is actively eroding, with artefacts from multiple palaeosols deflated onto and migrating across the present surface. In spite of this, the site retains spatial structure in many of its time-sensitive elements, with distinct clustering of late Holocene (pottery), early Holocene (naturally backed knives), early Later Stone Age (small blades and platform cores), Still Bay (bifacial points), other MSA (discoidal and Levallois cores; denticulates) and Acheulean (handaxes) markers (Fig 4).

Bottom Line: Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups.Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations.Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology, University of Tubingen, Tübingen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Lithic technologies have been used to trace dispersals of early human populations within and beyond Africa. Convergence in lithic systems has the potential to confound such interpretations, implying connections between unrelated groups. Due to their reductive nature, stone artefacts are unusually prone to this chance appearance of similar forms in unrelated populations. Here we present data from the South African Middle Stone Age sites Uitpanskraal 7 and Mertenhof suggesting that Nubian core reduction systems associated with Late Pleistocene populations in North Africa and potentially with early human migrations out of Africa in MIS 5 also occur in southern Africa during early MIS 3 and with no clear connection to the North African occurrence. The timing and spatial distribution of their appearance in southern and northern Africa implies technological convergence, rather than diffusion or dispersal. While lithic technologies can be a critical guide to human population flux, their utility in tracing early human dispersals at large spatial and temporal scales with stone artefact types remains questionable.

No MeSH data available.