Hunting technologies during the howiesons poort at Sibudu Cave: What they reveal about human cognition in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, between ~65 and 62 ka

Marlize Lombard, Lyn Wadley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Encounter hunting, especially of big game, is an activity firmly associated with people who lived in the Middle Stone Age. Most hunting is assumed to have taken place in groups, using spears of varying complexity. Recent data suggest that various meat-acquisition techniques were used, at least within the last 65 ka. Bow-and-arrow sets as well as snares appear to have complemented spear hunting. Many archaeologists have devoted a great deal of time to the study of lithic technologies required for the creation of spearheads and arrow tips. Rarely, however, have the cognitive correlates of Middle Stone Age meat-acquisition technologies been considered. Here we show that the mental concepts behind the meat-acquisition strategies are equally, or perhaps, more important than the technological complexity involved in manufacturing the necessary equipment. Notwithstanding this claim, it is also true that the longer the chain of operations involved in making composite weapons, the more likely it is that complex cognition was a prerequisite.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
PublisherSpringer
Pages273-286
Number of pages14
Edition9789401776011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameVertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology
Number9789401776011
ISSN (Print)1877-9077

Keywords

  • Bow hunting
  • Game snares
  • Human cognition
  • Middle Stone Age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Paleontology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Hunting technologies during the howiesons poort at Sibudu Cave: What they reveal about human cognition in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, between ~65 and 62 ka'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this