An international team of archaeologists found evidence of complex symbolic and technical behaviors in Ga-Mohana Hill, Northern Cape Province, South Africa, dating back 105,000 years, the same age when these behaviors occurred on the coast. This discovery challenges our notion that the origin of species is related to the coastal environment.
The archaeological records of Africa provide evidence for the earliest evidence of complex behavior. Homo sapiens.
The coastal environment of many Late Pleistocene sites and the large number of shellfish relics recovered from there lead to a dominant narrative in which the origins of modern humans in southern Africa are linked to coastal and marine resources.
However, in Southern Africa, there are very few Late Pleistocene sites with good preservation and robust age, so the coastal hypothesis has not been tested until now.
“Early Archaeological Evidence Homo sapiens Most of the bacteria have been found in the coastal areas of South Africa, which proves that our origin is related to the coastal environment. “Said Dr. Jayne Wilkins, an archaeologist at the Australian Centre for Human Evolution Studies at Griffith University.
“In southern Africa, there are almost no well-preserved data and archaeological sites that can tell us about Homo sapiens“Originated in coastal areas.”
“A rock drilling yard on Ga-Mohana Mountain sits on a vast savannah in Kalahari. It is such a place.”
Ga-Mohana Hill is located in the southern part of the Kalahari Basin, 12 kilometers northwest of Kuruman, South Africa, and more than 600 kilometers from the nearest modern coastline.
The name Kalahari is derived from the word “quack” in Tswana, which means “thirst.” However, the ancient evidence of abundant water in the landscape can be clearly seen from the obvious tuff formations.
Dr. Jessica von der Meden said: “The water we record in the rock not only matches the archaeological record, but it also provides a vital resource for people living in Ga-Mohana. Evidence.” Candidate of the Institute of Human Evolution and the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Cape Town.
“This is a story about water. What we now call a dry landscape is a group of people who adapt to the environment. They not only use these landscapes to survive, but they can also thrive,” Dr. Robyn Pickering, Director of the Human Evolution Institute (HERI) Say. At the University of Cape Town.
Dr. Wilkins and his colleagues discovered three areas of Ga-Mohana Hill North Rockshelter, which is the largest of the two main shelters, and there are also several small overhangs in the siliceous Gamohaan group.
They unearthed 22 kinds of white calcite crystals and ostrich eggshell fragments from sediments 105,000 years ago, which are considered to be water containers.
Dr. Wilkins said: “Our analysis shows that the crystals were not introduced into the deposit through natural processes, but were intentionally collected objects that may be related to spiritual beliefs and rituals.”
“The crystal points to the spiritual or cultural use of the sanctuary 105,000 years ago. This is remarkable considering that the site is still used for ritual activities today.” Archaeologist Dr. Sechaba Maape from the University of Witwatersrand added .
The team used luminescence dating to determine the age of Ga-Mohana North Rockshelter.
Dr. Michael Meyer, a researcher at the Department of Geology at the University of Innsbruck, said: “This technology can measure the natural light signal accumulated in sedimentary quartz and feldspar particles over time.”
“You can think of each grain as a miniature clock from which we can read natural light or luminous signals to understand the age of the archaeological deposits.”
The researchers were pleased to discover that the combination of human-collected crystals and ostrich eggshell fragments on Ga-Mohana Hill was significantly older than the combination reported in other indoor environments.
Dr. Wilkins said: “In coastal areas, the earliest evidence of this behavior can be traced back to about 105,000 years ago.”
“This shows that the early humans in the Kalahari were no less innovative than humans in the coastal areas.”
The research is described in a paper in the journal natural.
Wilkins Wait.Innovative Homo sapiens Behavior in the humid state of Kalahari 105,000 years ago. natural, Released online on March 31, 2021; doi: 10.1038 / s41586-021-03419-0