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date: 28 May 2020

Sibudan

Summary and Keywords

The Sibudan is a technocomplex within the cultural stratigraphy of the southern African Middle Stone Age (MSA), first formulated in 2012. The term was introduced as a working concept to organize the spatio-temporal variability in material culture among the archaeological record following the Howiesons Poort during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3; ~59–24 ka). In contrast to the more widely used name “post-Howiesons Poort” (“post-HP”)—an umbrella term resting primarily upon temporal aspects—the Sibudan possesses a formal definition based on characteristic elements of its lithic technology. The site of Sibudu, located in the eastern part of southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), serves as type locality since it has yielded a rich and high-resolution record of modern human occupations during MIS 3.

The Sibudan type sequence at Sibudu, dated to ~58 ka and encompassing twenty-three layers, features both characteristic traits and diachronic variability. The consistent techno-typological elements include predominantly local raw material procurement, concomitant use of multiple core reduction methods (Levallois, discoid, platform, and bipolar), manufacture of flake and blade assemblages, as well as soft stone hammer percussion for blades. Temporal variability exists in the proportions and morphologies of tools and unifacial points in particular—including Tongati, Ndwedwe, and asymmetric convergent tools—the presence of bifacial points, as well as the frequency of blank types and different core reduction methods.

Comparative studies since 2014 suggest a spatio-temporal extension of the Sibudan in the eastern part of southern Africa during early MIS 3 (~58–50 ka), with marked differences to assemblages of similar ages along the southern coast and Western Cape. The concept is thus not a direct substitute or congruent with the “post-HP” and “Sibudu technocomplex.” On a more interpretive level, the Sibudan has featured in discussions on the trajectory of cultural evolution among early modern humans, the scale and mechanisms of behavioral change during the MSA, and theoretical debate on the relevance of technocomplexes.

Keywords: Middle Stone Age, South Africa, archaeological technocomplex, Sibudu, nomenclature, stone tools, Marine Isotope Stage 3

Introduction to the Sibudan: A technocomplex of the Middle Stone Age in Southern Africa

The Sibudan technocomplex was introduced to the archaeological literature in 2012 as a spatio-temporal unit within the cultural stratigraphy of the Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa in order to characterize the period following the Howiesons Poort (HP) at the site of Sibudu and the wider region.1 This article presents the history and definition of the Sibudan, as well as a discussion of its spatio-temporal extension and place in the broader archaeological context of human evolution in southern Africa.

The MSA of Africa is an archaeological period dating to roughly 300,000–30,000 years before present (300–30 ka). The period plays a crucial role in studies of the cultural evolution of Homo sapiens as it encompasses the origin, early evolution, and subsequent demographic expansion of our species.2 The MSA archaeological record represents the longest and oldest cultural archive of Homo sapiens, making it crucial for characterizing the nature and variability of early human behavior. Due to a long research history and a wealth of excavated sites, the MSA of southern Africa—south of the Zambezi and Kunene rivers—plays a central role in research on the cultural evolution of modern humans.3

Bringing order to the complex temporal, spatial, and formal variability of recovered material remains has been one of the main challenges for archaeology as a scientific discipline since its inception, and the MSA of southern Africa is no exception. To this end, Africanist archaeologists have devised classificatory schemes or taxonomies for the chronological (and geographical) succession of different periods, stages, industrial complexes, industries, and phases, originating in the paradigm of culture-historical archaeology.4 Subdivisions within the period of the MSA are variously called cultures, phases, industries, industrial complexes, or technocomplexes. The latter term is preferred here in order to avoid misleading connotations of direct ethnic or cultural attributions, which are unwarranted. For the southern African MSA, early classifications were, to a large extent, based on typology—the occurrence of certain types of retouched stone tools (type fossils or fossiles directeurs)—but since the late 20th and early 21st century more attention has been paid to technological aspects among lithic assemblages, such as Levallois reduction or blade manufacture.5 The most influential supra-regional cultural stratigraphic schemes include those of Goodwin and van Riet Lowe, Clark, Sampson, Singer and Wymer, Volman, Wurz, and Lombard et al.6 The Late Pleistocene archaeology from Marine Isotope stages (MIS) 5–3 in particular, with its increasing number of sites and higher artifact density, hosts numerous successive technocomplexes that are mostly separated in time and sometimes in space. A summary of available schemes from the early 21st century (Figure 1) shows that the southern African MSA encompasses the following units from older to younger: Early MSA (also MSA 1), Klasies River (also MSA 2a or MSA I), Mossel Bay (also MSA 2b or MSA II), “pre-SB,” SB, HP, “post-HP” (also MSA 3 or MSA III), “later MSA” and “final MSA” (also MSA IV). It is for the later part of this cultural stratigraphy during MIS 3 (ca. 58–24 ka), and the informally named “post-HP” in particular, that the Sibudan as a newly inserted technocomplex has come into play since 2012.

Sibudan

Figure 1. Different cultural stratigraphic schemes proposed for the succession of technocomplexes within the southern African MSA.

Credit: © Manuel Will.

Note. Informal designations in dashed boxes, formal names in solid boxes. Note that Singer and Wymer focused on the site of Klasies River only, and chronometric ages were mostly absent (for potential relative dates available at the time and used here see Ronald Singer and John Wymer, The Middle Stone Age at Klasies River Mouth in South Africa (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), table 15.1); Thomas P. Volman, The Middle Stone Age in the Southern Cape (PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 1981) and “Early Prehistory of Southern Africa,” in Southern Africa Prehistory and Paleoenvironments, ed. R. G. Klein (Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 1984), 169–220, also primarily correlated individual technocomplex with MIS stages as absolute ages were absent. The analyses of Jacobs, Zenobia, et al. (2008). Ages for the Middle Stone Age of southern Africa: implications for human behavior and dispersal. Science, 322(5902), 733–735, do not feature age estimates or assessments of the MSA prior to the “pre-SB.”

Research History: Archaeology of MIS 3 and the Importance of Names

In order to fully describe the concept of the Sibudan, a short excursion into the research history of the MSA in (southern) Africa since the late 20th century is crucial. With an increased recognition of an African origin of modern humans during the 1990s came a concomitant interest in the archaeology of the MSA to understand the cultural evolution of our species.7 Since the 2000s, a particularly strong research focus has been on two technocomplexes within the MSA of southern Africa during MIS 4, the HP and Still Bay (SB; Figure 1). These units yielded elements of material culture with unexpectedly early dates that had only been associated with the Upper Paleolithic of Europe before, including ornaments, bone tools, pigment use, abstract depictions, microlithic technology, and heat treatment.8 In addition, both technocomplexes supposedly featured homogeneous stone tools within short periods of time, allowing their use as marker horizons within the MSA: the SB dating to ~77–72 ka characterized by finely shaped, bifacially worked foliate or lanceolate points, with the HP following after a short hiatus (65–59 ka) and marked by various geometric forms of backed tools and laminar technology.9 Moreover, researchers remarked upon the lack of such uniform lithic technologies and advanced material culture before and—probably more surprisingly—after these technocomplexes. This led some scholars to formulate a discontinuous model for the early cultural evolution of Homo sapiens in the southern African MSA, in which complex material culture appears and disappears abruptly, with peaks of behavioral sophistication in the SB and HP.10

In turn, the younger stages of the MSA following the SB and HP have been seen as technologically simple, unsophisticated, and less innovative, encapsulated by the term “post-HP” (or MSA 3/MSA III; Figure 1). This term includes all lithic assemblages that directly succeed the HP and fall within early MIS 3 (~59–40 ka). They are largely characterized by the absence of bifacial points and backed pieces, elaborate lithic technology and material culture, and a high degree of spatial and temporal variability in stone tools. The only unifying feature often cited is the frequent presence of unifacial points.11 The label “post-HP” is informal and acts as a catch-all category based primarily on temporal aspects.12 The comparative lack of research for the periods following the HP might be one explanation that leads to this perception. As a result, in 2008 the archaeology of MIS 3 in southern Africa still lacked both a systematic treatment of its geographical and temporal variability and a consistent culture-stratigraphic structure.13

The pronounced research bias toward the SB and HP, coupled with an understudied MIS 3 record and an equally underdeveloped nomenclature (“post-HP”), marked the starting point of the Sibudan concept. In their first use, Conard, Porraz, and Wadley emphasize that cultural taxonomies should be based on positive elements of the units under consideration instead of negative characteristics.14 This, however, had been the case for the “post-HP,” which was predominantly characterized by missing things. The authors also point toward the importance of names, as they play an integral part in shaping our view and narratives of the past. An informal term such as “post-HP” devalues close to 20,000 years of prehistory and human evolution in this region, with meaning not deriving from itself but only in opposition to a preceding time period.15 This would be similar to calling the early Bronze Age the “post-Neolithic.” Conard, Porraz, Wadley, and others, have also noted that the “informal” or “conventional” MSA character attributed to assemblages following the HP derived from the fact that they were often poorly studied and published.16 From a behavioral point of view, there is also evidence in “post-HP” assemblages for worked bone, compound adhesives, bedding constructions, potential engravings of ochre, and other elements of complex material culture, casting doubt on statements of a regression in behavioral sophistication during MIS 3.17

