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Changing collecting strategies of the clam Donax serra Röding (Bivalvia: Donacidae) during the Pleistocene at Pinnacle Point, South Africa

AutorJerardino, Antonieta ; Navarro, René A.; Galimberti, Mariagrazia
Palabras claveMiddle Stone Age
Mossel Bay
Sand beaches
Shell midden
Fecha de publicación2014
EditorAcademic Press
CitaciónJournal of Human Evolution 68: 58- 67 (2014)
ResumenSouth Africa's Middle Stone Age (MSA) coastal sites have played a prominent role in documenting early evidence of systematic shellfish collection and adaptation to aquatic environments in the context of anatomically modern humans. Pinnacle Point 13B cave is important among these MSA sites not only because it holds the earliest yet known evidence for human use of marine resources (~162ka [thousands of years ago]), but because shellfish observations have been integrated more fully into discussions of MSA adaptations. This is particularly the case of Donax serra procurement on sandy beaches, where skills that are usually indicative of an aspect of behavioural modernity (in the context of hunting) were apparently used. In this paper, D.serra from 110 to 91ka old assemblages are studied in detail by way of metrical analyses and relevant biological and ecological literature of this species. Existing seasonality studies derived from oxygen isotope analyses on the same molluscs are incorporated into this reconstruction. Shellfish appear to have been collected in winter over many millennia when D.serra are most nutritious due to high gonad content. A dramatic change in collection strategies took place during the same millennia-long period. Earliest systematic collection of D.serra consisted of mostly unselective procurement of animals in terms of shell size along the tidal gradient and beach depth. In later visits, people collected mostly larger individuals by narrowing their collection to the mid-intertidal. This change increased the efficiency of D.serra collection, which reflects a positive adaptive behaviour that endured into Later Stone Age (LSA) times.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.12.012
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.12.012
issn: 0047-2484
e-issn: 1095-8606
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