5 years ago

Small mammals from Marine Isotope Stage 5 at Klasies River, South Africa–Reconstructing the local palaeoenvironment

Klasies River, a significant Middle Stone Age (MSA) site, preserves remains of anatomically modern humans and a 21 m sequence of human habitation that shows use of sophisticated lithic technology and systematic exploitation of marine and terrestrial resources. In this paper micromammals recovered from the lower MSA sequence (MSA I and MSA II) at Klasies River Main site have been analysed to provide proxy data for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Small mammals recovered from 183 separate layers ensure a detailed record of local climate and vegetation during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5. Taphonomic analyses indicate that avian predators accumulated the micromammals. Analysis of post-depositional processes has provided information on intra-site variability and utilisation. The palaeoenvironmental reconstruction shows changes in rainfall seasonality within MIS 5. There was transient movement towards more aseasonal rainfall and significant alterations in the vegetation composition from MIS 5e to MIS 5a. Our study adds new insights to palaeoenvironmental conditions on the Cape coast during MIS 5.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1040618217300848

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