This background culminated in the first formal definition of the “Sibudan” or “Sibudan assemblage type” by Conard, Porraz, and Wadley as a new subunit of the MSA during MIS 3 for structuring the cultural sequence after the HP.18 The term also acted as a replacement for the informal term of “post-HP” at the site of Sibudu itself. The first formulation was focused on retouched stone tools—and a techno-functional study of unifacial points in particular—but took into account some technological characteristics as well. It is worth pointing out that the original definition of the Sibudan includes both principal excavators of the archaeological site (L. Wadley and N. Conard). Their formal definition and naming of the Sibudan was conceived of as an open process amenable to changes through time, and intended to provide a baseline for further comparative research. After the initial publication in 2012, this line of action was pursued by full assemblage studies of the entire Sibudan sequence at Sibudu, and by comparative research to test its spatio-temporal extension within southern Africa.19

The Eponymous Site of Sibudu

As has been common practice in Paleolithic archaeology since the 19th century, the Sibudan derives its name from the type locality of Sibudu, analogous to better-known units such as the Aurignacian, which takes its name from the site of Aurignac. The full name of the site, Sibudu Cave, is misleading as the locality constitutes a very large rockshelter. This rockshelter is situated overlooking the uThongathi River in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, about 40 km north of Durban and 15 km from the Indian Ocean (Figures 2 and 3). Already in 1983, Aron Mazel dug initial tests pits at the site. After fifteen years without archaeological research, Lyn Wadley from the University of Witwatersrand directed twenty-five field seasons at Sibudu from 1998 to 2011. On Wadley’s invitation, the archaeological work at Sibudu has been continued by a team from the University of Tübingen under N. Conard’s direction since 2011. In terms of its archaeological content, the site features Iron Age deposits directly overlying MSA artifacts. Wadley’s team excavated the MSA deposits over an area of 21 m² to up to three meters. This sequence, dating between <77–38 ka, includes Wadley’s designation of pre-SB, SB, HP, “post-HP,” late MSA, and final MSA strata.20 The Conard excavations have focused on re-excavating the upper portion of the site beginning at the top of the “post-HP,” as well as starting to uncover deposits below where Wadley stopped in 2011.

Sibudan

Figure 2. Map showing the location of Sibudu (red rectangle), as well as other sites dating to MIS 3 in southern Africa.

Credit: © Manuel Will, Christian Sommer.

Note. Different symbols indicate the (preliminary) attribution to the “Sibudan” (rectangle) and the “Sibudu technocomplex” (rectangle plus circle; Marlize Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 67 (2012): 123–144). Note the much larger geographical distribution of the “Sibudu technocomplex.”

Sibudu is one of the key archaeological sites in southern Africa and the whole continent for studying the cultural evolution of Homo sapiens, reflected by its serial nomination for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage status. Within its thick and unusually high-resolution archaeological sequence, the site features excellent organic preservation and very high densities of archaeological remains, including, among others, stone artifacts, faunal and botanical remains, ochre, and organic tools. Up until 2019, over eighty scholarly articles have been published on Sibudu by multidisciplinary research teams.21 Among the most famous findings are early shell beads and bone tools, compound adhesives for projectile weapons, and the oldest evidence for bedding made from plants worldwide.22

Sibudan

Figure 3. Stratigraphy and overview on Sibudu.

Credit: © Manuel Will, Viola Schmid, Mohsen Zeidi, Magnus Haaland.

Note. Left: Composite stratigraphy of Sibudu with indication of chronometric ages (after Zenobia Jacobs et al., “New Ages for the Post-Howiesons Poort, Late and Final Middle Stone Age at Sibudu, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 35, no. 7 (2008): 1790–1807; L. Wadley and Z. Jacobs, “Sibudu Cave: Background to the Excavations, Stratigraphy and Dating,” Southern African Humanities 18, no. 1 (2006): 1–26) and cultural attributions. Top right: Stratigraphic section (combined north and east profile) with all Sibudan layers (Reddish Brown--Brown Speckled) indicated in color. Bottom right: Panoramic view on the excavations at Sibudu from within the rockshelter.

Sibudu preserves a long and complex stratigraphy that comprises over fifty distinct MSA find horizons.23 Of interest here, the “post-HP”—what was later called the Sibudan—lies below the “late MSA” and on top of the HP, and is one of the thickest and richest deposits for this period in southern Africa. The depositional sequence of 1.2 m thickness includes a succession of twenty-three finely laminated find horizons or archaeological layers which are often centimeter thin and almost entirely of anthropogenic origin (Figure 3).24 This sequence has an extraordinarily high temporal resolution for the Stone Age, with occupations at the base, middle, and top of the deposits dated indistinguishably to ∼58 ka by optically stimulated luminescence (weighted mean age of ∼58.4 ± 1.4 ka; Table 1). Adding the fine lamination of the deposits and the high density of archeological materials to the chronometric data, these observations attest to multiple intense and repeated occupations by MSA hunter-gatherers over the course of only a couple of centuries or few millennia at most.25

Table 1. Overview of the Sibudan Sequence from Sibudu Deriving from the University of Tübingen Excavations

Layers

Number of Layers

Number of Lithic Artifacts >30 mm

Informal Designation

Primary Publications

Chronometric Agesa (layer in brackets)

BM–BSP

6

2,651

“Upper” or “Classic” Sibudan

Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, , “What is in a Name?”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene”

57.6 +/- 2.1 (BSP); 59.6 +/- 2.3 (SS)

SU–POX

3

4,077

“Upper Middle” Sibudan

Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”

59.0 +/- 2.2 (POX)

SP–WOG1

2

1,073

“Lower Middle” Sibudan

Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”

RB–G1

12

3,466

“Lower” Sibudan

Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability”

58.3 +/- 2.0 (CH2); 58.6 +/- 2.1 (Y1); 58.2 +/- 2.4 (BGMIX)

Note. First mentioned layers designate the bottom of the subdivisions.

(a) Absolute ages are from optically stimulated luminescence dating (in ka) and taken from Zenobia Jacobs et al., “New Ages for the Post-Howiesons Poort, Late and Final Middle Stone Age at Sibudu, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 35, no. 7 (2008): 1790–1807, during Wadley’s excavations.

The Sibudan was initially defined on six stratigraphic layers from the uppermost part of the “post-HP” excavated by Conard’s fieldwork over a surface of 6 m² in 2011 and 2012 (see Table 1).26 As excavations progressed, the definition was expanded to include an additional seventeen layers.27 In total, the Sibudan sequence encompasses 5 m³ sediments, ~200,000 stone tools with very high densities (5,000–90,000 n/m³ lithics), frequent ochre, charcoal, and bone, and some bone tools. The richness of and diversity within the material culture—stone tools in particular—coupled with the high-resolution stratigraphy, numerous absolute chronometric dates, multi-proxy environmental and contextual data, and lithic assemblages studied in a systematic and quantitative manner renders Sibudu an ideal case as a type locality for the Sibudan technocomplex, directly following the recommendations for the formal definition of cultural-stratigraphic units by the Burg Wartenstein conference.28

Techno-Typological Definition of the Sibudan

The Sibudan has been defined based on technological and typological characteristics of its stone tools (>30 mm) at the type site of Sibudu. As the formulation of the technocomplex has been a process, the definition has seen extensions over the initial formulation in 2012.29 Summarizing this literature, the Sibudan sequence at Sibudu is characterized by both consistent features and diachronic variability, leading to the subdivision of informal phases (or facies) at the site within the same cultural-taxonomic unit. Based on a reading of the entire stratigraphy the Sibudan technocomplex was divided into four phases (“Upper/Classic,” “Upper Middle,” “Lower Middle” and “Lower” Sibudan), reflecting the techno-typological variability encountered within the high-resolution sequence (Table 1).30 These behavioral changes throughout the sequence are gradual, incremental, and often cumulative in nature, without showing any significant breaks or an overall discontinuous pattern, similar to, for example, the alternation of various Mousterian industries in Western Europe.31 Such a continuous pattern in multiple independent traits likely reflects intergenerational transmission of information.32 The four phases within the Sibudan are thus conceived of as arbitrary, though meaningful, subdivisions within a continuous range of variation. This variability within the Sibudan is to be expected on such a fine scale, since the technology of hunter-gatherer groups is influenced by many ecological, social, and functional parameters that can change within short periods of time at the same locality.33 The Sibudan technocomplex was thus designed to include both characteristic and unifying elements, but also to recognize its internal diversity. In the following, the characteristics uniting all Sibudan assemblages will be described, followed by the additional features for each of the subdivisions in order to capture the extent of diachronic variability.

The following elements unite all (or most) assemblages classified as Sibudan at Sibudu. Raw material procurement is predominantly local, with the use of various rock types of different granularity and knapping qualities (dolerite, hornfels, quartzite, sandstone, quartz). Knappers used multiple reduction methods alongside each other within each assemblage, encompassing Levallois, discoid, platform, and bipolar methods (Figure 4). The frequency of each method varies markedly throughout the sequence. In terms of blank production, (convergent) flake and blade assemblages characterize the Sibudan. There is a marked dichotomy in the knapping technique to manufacture blank types: flakes and convergent flakes are predominantly produced by internal hard stone hammer percussion, whereas blades are knapped with soft stone hammers (i.e., sandstone).

Sibudan

Figure 4. Core reduction methods within the Sibudan at Sibudu.

Credit: © Compilation by Manuel Will; drawings by Frank Brodbeck, Laura Brandt, Achim Frey, and Mojdeh Lajmiri.

Note: 1–3: Levallois, various modalities; 4–6: discoid; 7–9: platform laminar; 10 and 11: bipolar.

