University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Middle Stone Age surface Archaeology - Reports from the Field: Douglas G. Lovell, Jr.


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Film Description:The identification of the temporal and causal factors in the emergence of modern human behavior is a touchstone issue in paleoanthropology. Recently, attention has been placed on the Southern African Middle Stone Age (MSA; ~250-40k years ago). Sites of this period contain standardized stone implements as well as engraved ochre, engraved ostrich eggshell and shell beads; finds that indicate a level of early cultural complexity bearing markers of modern behavior – symbolic culture, art, and complex technologies. Current research into the MSA in South Africa has heavily centered on rockshelter sites. However, it has been suggested that MSA phases are represented in different geographic settings, with archaeological deposits from certain periods exist in abundance in surface and open air contexts. The Doring River Paleo Landscape Project was launched in the summer of 2014. The project aims to 1) identify and document MSA surface archaeology along the Doring River valley in the eastern Cederberg region of South Africa, and 2) correlate MSA surface archaeology with existing archaeological deposits from nearby rockshelter sites to enable a unified landscape-scale analysis of the MSA archaeology in the region. This presentation gives a preliminary report on the 2014 season.
Video Category:Lecture
Contributor: Sam Lin
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