Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Early microlithic technologies and behavioural variability in southern Africa and South Asia
Author: Lewis, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 5394 3651
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
Microlith production is a distinctive and significant stone tool technology. However, inter-regional comparative analyses of microlithic industries are rare, and have tended to homogenise these industries by focussing analytical attention on retouched tool typologies alone. This thesis provides the first demonstration and exploration of variability in two of the earliest microlithic industries in the world - the Howiesons Poort of southern Africa and the Late Palaeolithic of South Asia. Analysis of this variation has implications for the long-standing debates concerning modern human behaviour and dispersals. In order to assess variability in underlying technological processes and manufacturing trajectories, detailed attribute analyses were conducted on lithic assemblages. Metric and qualitative variables were recorded on cores, debitage and tools from three southern African Howiesons Poort sites (Rose Cottage Cave and Umhlatuzana, South Africa, and Ntloana Tsoana, Lesotho) and four South Asian Late Palaeolithic sites (Batadomba-lena and Kitulgala Beli-lena, Sri Lanka, and Patne and Jwalapuram 9, India). Analysis of the results reveals variability within sites, over time, and between sites and regions, demonstrating that microlith production is not a homogenous technology. Underlying technological processes are shown to differ more between regions than do retouched tool forms. It is argued that this pattern is more parsimoniously explained by independent innovation of microlithic technology situated within local lithic traditions, rather than by cultural diffusion. Additionally, the exploration of variability in microlithic assemblages highlights the benefits of using a methodological approach to the modern human behaviour debate which focusses on technological variability rather than the presence of particular tool types. It is this behavioural and technological variability that is key to understanding our species.
Supervisor: Petraglia, Michael Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council ; Wenner-Gren Foundation ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Tools ; Prehistoric ; Paleolithic period--Africa ; Southern ; Paleolithic period--South Asia ; Stone implements--Africa ; Southern ; Stone implements--South Asia ; Africa ; Southern--Antiquities ; South Asia--Antiquities