The “Upper” or “Classic” Sibudan constitutes the uppermost phase of the technocomplex and includes its original definition based on six archaeological layers (the Sibudu assemblage type).34 In addition to elements that unite the assemblages, the uppermost Sibudan layers are characterized by a consistently high proportion of unifacial points (38–54 percent) and retouched pieces in general (17–27 percent), frequent use of non-local fine-grained hornfels (>20 percent), relatively high abundance of blades (11–20 percent), and platform cores for blade production. They also feature the occurrence of four techno-functional tool classes in high proportions (Tongati tool, Ndwedwe tool, asymmetric convergent tool (ACT), naturally backed tool), making up over two thirds of all modified pieces. Tongatis and Ndwedwes are particularly frequent in the “Classic” Sibudan—making up over more than half of all retouched pieces—and constitute a hallmark of these assemblages.

The newly established tool classes are based on a techno-functional analysis of retouched pieces coupled with an emphasis on the reduction and transformation of tool types.35 These analyses study the technological approach of knappers toward producing, using, and recycling tools by investigating how people modified different parts of their blanks, as well as used and resharpened the cutting edges throughout their life cycles. In particular, these studies subdivided the frequent and morphologically diverse unifacial points in the sequence, whose structural and metric differences are otherwise subsumed under the very broad definition of unifacial points used in the MSA of South Africa.36 As a result, three subclasses within the abundant “unifacial point” category were established in the Sibudan: Tongatis, Ndwedwes, and ACTs. Their definition and distribution was integral to developing the “Classic” Sibudan—although they do not serve as type fossils in isolation—and will thus be described subsequently. Tongati tools (named after the uThongathi River) have short triangular distal ends as hallmarks, which are usually retouched in a symmetric manner on both working edges. Tongatis are continuously reduced from the distal to the proximal end—becoming shorter with increasing amounts of retouch—but they always retain their convergent distal tip (Figure 5). ACTs resemble Tongatis in their reduction, but the distal tip is always asymmetrical. Most specimens have steeper, retouched edges opposed to a sharp non-modified edge (Figure 5). “Ndwedwe” tools—named after the municipal district where Sibudu is located—comprise elongated and thick retouched forms with parallel modifications along the lateral edges (Figure 5). They are characterized by steep and invasive lateral retouch that usually covers the length of both sides of the piece. Ndwedwe tools begin with relatively broad forms, retaining their length over the course of reduction but becoming narrower due to increasing retouch.37

Sibudan

Figure 5. The main techno-functional tool classes within the Sibudan at Sibudu.

Credit: © Compilation by Manuel Will; drawings by Frank Brodbeck, Guillaume Porraz, Laura Brandt, and Mojdeh Lajmiri.

Note. 1st–3rd rows: Tongati tools; 4th row: Ndwedwe tools; 5th row: ACT.

The “Upper Middle” Sibudan directly below the “Classic” Sibudan encompasses three archaeological layers.38 The supplemental features of this phase encompass a strong focus on the use of local dolerite, high abundance of discoid reduction, tool assemblages featuring both frequent unifacial points (42 percent) but also notches and denticulates (~5 percent), much lower tool frequencies (3–6 percent), and the highest lithic find densities among the sequence. The assemblages exhibit all techno-functional tool classes, including the first appearance of frequent Tongatis, Ndwedwes, and ACTs (total proportion ~30–50 percent), which increase from bottom to top but remain less abundant compared to the “Classic” Sibudan. The ensuing “Lower Middle” Sibudan includes two archaeological layers, and features the most frequent use of Levallois reduction in the sequence, frequent notches, and denticulates (22–56 percent), rare unifacial points (n=1), an absence of ACTs, Tongatis, and Ndwedwes, and the overall lowest proportions of retouched pieces (~1 percent).39

The “Lower” Sibudan constitutes the lowermost unit of the Sibudan directly on top of the HP (layer Grey Rocky) and was the last to be defined.40 This phase encompasses a total of twelve layers and shows as additional features high proportions of sandstone and quartz use, frequent bipolar and informal core reduction strategies, predominantly marginal retouch, and the lowest proportion of blades (mean: 4 percent) and lithic densities among the sequence. The presence of small, invasively shaped bifacial points (n = 14; Figure 6), mostly on quartz, from a total of four layers, and the absence of unifacial points and all four techno-functional tool classes in many layers, are further characteristics of this facies. The occurrence of bifacial points is of particular notice, as they also appear in the HP below, but have never before been described for early MIS 3 assemblages in the MSA of southern Africa.41

While not integral to the definition of the Sibudan, the type assemblages also provide information on non-lithic technologies, subsistence, and site use patterns. The Sibudan sequence has provided various types of bone tools (own data), frequent use of ochre with potential engravings, the manufacture of compound adhesives, and bedding constructions made from sedges.42 Inhabitants of Sibudu during the Sibudan were capable hunters, using hafted weapons to prey upon various bovids, often of large size, including dangerous game (i.e., wild suids, buffalo).43 In terms of site use, high densities of lithic remains with complete reduction sequences, abundant traces of transported and butchered animals of various sizes, and frequent evidence of stacked hearths and other forms of site use and maintenance creating domestic space within a thick and finely laminated sequence accumulating over short time spans suggest the repeated and intense use of Sibudu as a residential site, likely as a focal point of human occupations for the entire region.44

Sibudan

Figure 6. Small bifacial points from the lower Sibudan layers at Sibudu.

Credit: © Compilation by Manuel Will; drawings by Heike Würschem, photographs by Manuel Will.

Note. Drawings and pictures of the small bifacial points from the lower Sibudan layers at Sibudu (all quartz) with indication of find number and layer.

A focus of research on the Sibudan and its typo-technological characteristics has also been on explaining the variability of traits throughout the sequence, with the fine-grained resolution revealing an exceptional case of short-term cultural variability during the MSA.45 Analyses on the drivers of behavioral change have benefited from the excellent organic preservation at the site, allowing for cross-evaluation of lithic, paleoenvironmental, and zooarchaeological data. Results of this research did not find simple covariations among environmental, subsistence, and behavioral data, suggesting that changes in climate or hunting technologies were not the main drivers of change in stone tool technology within the middle and upper parts of the Sibudan sequence.46 The only exception is a marked change of environmental indicators and hunting strategies below and above Grey 1 (equivalent to the transition of “Lower” to “Lower Middle” Sibudan used here) corresponding with some gradual—though not abrupt—variation in lithic technology.47 Yet changes in technological organization (e.g., influences of raw material properties, reduction intensities) as well as patterns of mobility and site use appear to be more important drivers of techno-typological variability. In addition, the mostly cumulative and gradual changes among learned technological behaviors over short time spans—such as in the quantitative distribution of techno-functional tool classes—suggest social dynamics played an influential role, with various pathways of continuous cultural transmission within connected populations living in the region.48

Demarcation of the Sibudan against the “Post-HP” and “Sibudu Technocomplex”

As a newly defined taxonomic unit of the southern African MSA, the Sibudan has to be demarcated against other terms that have previously been proposed as part of the cultural stratigraphic nomenclature.49 This is crucial in order to clarify various concepts, illustrate differences among them, avoid confusion in terminology, and ultimately to evaluate the usefulness and applicability of the different names.

The “post-HP” (or MSA 3/MSA III) encompasses all lithic assemblages that succeed the HP and fall within the earlier part of MIS 3 (~59–40 ka), regardless of their typo-technological characteristics. As a result, these assemblages encompass a high degree of spatial and temporal variability in stone tools with the single unifying feature supposedly being the presence of unifacial points. At the same point, bifacial points and backed pieces of the preceding HP and SB are said to be lacking. The “post-HP” constitutes an umbrella term or catch-all category that bundles together dozens of sites primarily by their chronological position (following the HP but preceding the LSA) and the lack of certain features, which can be characterized as a “top-down” approach.50 No formal definition was previously provided for the “post-HP,” and this applies likewise to the terms MSA 3/MSA III.51 A critical stocktaking shows that these terms as in use fail to meet the requirements for cultural-stratigraphic units.52 In contrast, the Sibudan was initially based on one site and includes a formal definition of its typo-technological contents at the type locality. The technocomplex was initially conceived within a “bottom-up” approach, with ongoing comparative research intended to reveal the temporal and spatial extension of this unit (see “The Sibudan as Part of MIS 3 in the MSA of Southern Africa”). The Sibudan technocomplex is thus not a simple substitution of the “post-HP” (or MSA 3/III) but rests on a fundamentally different conceptual and empirical basis.

