Holocene Paleoecology and Later Stone Age Hunter-Gatherer Adaptations in the South African Interior Plateau
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Excavations at Blydefontein Rockshelter and Meerkat Rockshelter are used to test models of hunter-gatherer technological organization. Climatic and ecologically driven models that predict differential use of weapons and tool kits among hunter-gatherers were constructed from modern hunter-gatherer studies from throughout the world. Ethnographic, historic and archaeological observations on tools made by still-living Bushmen from the 19th and 20th century were used to predict the specific technological changes that would occur under varying climatic circumstances. Local paleoenvironmental and modern botanic studies are used to predict past hunter-gatherer behavior through the reconstruction of past climates. Tests of these models were conducted with Later Stone Age artifacts from the rockshelter excavations.