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Stoneware community related tools: Study


November 10, 2018, 23:41 IST

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– Rajat Sharma


Washington DC. [USA]Nov 10 (ANI): In a recent study, archaeologists have pointed out that the interaction between distant communities can be better understood by studying the stone tools used.
The tools – especially the blades and knives of the Howiesons Poort – were found in different layers in the Klipdrift shelter in southern Cape of South Africa. They have been examined by a group of Lithuanian experts who have found similarities to the tools on South Africa's Western Africa sites, more than 300 km away, especially the Diepkloof Rock Shelter site.
Dr. Katja Douze, one of the main authors of the study, said: "While there are regional features in the tools on different sites, Klipdrift Shelter's similarities to the Diepkloof Rock Shelter site are amazing." The study was published in PLOS ONE.
The team, led by Professor Christopher Henshilwood, examined thousands of seven-layer excavated stone tools ranging from 66,000 to 59,000 years ago to determine the differences in design of one stone in time. Then they compared the stone tools to other sites in Howiesons Poort.
"The Klipdfrift Shelter site is one of the few that contains a long archaeological sequence that provides data on cultural change over time in Howiesons Poort, which makes it perfect to study the change of culture over time," Douze said.
However, what was even more interesting for researchers was that for the first time it could show close network interaction between remote communities by designing stone tools.
Explaining this, Douze said, "There is an almost perfect match between the tools at Klipdrift and Diepkloof shelters, which shows us that there is a common interaction between these two communities, this is the first time we can draw such a parallel between the different sites based on robust data sets and shows that there was mobility between the two sites. This is unique to the Middle Stone Age.
The Middle Age Stone Age in Africa ranges from 350,000 years ago to 25,000 years ago and is an essential period for understanding the development of Homo sapiens primes, their behavioral changes over time, and their movements in Africa and Africa.
Named after Poort Shelter of Howieson, the archaeological site near Grahamstown in South Africa, Howiesons Poort is a specific technology of the Middle Stone Age that evolves in southern Africa 100,000 years ago in the Diepkloof shelter but between 66 000 and 59,000 years at most Howiesons Poort sites.
Howiesons Poort's features are strongly distinctive to other medium-age industries, as they are characterized by the production of small blades and supported tools, used as hunting fittings as well as for cutting meat, while other MSA industries have flakes, large blades , and punctual productions.
The tools found in the deeper layers of the Klipdrift shelter representing the earlier phases of Howiesons Poort have proven to be made of heat-treated silicon, while those in later phases were made of less homogeneous rocks, such as quartz and quartzite . This change happens with changes in gear production strategies. "Changes in time seem to reflect cultural changes, rather than immediate changes forced on climate change designers," Douze said.
Douze also added: "Our preconceived idea of ​​prehistoric groups is that they were struggling to survive, but in fact they were very adaptable to environmental circumstances. There seems to be a synchronization between changes in design choices and changes the average of the area over time could have led to a very gradual change that led to the end of Howiesons Poort. "
The team also tried to determine why and how Howiesons Poort ended and to see if it appeared suddenly or gradually.
"The decline of Howiesons Poort from Klipdrift Shelter shows a gradual and complex pattern of changes, of which the first" symptoms "can be noticed much earlier than the final abandonment of the typical Howiesons Poort technology and toolkits," Douze said.
He added: "This does not support a catastrophic scenario involving alarming demographic shifts or massive population changes. The fact that a similar pattern of gradual change has been described for at least three other Southern Howiesons Poort sites (Rose Cottage Cave, Diepkloof Rock Shelter and the Klasies River), finds convergent developments in cultural trajectories rather than isolated groups that react quickly to locally determined pressures. "(ANI)

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