Following comparable reasons to the formulation of the Sibudan, Lombard et al. proposed the “Sibudu technocomplex” or simply “Sibudu.”53 This approach was independent from the Sibudan definition published in the same year. The “Sibudu technocomplex” sensu Lombard et al. includes both the informally named “post-HP” (~58 ka) and “final MSA” (~48 ka) sequences from Sibudu and is thus more broadly constructed both in time and artifact content (Figure 1).54 The stone tools of this unit are characterized by convergent flakes and frequent unifacial points mostly made using Levallois methods, including elongated “Sibudu points” with facetted platforms as type fossil. Side scrapers are also present as well as rare bifacially retouched points and backed pieces.55 Lombard et al. include a total of ten sites in the “Sibudu technocomplex” with similar ages of ~60–45 ka, such as Diepkloof, Border Cave, Klasies River, Ntloana Tsoana—thus a wide geographical range covering most of southern Africa and Lesotho (Figure 2).56 In essence, the “Sibudu technocomplex” is meant as a replacement of the informal terms “post-HP” and “late MSA,” mostly retaining their previous coarse-grained definition. The concept differs in methodology and formal content from the more restrictive Sibudan. Since not all assemblages included in the “Sibudu technocomplex” are well published, actual similarities of techno-typological traits between sites of this unit are difficult to evaluate. Archaeologists at Diepkloof rejected an inclusion of the assemblages to the “Sibudu technocomplex” as being premature.57 The use of the “Sibudu point” as type fossil poses further challenges, as unifacial points at Sibudu (and other sites) encompass an enormous range of morphological and metric variability.58 In comparison with the Sibudan, the definition by Lombard et al. includes only few and mostly typological features—with many technological elements missing—and thus remains on a coarse scale.59 As some of the assemblages described as “Sibudan” here (particularly the Lower and Middle Sibudan) do not fit the definition of the “Sibudu technocomplex,” its use as a consistent and systematic cultural-stratigraphic unit remain problematic.60

The Sibudan as Part of MIS 3 in the MSA of Southern Africa

In order to function as a workable concept within the cultural-stratigraphic nomenclature of the southern African MSA, any defined technocomplex requires detailed comparative analyses with other sites to evaluate its geographical and chronological extent. The final step in the formulation of the Sibudan was thus to test its spatio-temporal extension within southern Africa, which is still an ongoing process.61 At least as important, the concept of the Sibudan was intended to serve as a heuristic device to assess research questions such as the pattern of behavioral variability and cultural complexity during MIS 3 and after the HP within the MSA of southern Africa, and should thus also be judged by its usefulness along these lines of inquiry (see “The Bigger Picture: The Sibudan and the Early Cultural Evolution of Homo Sapiens”).62

As technocomplexes are ultimately intended to bundle similarities in artifacts that result from a shared system of socially transmitted information, assemblages that are close in space and time to the type locality—and in extension similar in ecology and rock types—constitute the most promising start for comparative analyses.63 Within the summer rainfall zone (SRZ) of southern Africa, the eastern part of the country and KwaZulu-Natal in particular, previous comparisons of the Sibudan sequence to sites excavated by the same team and studied with the same methods have revealed both similarities and differences. At Holley Shelter, a site only 40 km west of Sibudu, the middle part of the sequence (Inches 12–30) has yielded assemblages that resemble the Sibudan most closely of any studied sites so far.64 These deposits show comparable raw material preference for local rocks (here hornfels), similarities in core reduction by multiple methods including frequent laminar platform variants but also Levallois and bipolar reduction, the production of blades with soft stone hammers, a high number of modified pieces, and abundant unifacial points featuring frequent Ndwedwes, as well as rarer Tongatis and ACTs. Although there are differences to the Sibudan—particularly a high frequency of splintered pieces—many aspects can be attributed to different raw material use. Absolute chronological ages are lacking for Holley Shelter, but an early MIS 3 age is most likely based on detailed comparative analyses.65 In contrast to these archaeological deposits, the top of the Holley Shelter sequence and lithic assemblages at Umbelli belli dating to late MIS 3 (~35–30 ka; ~100 km distant from Sibudu) feature markedly different techno-typological characteristics, suggesting that the lower age boundary of the Sibudan in this region lies beyond 40 ka.66

Based on ongoing comparisons with published sites, further similarities of the Sibudan to the nearby “late MSA” assemblages at Umhlatuzana (~44–40 ka, though potentially older) and uppermost “post-HP” of Border Cave (~60–58 ka) exist, as well as to the further removed early “post-HP” assemblages from Rose Cottage Cave at ~57–50 ka and Ntloana Tsoana in Lesotho (~56 ka).67 These sites share several techno-typological similarities with the Sibudan, including local raw material selection, the (frequent) occurrence of unifacial points featuring pieces comparable to Tongatis and Ndwedwes, the use of various core reduction methods, the manufacture of flake and blade assemblages, some comparable knapping techniques (soft stone hammer percussion of blades), and high lithic densities. While remaining differences at each site and a partial lack of comparable data complicate the definite assignment to the Sibudan and require further research, the comparative assessment shows that there are several assemblages in the SRZ of southern Africa that share multiple similarities with the Sibudan type assemblages, particularly between ~60–50 ka (Figure 2).68

Comparisons to sites post-dating the HP in the south and west—broadly consistent with the year-round rainfall zone (YRZ) of the southern coast and winter rainfall zone (WRZ) of the Western Cape of southern Africa—reveal much fewer similarities and a prevalence of techno-typological differences to the Sibudan.69 In the YRZ, the MIS III assemblages of Klasies River (~60–58 ka) and early “post-HP” finds at Pinnacle Point 5–6 (~52–50 ka), differ mostly in the absence or rarity of unifacial points without comparable Sibudan tool classes, modified pieces dominated by notched pieces, scrapers, or backed tools, a stronger focus on blade production with dominance of unidirectional platform cores, and lower lithic densities.70 In the WRZ, early MIS 3 assemblages dating between ~60–50 ka at Klein Kliphuis, Diepkloof, Mertenhof and Uitspankraal 7 feature some similarities, such as the use of multiple core reduction methods for the production of flakes (and sometimes blades) and unifacial points as the most frequent typological element.71 Yet, techno-typological differences dominate, such as the occurrence of Nubian cores and points, less frequent manufacture of (standardized) blades, much larger morphological variability among the unifacial points without comparable tool classes, reversed diachronic trends in comparison to the Sibudan type sequence, and markedly lower lithic densities.72

To sum up, the comparative analyses performed so far suggest that the Sibudan has a geographical distribution constrained to the eastern part of southern Africa (the SRZ and Kwa-Zulu Natal in particular) and dates to the earlier part of MIS 3 (~59–50 ka). Further work is required to test the applicability, spatial, and temporal extension of the Sibudan technocomplex by additional comparative research, particularly to the northwestern interior part of southern Africa and north to Swaziland and Mozambique.73 When comparing the Sibudan assemblage type on the scale of the southern African MSA as a whole, marked spatial differences emerge between the three major rainfall zones—corresponding to the Western Cape, the southern coast of Africa, and KwaZulu-Natal plus Lesotho—a pattern documented by independent research teams with different materials and methods.74 Lithic technology during MIS 3 in southern Africa shows increased regional structure compared to the preceding and more homogeneous HP and SB. In contrast to previous assessments, however, this patterning is not random or unstructured but follows climatic and environmental axes, likely associated with divergent adaptive and demographic trajectories. Interregional differences increase through time and are associated with heightened intra-regional diversity—the middle and later parts of MIS 3 yield assemblages with divergent typo-technological characteristics.75

In conclusion, the work at Sibudu and the concept of the Sibudan helps in organizing the variability in MIS 3 lithic technology, scrutinizing previous views and illustrating the main trend toward regionalization. Considering the marked differences between geographical areas in lithic assemblages dating between ~60–50 ka, the Sibudan as defined at Sibudu cannot meaningfully replace the term “post-HP” on the level of southern Africa as whole, casting doubt on a direct replacement by the term “Sibudu technocomplex.”76 Rather, the Sibudan appears to constitute a regional variant within what was previously called “post-HP” on a larger geographical scale (Figure 2). More research in each region is required to clarify the nature and structure of lithic assemblages in different temporal phases of MIS 3.

The Bigger Picture: The Sibudan and the Early Cultural Evolution of Homo Sapiens

Scholarly discussions of the Sibudan have had wider ramifications for different topics concerning human evolutionary studies in Africa. These will be summarized in the following, including the trajectory of the early cultural evolution of Homo sapiens in Africa as well as the scale and causes of behavioral changes in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.

For one, the Sibudan has played a role in debates on the nature and trajectory of cultural evolution in the MSA of southern Africa. The dominant model of the late 2000s sees a discontinuous pattern of cultural complexity with the disappearance of many sophisticated behaviors after the HP during MIS 3, potentially associated with demographic collapses.77 In support of this model, scholars have frequently mentioned the (near) absence of elements of complex behavior for the period after the HP, both in lithic and non-lithic technology.78 Methodological criticism of this model has come from the comparative lack of research for periods following the HP, posing serious problems when constructing valid trajectories spanning the entire Late Pleistocene.79 With the formulation of the Sibudan and other studies devoted to MIS 3 archaeology answering this challenge, the discontinuous model has also come under empirical doubt.80 New archaeological work reveals a maintenance of cultural complexity in lithic and non-lithic material culture after the HP and the continuation of larger population sizes, at least in the eastern part of southern Africa likely associated with more favorable climates and higher primary productivity.81 Theoretical considerations support these observations and a meta-analysis of relevant data across the entire MSA of South Africa finds no decrease of cognitive complexity after the HP.82

New empirical research with an increasingly balanced spatio-temporal distribution has thus provided a more realistic picture of the geographical and temporal patterning of technological variability and cultural evolution of modern humans during the later part of the MSA in southern Africa. The relevance of these findings are apparent when considering that the notion of a discontinuous trajectory of cultural evolution in southern Africa has been borrowed without further reflection by scholars outside and integrated into larger-scale, global models for the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens.83 In contrast, the formulation of the Sibudan and other studies conducted since then suggest that MIS 3 constitutes a period of enduring behavioral sophistication, dynamic change, local innovations, and reduced cultural transmission among parts of the subcontinent, leading to the emergence of regional cultural evolutionary pathways.84 These results also play a role when considering models of cultural evolution on the scale of the African continent, suggesting that rather than unilinear or pan-African models, multiple, complex, spatio-temporally variable, and non-linear patterns likely characterize the early behavioral trajectories of our species.85

