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Title: Spatial patterning at southern African middle Pleistocene open-air sites : Florisbad, Duinefontein 2/2 and Mwanganda's Village
Author: Henderson, Zoë Lys
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2001
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The three open-air sites which are the focus of this study have been chosen because spatial information is available for the excavated material, and they are not palimpsest accumulations, as is the case with cave sites. Spanning the Middle Pleistocene, they are representatives of a critical period for understanding the development of modern human behaviour. It is probable that archaic H. sapiens left behind the artefacts at Mwanganda's Village, and possibly also at Duinefontein 2/2, while fully modern people were responsible for the remains at Florisbad. All three sites were special activity locations where the carcasses of hunted and scavenged animals were butchered, and consumed. Although some tools were imported "ready-made" for the butchery process, on-site knapping took place to varying degrees at all three sites. Apart from the time range covered by these sites, they also display differences in the nature of the focus of the early humans. Mwanganda's Village is an opportunistically scavenged elephant carcass, while Duinefontein 2/2 and Florisbad demonstrate a more substantial use of a locality, with evidence of planning depth and consistent exploitation of a resource at the latter. The three sites are discussed against a background of some of the range in the social organisation of activities related to hunting and butchering, as has been documented in certain African hunter-gatherer-forager societies today. Changes evident in the use of space at other African sites are examined, and it is suggested that during the Middle Stone Age the organisation of space became more formalised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available