Recent re-excavation of Mumba Rockshelter unearthed an unbiased lithic sample from Bed V. Technological analysis has permitted a reinterpretation of the so-called Mumba Industry, a transitional industry between Middle and Later Stone Ages originally defined by Mehlman (1989). Our data confirm Mehlman’s observation that the “evolutionary” markers in Mumba Bed V are basically typological. However, our study differs from his in that we classify all of Bed V as LSA based on the combined analyses of typology and technology in our excavated assemblage. From a technological perspective, no changes have been observed throughout the sequence, and continuity is the main technological characteristic of the series. The only transitional marker from Lower through Upper Bed V is the appearance of the geometric crescent in the latter, taking into account that microliths exist throughout the sequence. This evidence casts some doubts on previous interpretations and underscores the need to recover a larger sample using modern excavation techniques. It also stresses the need to define the MSA/LSA transition in better terms, combining techno-typological criteria.
Over the past four decades, several functional hypotheses have been proposed for archaeological ochre. Ochre has been shown to have antiseptic properties and to inhibit the bacterial production of collagenase. These qualities are repeatedly cited to support the hypothesis that red ochre was used to preserve or ‘tan’ animal hides in prehistory. If clothing made from hides was worn by Homo sapiens in Africa, then hide tanning could have formed a part of the trend towards increasingly modern technological and social advances during the Middle to Late Pleistocene. This paper presents the results of an experimental study exploring the efficacy of ochre as a treatment for making unprocessed animal hide resistant to putrification and desiccation. This study shows that certain types of ochre do preserve animal hide. The implications of this technological advance for the emergence of human behavioural modernity in Africa are discussed.
humanbehavior––planning, organizing space into task areas, using symbols, making art, trading goods, engaging in rituals, using a variety of raw materials to make tools, creating items of personal adornment, and hunting a broad range of animals, fish and birds.
Because most of these behaviors
line of reasoning—unless we are very careful to define what we mean by self-consciousness. Human language has existed for at least 40,000 years, and perhaps as long as 130,000 years ago, when evidence of modernhumanbehavior starts to appear. But if humans were speaking to one another for perhaps a
Henshilwood , C. , d’Errico , F. , Vanhaeren , M. , Van Niekerk , K. & Jacobs , Z. 2004 . Middle Stone Age shell beads from South Africa . Science 304 ( 5669 ), 404 - 404 .
Henshilwood , C.S. & Marean , C.W. 2003 . The origin of modernhumanbehavior: critique of the models
as well as other trajectories related to the revolution of modernhumanbehaviour during the MSA and later cultures in East Africa.
However, there is a demanding task to carry out a systematic inquiry into the chronology of gastropod bead cases, because most previous studies and interpretations
does not accept any liability in this regard.
Ambrose , S.H. 2006 . Howiesons Poort lithic raw material procurement patterns and the evolution of modernhumanbehavior: A response to . Journal of Human Evolution 50 ( 3 ), 365 - 369 .
Ambrose , S.H. & Lorenz
Anthropological Theory . New York: Crowell. — (1974). Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches: the Riddles of Culture . New York: Random House. Henshilwood, Christopher S. & Curtis W. Marean (2003). The origin of modernhumanbehaviour: Critique of the models and their test implications. Current Anthropology 44
Proceedings of the Royal Society London B: Biological Sciences
Late Pleistocene demography and the appearance of modernhumanbehavior
position. Although a good deal of human behavior in modern social environments may be non-adaptive or even maladaptive, much modernhumanbehavior still is adaptive. As the social changes over the past 10,000 years have been the result of human action, these changes can reasonably be assumed to re ﬂ ect