The Sibudan has also featured in discussions on the scale and drivers of cultural change in hunter-gatherer populations during the Pleistocene. The high temporal resolution and rich deposits of the Sibudan sequence have revealed exceptional behavioral change occurring over short time periods for the MSA.86 Changes on such a fine level have rarely been documented, partly because research on this scale of variation has not been the main focus of research within the southern African MSA. The fine-grained Sibudan sequence illustrates, however, that we should not underestimate temporal variation below the level of the technocomplex. Representing entire technocomplexes as monolithic entities masks internal variation and runs the risk of producing a distorted picture of strong homogeneity. New research in the region has revealed this phenomenon for the HP, urging researchers to work on multiple scales of resolution and analyses.87

In addition, the Sibudan sequence, with its multidisciplinary cultural and environmental record, has helped to assess past causal drivers of behavioral change. At Sibudu, short-term behavioral variability was predominantly associated with changes in technological organization and socioeconomic dynamics, such as differential pathways of information transmission, instead of environmental forcing.88 This stands in opposition to dominant models of cultural change in the Paleolithic that commonly invoke external forcing by climatic and environmental factors, as also in the MSA.89 While adaptive responses to variable environments by modern humans certainly played a role in behavioral change throughout the MSA, proposed causal links between environmental parameters and human behavior are often coarse-grained, underspecified, or not demonstrated.90 The findings from the Sibudan might also result from the specific analytical scale: on fine temporal and spatial levels, internal causality emerging from social dynamics, settlement systems, independent technological innovations, and the complex pathways of information transmission and loss might play a larger role than previously acknowledged. Work in the Sibudan thus demonstrates that external factors such as climate and environment should not be used as a priori causal explanations for cultural and behavioral change in the MSA, particularly on a fine spatio-temporal scale and with regard to the high behavioral flexibility of early Homo sapiens.91

Names as Smoke and Mirrors? The (Lasting) Relevance of Technocomplexes

Beginning in the 1960s, processual archaeology voiced massive criticism of the cultural historic paradigm that had dominated research before. Scholars particularly criticized the main unit of this school of thought, the archaeological culture: it masked the true variability of past human behavior by overtly homogenizing the archaeological record, imposed arbitrary boundaries within what was in reality a continuum, erroneously assumed a one-to-one correspondence of past people with material culture resulting in ethnic interpretations (potentially fueling nationalist or racist agendas), was often constituted based on single artifact types, mistook such cultures as meaningful entities for past people instead of artificial constructs by modern archaeologists, and remained on the descriptive level by explicating observed change exclusively in chronological and cultural terms (i.e., migration and diffusion).92 Within Paleolithic research, there have even been explicit calls for abandoning all named stone tool industries based on similar reasons.93 Shea explicitly mentions the term “Sibudan” as one example among many to which this would apply.94

Yet researchers have rightfully commented on the remarkable perseverance of technocomplexes or archaeological cultures in the face of multiple decades of deconstructing, rejecting, and apparently abandoning them.95 From a brief look into the archaeological literature of the 21st century, it is clear that such names and nomenclatures have never vanished and are still (reluctantly) used, often as descriptive shorthand, organizing concepts, or summary descriptions for spatio-temporal variability in material culture.96 So, are past and present critiques right in their claim that names—such as the Sibudan—are just smoke and mirrors, hindering more than helping archaeological research?

Answering this question depends on how technocomplexes—or other named units of archaeological nomenclature such as types—are viewed. If seen through the lens of early 20th-century culture-historical archaeology as homogenous units without variability, reflecting past (emic) meaning and indicating ethnic identity, they have arguably done more harm than good to stimulate research, as processual critiques have aptly summarized.97 Yet such taxonomies can also be seen as basic categories or building blocks for communicative and analytical purposes (etic classifications), recognizing the innate psychological tendency of humans for pattern recognition and to divide the chaotic and interconnected world of phenomena into discrete entities. In such a view, taxonomic units such as technocomplexes are seen only as heuristic devices—analytical units or classificatory constructs—in relation to research questions posed by archeologists.98 The utility of such artificial categories, which exist based on research in the present and do not necessarily require correspondence with a meaningful entity of the past, must thus be evaluated in how well they function as a classificatory unit—based on the principles of internal similarity among interconnected parts and external differences to other constructs—and to what extent they help in answering more analytical questions (e.g., gaining insight into past human lifeways, testing specific hypotheses).

For the first part as it concerns technocomplexes, constructing a culture-stratigraphic framework can help to organize, understand, and communicate the nearly infinite temporal and spatial variation found in the archaeological record. This holds especially true for areas in which little research has been done, such as in the case of the MSA during MIS 3 in southern Africa. Building on this prerequisite, questions of higher analytical relevance can be assessed in a next step, such as the mechanisms that underlie behavioral change through time, the causes of observed regional similarities and differences in material culture, and general patterns of cultural evolution.99 Technocomplexes are thus not explanations, but phenomena requiring explanations as they reflect patterns of spatio-temporal similarities in the past that can result from a multitude of potential factors (ecological, demographic, sociocultural, economic, functional, etc.).100

For the technocomplex described here, using the term Sibudan based on high-resolution lithic analyses instead of a generic, informal, and spatio-temporally coarse term such as “post-HP” has helped to lay the groundwork for comparative research by providing structure to the geographical and temporal variation in the archaeological record of MIS 3, ultimately aimed at characterizing and explaining patterns of cultural change within this time frame. As such, the Sibudan introduced a new dynamic to the archaeology of MIS 3 in the region, reorienting the focus on more empirical and theoretical work dedicated to this period. Through research that emphasized both distinctive elements and variability, the Sibudan defined (some) MIS 3 assemblages on positive characteristics instead of what they lack, looked in more detail at patterns and causes of short-term behavioral change, discussed the spatial and temporal variability in the MSA, and contextualized the disappearance of the HP in different regions.101 In contrast, the previous catch-all categories such as “post-HP,” MSA III, or MSA 3 have done more to hinder than to stimulate new research, painting a distorted picture of a period purportedly characterized by missing elements and a lack of sophisticated behaviors; notions that new empirical research has falsified. As such, the Sibudan can serve as an instructive case of the perseverance, utility, and relevance of the concept of technocomplexes when stripped of its early 20th-century ballast and perceived of as analytical units meant to promote research and enhance communication.

Further Reading

Barham, Lawrence, and Peter Mitchell. First Africans: African Archaeology from the Earliest Tool Makers to Most Recent Foragers. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. 2008.Find this resource:

Conard, Nicholas J., Guillaume Porraz, and Lyn Wadley. “What is in a Name? Characterising the ‘Post-Howieson’s Poort’ at Sibudu.” South African Archaeological Bulletin 67 (2012): 180–199.Find this resource:

Deacon, Hilary J., and Jeanette Deacon. Human Beginnings in South Africa: Uncovering the Secrets of the Stone Age. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press, 1999.Find this resource:

Mitchell, Peter. The Archaeology of Southern Africa. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2002.Find this resource:

Wadley, Lyn, and Gavin Whitelaw, eds. “Middle Stone Age Research at Sibudu Cave.” Special issue, Southern African Humanities 18.1 (2006): 1–341.Find this resource:

Will, Manuel, Gregor D. Bader, and Nicholas J. Conard. “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene MSA Lithic Technology of Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.” PloS One 9.5 (2014): e98359.Find this resource:

Notes:

(2.) Huw S. Groucutt et al., “Rethinking the Dispersal of Homo Sapiens Out of Africa,” Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 24, no. 4 (2015): 149–164; Jean-Jacques Hublin et al., “New Fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the Pan-African Origin of Homo Sapiens,” Nature 546, no. 7657 (2017): 289–292; Sally McBrearty and Allison S. Brooks, “The Revolution that Wasn’t: A New Interpretation of the Origin of Modern Human Behavior,” Journal of Human Evolution 39, no. 5 (2000): 453–563; Tim D. White et al., “Pleistocene Homo Sapiens from Middle Awash, Ethiopia,” Nature 423, no. 6941 (2003): 742–747.

(3.) Jeanette Deacon, “Weaving the Fabric of Stone Age Research in Southern Africa,” in A History of African Archaeology, ed. P. Robertshaw (London: James Currey, 1990), 39–58; Astley J. H. Goodwin and Clarence van Riet Lowe, The Stone Age Cultures of South Africa (New York: AMS Press, 1929); Zenobia Jacobs et al., “Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa: Implications for Human Behavior and Dispersal,” Science 322, no. 5902 (2008): 733–735; Richard G. Klein, “Southern Africa and Modern Human Origins,” Journal of Anthropological Research 57, no. 1 (2001): 1–16; Lyn Wadley, “Those Marvellous Millennia: The Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa,” Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 50, no. 2 (2015): 155–226.

(4.) See Bishop, William W., and Clark, John D. (1966). Systematic investigation of the African later Tertiary and Quaternary. Current Anthropology, 7(2), 253–256; John D. Clark et al., “Precision and Definition in African Archaeology,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 21 (1966): 114–121; more generally see Robert C. Dunnell, Systematics in Prehistory (New York: Free Press, 1971). For an overview see Benjamin W. Roberts and Mark Vander Linden, “Investigating Archaeological Cultures: Material Culture, Variability, and Transmission,” in Investigating Archaeological Cultures, ed. Benjamin W. Roberts and Mark Vander Linden (New York: Springer, 2011), 1–21; Bruce G. Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Gary S. Webster, “Culture History: A Culture-Historical Approach,” in Handbook of Archaeological Theories, ed. R. Alexander Bentley, Herbert D. G. Maschner, and Christopher Chippindale (Lanham, MD: Altamira Press, 2008), 11–27.

