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Diachronic Change within the Still Bay at Blombos Cave, South Africa

Karen L. van Niekerk, Christopher Henshilwood m.fl.

Topografisk kart over sørlege Afrika med nokre plassar avmerka.
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PLOS ONE

Hovedinnhold

Christopher Henshilwood og Karen L. van Niekerk ved AHKR har saman med Will Archer, Philipp Gunz og Shannon P. McPherron publisert ein open access-artikkel i tidsskriftet PLOS ONE.

Samandrag

Characteristically shaped bifacial points are stone artefacts with which the Middle Stone Age Still Bay techno-complex in Southern Africa is identified. Traditional approaches such as chaîne opératoire and two-dimensional metrics in combination with attribute analyses have been used to analyse variability within Still Bay point assemblages. Here we develop a protocol to extract and analyse high resolution 3-dimensional geometric morphometric information about Still Bay point morphology. We also investigate ways in which the independent variables of time, raw-material and tool size may be driving patterns of shape variation in the Blombos Cave point assemblage. We demonstrate that at a single, stratified Still Bay site points undergo significant modal changes in tool morphology and standardization. Our results caution against (1) treatment of the Still Bay as a static technological entity and (2) drawing demographic inferences stemming from grouping Still Bay point collections within the same cultural label.