THE SOUTHERN COASTAL PLAIN AND MODERN HUMAN BEHAVIOUR: Was the Southern Cape an Incubator of Early Human Development?
By: 
Jerome Reynard
Date: 
Thu, 07/03/2019 - 19:30
Venue: 
The Auditorium, Roedean School, 35 Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, Johannesburg
Branch: 
Northern
Date:         Thursday, 7 March 2019 Time: 19:30
Venue: The auditorium, Roedean School,
35 Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, Johannesburg
Charge:     Non-members: R30, members: free

The environment of the Southern Cape has often been linked to its archaeology with the aim of understanding
modern human behaviour. The southern Cape is influenced by a wide variety of atmospheric and oceanic
circulation systems. The region sits at the junction of tropical, subtropical and temperate climate systems, as
well as the Indian, Atlantic and Southern oceans. The archaeology of this area includes some of the most
significant Middle Stone Age sites such as Klasies River, Blombos Cave, Pinnacle Point and Klipdrift Shelter
that are key to our understanding of early human development. A particularly interesting aspect of this area is
how a drop in sea level would have exposed the Agulhas Bank: a vast shallow continental shelf off the southern
coast. In this talk, Dr Reynard will discuss the palaeoecology of this exposed Southern Coastal Plain and how it
may have influenced the archaeology of some of the significant sites in the area.
Dr Jerome Reynard is a lecturer in osteoarchaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and
Environmental Studies at Wits University. His PhD (Wits) focused on the links between subsistence strategies
and the palaeoenvironment from 80,000 to 60,000 years ago in the southern Cape sites of Blombos Cave and
Klipdrift Shelter. His current research involves the analysis of fauna from the new excavations at Klasies River
and taphonomic experimentation focusing on the effects of trampling in archaeological sites. He leads an NFR-
funded project investigating occupational intensity and environmental change during the Late Pleistocene in the
southern Cape. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals such as PloS ONE and the
Journal of Human Evolution and is the book review editor of the South African Archaeological Bulletin.