(5.) Breuil, Henri (1930). L’Afrique préhistorique: Cahiers d’art, tome 5, nos. 8–9. John D. Clark, The Prehistory of Southern Africa (London: Penguin Books, 1959); John Goodwin and Clarence van Riet Lowe, The Stone Age Cultures of South Africa; Marlize Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 67 (2012): 123–144; Sarah Wurz, “Variability in the Middle Stone Age Lithic Sequence, 115,000–60,000 Years Ago at Klasies River, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 29, no. 9 (2002): 1001–1015.

(6.) John Goodwin and Clarke van Riet Lowe, The Stone Age Cultures of South Africa; Clark, The Prehistory of Southern Africa; C. G. Sampson, The Stone Age Archaeology of Southern Africa (Cambridge, MA: Academic Press, 1974); Ron Singer and John Wymer, The Middle Stone Age at Klasies River Mouth in South Africa (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982); Thomas P. Volman, The Middle Stone Age in the Southern Cape (PhD dissertation, University of Chicago, 1981); Thomas P. Volman, “Early Prehistory of Southern Africa,” in Southern Africa Prehistory and Paleoenvironments, ed. Richard G. Klein (Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 1984), 169–220; Wurz, “Variability in the Middle Stone Age Lithic Sequence”; Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated.”

(7.) John D. Clark, “The Middle Stone Age of East Africa and the Beginnings of Regional Identity,” Journal of World Prehistory 2, no. 3 (1988): 235–305; Peter Robertshaw, “The Last 200,000 Years (or Thereabouts) in Eastern Africa: Recent Archaeological Research,” Journal of Archaeological Research 3, no. 1 (1995): 55–86.

(8.) See, for a summary, Christopher S. Henshilwood, “Late Pleistocene Techno-Traditions in Southern Africa: A Review of the Still Bay and Howiesons Poort, c. 75–59 ka,” Journal of World Prehistory 25, nos. 3–4 (2012): 205–237.

(9.) Henshilwood, “Late Pleistocene Techno-Traditions”; Zenobia Jacobs and Richard G. Roberts, “Catalysts for Stone Age Innovations: What Might Have Triggered Two Short-Lived Bursts of Technological and Behavioral Innovation in Southern Africa during the Middle Stone Age?” Communicative and Integrative Biology 2, no. 2 (2009): 191–193; Jacobs et al., “Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa”; Marlize Lombard, “The Howieson’s Poort of South Africa Amplified,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 64 (2009): 4–12; Sylvain Soriano et al., “The Still Bay and Howiesons Poort at Sibudu and Blombos: Understanding Middle Stone Age Technologies,” PLoS One 10, no. 7 (2015): e0131127; Lyn Wadley, “The Howieson’s Poort Industry of Sibudu Cave,” South African Archaeological Society Goodwin Series 10 (2008): 122–132.

(10.) E.g., Henshilwood, “Late Pleistocene Techno-Traditions”; Christopher S. Henshilwood and Benoît Dubreuil, “The Still Bay and Howiesons Poort, 77–59 ka: Symbolic Material Culture and the Evolution of the Mind during the African Middle Stone Age,” Current Anthropology 52, no. 3 (2011): 361–400; Zenobia Jacobs and Richard G. Roberts, “Testing Times: Old and New Chronologies for the Howieson’s Poort and Still Bay Industries in Environmental Context,” South African Archaeological Society Goodwin Series 10 (2008): 9–34; Jacobs et al., “Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa.”

(11.) Grant W. Cochrane, “The Transition from Howieson’s Poort to Post-Howieson’s Poort Industries in Southern Africa,” South African Archaeological Society Goodwin Series 10 (2008): 157–167; Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated”; Peter Mitchell, “Developing the Archaeology of Marine Isotope Stage 3,” South African Archaeological Society Goodwin Series 10 (2008): 52–65; Garth Sampson, The Stone Age Archaeology of Southern Africa; Paola Villa, Aanne Delagnes, and Lyn Wadley, “A Late Middle Stone Age Artifact Assemblage from Sibudu (KwaZulu-Natal): Comparisons with the European Middle Paleolithic,” Journal of Archaeological Science 32 (2005): 399–422; Volman, The Middle Stone Age; Volman, “Early Prehistory of Southern Africa”; Lyn Wadley, “A Typological Study of the Final Middle Stone Age Stone Tools from Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 60 (2005): 51–63; Sarah Wurz, “Technological Trends in the Middle Stone Age of South Africa between MIS 7 and MIS 3,” Current Anthropology 54, no. S8 (2013): S305–S319.

(12.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”; Mitchell, “Developing the Archaeology”; Wadley, “A Typological Study”; Lyn Wadley, “Cemented Ash as a Receptacle or Work Surface for Ochre Powder Production at Sibudu, South Africa, 58,000 Years Ago,” Journal of Archaeological Science 37, no. 10 (2010): 2397–2406.

(13.) E.g., Mitchell, “Developing the Archaeology,” 58.

(14.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”

(15.) See also Gregor D. Bader and Manuel Will, “Recent Research on the MSA in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte 26 (2017): 53–82; Nicholas J. Conard et al., “Bringing the Middle Stone Age into Clearer Focus,” Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Urgeschichte 23 (2014): 121–128; Manuel Will, Gregor D. Bader, and Nicholas J. Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene MSA Lithic Technology of Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” PloS One 9, no. 5 (2014): e98359.

(16.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”; Mitchell, “Developing the Archaeology”; Wadley, “Cemented Ash.”

(17.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”; Andrew W. Kandel et al., “Increasing Behavioral Flexibility? An Integrative Macro-Scale Approach to Understanding the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 23, no. 2 (2016): 623–668; Wadley, “Those Marvellous Millennia”; see also Marlize Lombard and Isabelle Parsons, “Fact or Fiction? Behavioural and Technological Reversal after 60 ka in Southern Africa,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 65 (2010): 224–228 and Marlize Lombard and Isabelle Parsons, “What Happened to the Human Mind after the Howiesons Poort?” Antiquity 85, no. 330 (2011): 1433–1443.

(18.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”

(19.) Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Gregor D. Bader, Manuel Will, and Nicholas J. Conard, “The Lithic Technology of Holley Shelter, KwaZulu-Natal, and its Place within the MSA of Southern Africa,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 70 (2015): 149–165; Nicholas J. Conard and Manuel Will, “Examining the Causes and Consequences of Short-Term Behavioral Change during the Middle Stone Age at Sibudu, South Africa,” PLoS One 10, no. 6 (2015): e0130001; Manuel Will and Nicholas J. Conard, “Assemblage Variability and Bifacial Points in the Lowermost Sibudan Layers at Sibudu, South Africa,” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 10, no. 2 (2018): 389–414; Manuel Will, Gregor D. Bader, and Nicholas J. Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene MSA Lithic Technology of Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” PloS One 9, no. 5 (2014): e98359.

(20.) Zenobia Jacobs et al., “New Ages for the Post-Howiesons Poort, Late and Final Middle Stone Age at Sibudu, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 35, no. 7 (2008): 1790–1807; Lyn Wadley, “Partners in Grime: Results of Multi-Disciplinary Archaeology at Sibudu Cave,” Southern African Humanities 18, no. 1 (2006): 315–341; Lyn Wadley, “MIS 4 and MIS 3 Occupations in Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 68 (2013): 41–51; Lyn Wadley and Zenobia Jacobs, “Sibudu Cave: Background to the Excavations, Stratigraphy and Dating,” Southern African Humanities 18, no. 1 (2006): 1–26.

(21.) E.g., Wadley and Jacobs, “Sibudu Cave.”

(22.) Francesco d’Errico, Lucinda R. Backwell, and Lyn Wadley, “Identifying Regional Variability in Middle Stone Age Bone Technology: The Case of Sibudu Cave,” Journal of Archaeological Science 39, no. 7 (2012): 2479–2495; Franecso d’Errico, Marian Vanhaeren, and Lyn Wadley, “Possible Shell Beads from the Middle Stone Age Layers of Sibudu Cave, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 35, no. 10 (2008): 2675–2685; Lyn Wadley, Tamaryn Hodgskiss, and Michael Grant, “Implications for Complex Cognition from the Hafting of Tools with Compound Adhesives in the Middle Stone Age, South Africa,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, no. 24 (2009): 9590–9594; Lyn Wadley et al., “Middle Stone Age Bedding Construction and Settlement Patterns at Sibudu, South Africa,” Science 334, no. 6061 (2011): 1388–1391.

(23.) Paul Goldberg et al., “Bedding, Hearths, and Site Maintenance in the Middle Stone Age of Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 1, no. 2 (2009): 95–122; Wadley and Jacobs, “Sibudu Cave.”

(24.) Goldberg et al., “Bedding, Hearths, and Site Maintenance”; Christopher E. Miller, “High-Resolution Geoarchaeology and Settlement Dynamics at the Middle Stone Age Sites of Diepkloof and Sibudu, South Africa,” in Settlement Dynamics of the Middle Paleolithic and Middle Stone Age, vol. 4, ed. Nicholas J. Conard and Anne Delagnes (Tübingen, Germany: Kerns Verlag, 2015), 31–50; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(25.) Jacobs et al., “New Ages for the Post-Howiesons Poort”; Wadley, “MIS 4 and MIS 3 Occupations in Sibudu”; Wadley and Jacobs, “Sibudu Cave”; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(26.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”

(27.) Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene.”

