Dr. Alex Mackay
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012: 4 – 5 PM
Michie Building, Room 325, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Southern Africa has been a focus of research into the evolution of Homo sapiens and in particular to the appearance of those behaviours which distinguish us from other hominins. Southern Africa has become important in this regard due to the large number of deep-sequence, late Pleistocene sites located in the region. In this talk I will discuss the results of recent research into technological change in the Western Cape of South Africa, using data from eight excavated sites. These data demonstrate the recurrence of high frequency and high amplitude changes in technological systems over the last 100 000 years, as well as important spatially-structured technological and occupational variation. This variability has implications for human land use in the Western Cape through the late Pleistocene, for the adaptive capacities of early modern humans in southern Africa, and for the end of the period known as the Middle Stone Age.
The seminar will be followed by an opportunity to examine a transitional Middle – Later Stone Age lithic assemblage from Malawi with Dr. Mackay until 6 pm.