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This content will become publicly available on April 16, 2017

Title: Strontium isotope investigation of ungulate movement patterns on the Pleistocene Paleo-Agulhas Plain of the Greater Cape Floristic Region, South Africa

Middle Stone Age sites located within the Greater Cape Floristic Region on the South African southern coast have material culture with early evidence for key modern human behaviors such as projectile weaponry, large animal hunting, and symbolic behavior. In order to interpret how and why these changes evolved, it is necessary to understand their ecological context as it has direct relevance to foraging behavior. During periods of lowered sea level, a largely flat and vast expanse of land existed south of the modern coastline, but it is now submerged by higher sea levels. This exposed area, the Paleo-Agulhas Plain, likely created an ecological context unlike anything in the region today, as evidenced by fossil assemblages dominated by migratory ungulates. One hypothesis is that the Paleo-Agulhas Plain supported a migration ecosystem of large grazers driven by summer rainfall, producing palatable forage during summer in the east, and winter rainfall, producing palatable forage during winter in the west. Furthermore, ungulates may have been moving from the coastal plain in the south to the interior north of the Cape Fold Mountains, as observed for elephants in historic times.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Council for Geoscience, Bellville (South Africa); Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univ., Port Elizabeth (South Africa)
  3. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univ., Port Elizabeth (South Africa); Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Univ. of the Witwatersrand, Wits (South Africa)
  4. Univ. of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)
  5. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univ., Port Elizabeth (South Africa)
  6. Univ. of Cape Town, Cape Town (South Africa)
  7. Univ. of Colorado, Denver, CO (United States)
  8. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Univ., Port Elizabeth (South Africa); Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0277-3791
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Quaternary Science Reviews
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 141; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0277-3791
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States