(28.) Clark et al., “Precision and Definition in African Archaeology,” 115.

(29.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?” The extensions are most notably found in Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene”; Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; and Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(30.) Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(31.) E.g., Francois Bordes, “Mousterian Cultures in France,” Science 134, no. 3482 (1961): 803–810.

(32.) See Boyd, Robert, and Richerson, Peter J. (1985). Culture and the evolutionary process (University of Chicago Press); Joseph Henrich, “Cultural Transmission and the Diffusion of Innovations: Adoption Dynamics Indicate that Biased Cultural Transmission is the Predominate Force in Behavioral Change,” American Anthropologist 103, no. 4 (2001): 992–1013; Everett M. Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 4th ed. (New York: Free Press, 1995); Stephen Shennan, “Descent with Modification and the Archaeological Record,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 366, no. 1567 (2011): 1070–1079.

(33.) E.g., Lewis R. Binford, “Willow Smoke and Dogs’ Tails: Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Systems and Archaeological Site Formation,” American Antiquity 45, no. 1 (1980): 4–20.

(34.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene.”

(35.) Eric Boëda, “Détermination des Unités Techno-Fonctionnelles de Pieces Bifaciales Provenant de la Couche Acheuleenne C’3 Base du Site de Barbas I,” in Les Industries à Outils Bifaciaux du Paléolithique Moyen d’Europe Occidentale, ed. D. Cliquet (Liège, Belgium: ERAUL, 2001), 51–76; Stéphanie Bonilauri, Les outils du Paléolithique moyen, une mémoire technique oubliée? Approche techno-fonctionnelle appliquée à un assemblage lithique de conception Levallois provenant du site d’Umm el Tlel (Syrie centrale) (PhD thesis, Université de Paris-Ouest, Nanterre, France, 2010); Harold L. Dibble, “The Interpretation of Middle Paleolithic Scraper Morphology,” American Antiquity 52, no. 1 (1987): 109–117; Stefan Krukowski, “Paleolithic Prehistoria Ziem Polskich,” in Prehistoria Ziem Polskich, ed. Stefan Krukowski, Józef Kostrzewski, and Roman Jakimowicz (Krakow, Poland: Polska Akademia Umiejtenosci, 1939), 1–117.

(36.) E.g., Singer and Wymer, The Middle Stone Age; Volman, The Middle Stone Age.

(37.) For further descriptions and additional figures for all tool classes see Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?” and Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene.”

(38.) Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes.”

(39.) Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes.”

(40.) Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(41.) Paloma de la Peña, Lyn Wadley, and Marlize Lombard, “Quartz Bifacial Points in the Howiesons Poort of Sibudu,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 68 (2013): 119–136; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(42.) D’Errico, Backwell, and Wadley, “Identifying Regional Variability”; Tamaryn Hodgskiss, “Ochre Use in the Middle Stone Age at Sibudu, South Africa: Grinding, Rubbing, Scoring and Engraving,” Journal of African Archaeology 11, no. 1 (2013): 75–95; Wadley, Hodgskiss, and Grant, “Implications for Complex Cognition”; Wadley et al., “Middle Stone Age Bedding Construction.”

(43.) Jamie L. Clark, “Exploring the Relationship between Climate Change and the Decline of the Howieson’s Poort at Sibudu Cave (South Africa),” in Zooarchaeology and Modern Human Origins: Human Hunting Behavior during the Later Pleistocene, ed. Jamie L. Clark and Jon D. Speth (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science, 2013), 9–18; Jamie L. Clark and Ina Plug, “Animal Exploitation Strategies during the South African Middle Stone Age: Howiesons Poort and Post-Howiesons Poort Fauna from Sibudu Cave,” Journal of Human Evolution 54, no. 6 (2008): 886–898.

(44.) Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene”; Clark, “Exploring the Relationship”; Clark and Plug, “Animal Exploitation Strategies”; Goldberg et al., “Bedding, Hearths, and Site Maintenance”; Miller, “High-Resolution Geoarchaeology”; Wadley et al., “Middle Stone Age Bedding Construction”; Jacobs et al., “New Ages for the Post-Howiesons Poort”; Wadley and Jacobs, “Sibudu Cave.”

(45.) Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(46.) Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; see also Clark, “Exploring the Relationship.”

(47.) See Clark, “Exploring the Relationship”; Clark and Plug, “Animal Exploitation Strategies”; Wadley, “Partners in Grime”; and Wadley, “MIS 4 and MIS 3 Occupations in Sibudu.”

(48.) Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes.”

(49.) E.g., Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated”; Singer and Wymer, The Middle Stone Age; Volman, The Middle Stone Age; Wurz, “Variability in the Middle Stone Age Lithic Sequence.”

(50.) See Alex Mackay, Brian A. Stewart, and Brian M. Chase, “Coalescence and Fragmentation in the Late Pleistocene Archaeology of Southernmost Africa,” Journal of Human Evolution 72 (2014): 26–51; Mitchell, “Developing the Archaeology”; Wadley, “A Typological Study”; Cochrane, “The Transition from Howieson’s Poort”; Sampson, The Stone Age Archaeology of Southern Africa; Villa, Paola; Delagnes, Anne; Wadley, Lyn. A late Middle Stone Age artifact assemblage from Sibudu (KwaZulu-Natal): comparisons with the European Middle Paleolithic. Journal of Archaeological Science, 2005, 32, 399–422; Volman, “Early Prehistory of Southern Africa”; Wurz, “Variability in the Middle Stone Age Lithic Sequence”; and Wurz, “Technological Trends.”

(51.) Singer and Wymer, The Middle Stone Age; Volman, The Middle Stone Age; Volman, “Early Prehistory of Southern Africa.”

(52.) Sensu Clark et al., “Precision and Definition in African Archaeology.”

(53.) Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated.”

(54.) Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated.”

(55.) Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated,” 137.

(56.) Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated.”

(57.) Guillaume Porraz et al., “Technological Successions in the Middle Stone Age Sequence of Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Western Cape, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 40, no. 9 (2013): 3376–3400, quote at: 3396.

(58.) Moleboheng Mohapi, “Point Morphology and the Middle Stone Age Cultural Sequence of Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 67 (2012): 5–15.

(59.) Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated.”

(60.) See Clark et al., “Precision and Definition in African Archaeology.”

(61.) See Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Bader, Will, and Conard, “The Lithic Technology of Holley Shelter”; Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene.”

(62.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”

(63.) Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene.”

(64.) See Bader, Will, and Conard, “The Lithic Technology of Holley Shelter.”

(65.) Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Bader, Will, and Conard, “The Lithic Technology of Holley Shelter.”

(66.) Bader, Will, and Conard, “The Lithic Technology of Holley Shelter”; Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Gregor D. Bader et al., “Umbeli Belli Rock Shelter, a Forgotten Piece from the Puzzle of the Middle Stone Age in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 9 (2016): 608–622.

(67.) See Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene”; Jonathan Kaplan, “The Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter Sequence: 100 000 Years of Stone Age History,” Southern African Humanities 2, no. 11 (1990): 1–94; Marlize Lombard et al., “Still Bay and Serrated Points from Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 37, no. 7 (2010): 1773–1784; Michael I. Bird et al., “Radiocarbon Dating from 40 to 60 ka BP at Border Cave, South Africa,” Quaternary Science Reviews 22, nos. 8–9 (2003): 943–947; Paola Villa et al., “Border Cave and the Beginning of the Later Stone Age in South Africa,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109, no. 33 (2012): 13208–13213; Jacobs et al., “Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa”; Sylvain Soriano, Paola Villa, and Lyn Wadley, “Blade Technology and Tool Forms in the Middle Stone Age of South Africa: The Howiesons Poort and Post-Howiesons Poort at Rose Cottage Cave,” Journal of Archaeological Science 34, no. 5 (2007): 681–703; Peter J. Mitchell and John M. Steinberg, “Ntloana Tsoana: A Middle Stone Age Sequence from Western Lesotho,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 47 (1992): 26–33.

(68.) See e.g., Bader, Will, and Conard, “The Lithic Technology of Holley Shelter”; Bader and Will, 2017; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene.”

(69.) E.g., Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene.”

(70.) Jacobs et al., “Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa”; Singer and Wymer, The Middle Stone Age; Paola Villa et al., “The Howiesons Poort and MSA III at Klasies River Main Site, Cave 1A,” Journal of Archaeological Science 37, no. 3 (2010): 630–655; Wurz, “Variability in the Middle Stone Age Lithic Sequence”; Jayne Wilkins et al., “Lithic Technological Responses to Late Pleistocene Glacial Cycling at Pinnacle Point Site 5–6, South Africa,” PloS One 12, no. 3 (2017): e0174051.

(71.) Alex Mackay, “The Late Pleistocene Archaeology of Klein Kliphuis Rock Shelter, Western Cape, South Africa: 2006 Excavations,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 65 (2010): 132–147; Alex Mackay, “Nature and Significance of the Howiesons Poort to Post-Howiesons Poort Transition at Klein Kliphuis Rockshelter, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 38, no. 7 (2011): 1430–1440; Manuel Will, Lithic Technology and Behavioral Variability during the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa: Implications for the Evolution and Dispersal of Early Modern Humans (PhD dissertation, University of Tübingen, Germany, 2016); Porraz et al., “Technological Successions”; Manuel Will, Alex Mackay, and Natasha Phillips, “Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems in Southern Africa for the Identification of Early Modern Human Dispersals,” PLoS One 10, no. 6 (2015): e0131824.

(72.) Porraz et al., “Technological Successions,” 3396; Will, Mackay, and Phillips, “Implications of Nubian-Like Core Reduction Systems.”

(73.) See Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Nuno Bicho et al., “Middle Stone Age Technologies in Mozambique: A Preliminary Study of the Niassa and Massingir Regions,” Journal of African Archaeology 16 (2018): 1–23.

(74.) E.g., Mackay, Stewart, and Chase, “Coalescence and Fragmentation”; Porraz et al., “Technological Successions”; Soriano, Villa, and Wadley, “Blade Technology and Tool Forms”; Villa et al., “The Howiesons Poort”; Wadley, “Those Marvellous Millennia.”

(75.) Bader and Will, “Recent Research.”

(76.) Sensu Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated.”

(77.) E.g., Henshilwood, “Late Pleistocene Techno-Traditions”; Jacobs et al., “Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa”; Stanley H. Ambrose, “Small Things Remembered: Origins of Early Microlithic Industries in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association 12, no. 1 (2002): 9–29; Jacobs and Roberts, “Catalysts for Stone Age Innovations”; Richard G. Klein et al., “The Ysterfontein 1 Middle Stone Age Site, South Africa, and Early Human Exploitation of Coastal Resources,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 101, no. 16 (2004): 5708–5715; Volman, “Early Prehistory of Southern Africa.”

(78.) Christopher S. Henshilwood, “Stratigraphic Integrity of the Middle Stone Age Levels at Blombos Cave,” in From Tools to Symbols: From Early Hominids to Modern Humans, ed. Franesco d’Errico and Lucinda Backwell (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 2005), 451–458; Jacobs and Roberts, “Catalysts for Stone Age Innovations”; Sampson, The Stone Age Archaeology of Southern Africa; Singer and Wymer, The Middle Stone Age; Jacobs et al., “Ages for the Middle Stone Age of Southern Africa”; Paul Mellars, “Why Did Modern Human Populations Disperse from Africa ca. 60,000 Years Ago? A New Model,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103, no. 25 (2006): 9381–9386; Mitchell, “Developing the Archaeology”; Wurz, “Technological Trends.”

(79.) E.g., Mitchell, “Developing the Archaeology.”

(80.) E.g., Bader, Will, and Conard, “The Lithic Technology of Holley Shelter”; Lombard and Parsons, “What Happened to the Human Mind”; Lombard et al., “South African and Lesotho Stone Age Sequence Updated”; Mackay, “Nature and Significance”; Mackay, Stewart, and Chase, “Coalescence and Fragmentation”; Porraz et al., “Technological Successions”; Soriano, Villa, and Wadley, “Blade Technology and Tool Forms”; Villa et al., “The Howiesons Poort.”

(81.) Bader and Will, “Recent Research”; Will, Manuel; Conard, Nicholas J. Assemblage variability and bifacial points in the lowermost Sibudan layers at Sibudu, South Africa. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 2018, 10, 389–414; Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”; Francesco d’Errico et al., “Early Evidence of San Material Culture Represented by Organic Artifacts from Border Cave, South Africa,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109, no. 33 (2012): 13214–13219; Hodgskiss, “Ochre Use in the Middle Stone Age at Sibudu”; Villa et al., “Border Cave”; Paola Villa et al., “A Milk and Ochre Paint Mixture Used 49,000 Years Ago at Sibudu, South Africa,” PLoS One 10, no. 6 (2015): e0131273; Wadley, “Those Marvellous Millennia”; Wadley, Hodgskiss, and Grant, “Implications for Complex Cognition”; Wadley et al., “Middle Stone Age Bedding Construction”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene”; Nicholas J. Conard and Guillaume Porraz, “Revising Models for the Cultural Stratigraphic Sequence of the Middle Stone Age,” South African Archaeological Bulletin 70 (2015): 124–130; Brian A. Stewart et al., “Follow the Senqu: Maloti-Drakensberg Paleoenvironments and Implications for Early Human Dispersals into Mountain Systems,” in Africa from MIS 6-2: Population Dynamics and Paleoenvironments, ed. Sasha Jones and Brian A. Stewart (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2016), 247–271.

(82.) Lombard and Parsons, “Fact or Fiction?”; Lombard and Parsons, “What Happened to the Human Mind”; Kandel et al., “Increasing Behavioral Flexibility?”

(83.) E.g., Mellars, “Why Did Modern Human Populations Disperse from Africa?”; Paul Mellars et al., “Genetic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Initial Modern Human Colonization of Southern Asia,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 110, no. 26 (2013): 10699–10704; Martin Ziegler et al., “Development of Middle Stone Age Innovation Linked to Rapid Climate Change,” Nature Communications 4 (2013): 1905.

(84.) E.g., Mackay, Stewart, and Chase, “Coalescence and Fragmentation”; Porraz et al., “Technological Successions”; Soriano, Villa, and Wadley, “Blade Technology and Tool Forms”; Villa et al., “The Howiesons Poort”; Wadley, “Those Marvellous Millennia.”

(85.) E.g., Richard G. Klein and Blake Edgar, The Dawn of Human Culture (New York: Wiley, 2002); McBrearty and Brooks, “The Revolution that Wasn’t.”

(86.) I.e., within centuries: Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes.”

(87.) Conard and Porraz, “Revising Models”; de la Peña, Wadley, and Lombard, “Quartz Bifacial Points in the Howiesons Poort of Sibudu”; Mackay, “The Late Pleistocene Archaeology of Klein Kliphuis Rock Shelter”; Soriano, Villa, and Wadley, “Blade Technology and Tool Forms”; Villa et al., “The Howiesons Poort”; Lyn Wadley and Moleboheng Mohapi, “A Segment is not a Monolith: Evidence from the Howiesons Poort of Sibudu, South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 35 (2008): 2594–2605.

(88.) Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; see also Clark, “Exploring the Relationship.”

(89.) Peter B. deMenocal, “Climate and Human Evolution,” Science 331, no. 6017 (2011): 540–542; Robert Foley and Marta M. Lahr, “On Stony Ground: Lithic Technology, Human Evolution, and the Emergence of Culture,” Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 12, no. 3 (2003): 109–122; Grant S. McCall, “Behavioral Ecological Models of Lithic Technological Change during the Later Middle Stone Age of South Africa,” Journal of Archaeological Science 34 (2007): 1738–1751; Ziegler et al., “Development of Middle Stone Age Innovation.”

(90.) Sensu Margareth W. Blome et al., “The Environmental Context for the Origins of Modern Human Diversity: A Synthesis of Regional Variability in African Climate 150,000–30,000 Years Ago,” Journal of Human Evolution 62, no. 5 (2012): 563–592; Brian M. Chase, “South African Palaeoenvironments during Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage 4: A Context for the Howiesons Poort and Still Bay Industries,” Journal of Archaeological Science 37, no. 6 (2010): 1359–1366.

(91.) See also Chase, “South African Palaeoenvironments”; Clark, “Exploring the Relationship”; Emmanuel Discamps and Christopher S. Henshilwood, “Intra-Site Variability in the Still Bay Fauna at Blombos Cave: Implications for Explanatory Models of the Middle Stone Age Cultural and Technological Evolution,” PLoS One 10, no. 12 (2015): e0144866; Porraz et al., “Technological Successions”; Villa et al., “Border Cave”; Kandel et al., “Increasing Behavioral Flexibility?”; Marlize Lombard, “Thinking through the Middle Stone Age of Sub-Saharan Africa,” Quaternary International 270 (2012): 140–155.

(92.) See e.g., L.wis R. Binford, “Archaeological Systematics and the Study of Culture Process,” American Antiquity 31, no. 2 (1965): 203–210; Lewis R. Binford and Sally R. Binford, “A Preliminary Analysis of Functional Variability in the Mousterian of Levallois Facies,” American Anthropologist 68, no. 2 (1966): 238–295; David L. Clarke, Analytical Archaeology (London: Methuen, 1968); James A. Ford, “On the Concept of Types,” American Anthropologist 56, no. 1 (1954): 42–57; Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought, 211–313; Webster, “Culture History.”

(93.) See John J. Shea, “Sink the Mousterian? Named Stone Tool Industries (NASTIES) as Obstacles to Investigating Hominin Evolutionary Relationships in the Later Middle Paleolithic Levant,” Quaternary International 350 (2014): 169–179.

(94.) Shea, “Sink the Mousterian?” 174.

(95.) Roberts and Vander Linden, “Investigating Archaeological Cultures.”

(96.) Roberts and Vander Linden, “Investigating Archaeological Cultures”; Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought, 310; Webster, “Culture History.”

(97.) E.g., Vere G. Childe, The Danube in Prehistory (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929); Gustaf Kossinna, Die Herkunft der Germanen: Zur Methode der Siedlungsarchäologie (Würzburg, Germany: Mannus-Bibliothek Nr. 6, 1911); Irving Rouse, Prehistory in Haiti: A Study in Method (New Haven, CT: Yale University, 1939).

(98.) See e.g., John O. Brew, “The Use and Abuse of Taxonomy,” in The Archaeology of Alkali Ridge Utah, Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology 21 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1946), 44–66; Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”; Ford, “On the Concept of Types”; Roberts and Vander Linden, “Investigating Archaeological Cultures”; Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought, 312–313; Hartmut Tschauner, “Archaeological Systematics and Cultural Evolution: Retrieving the Honour of Culture History,” Man 29 (1994): 77–93; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”

(99.) See Roberts and Vander Linden, “Investigating Archaeological Cultures”; Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought, 312–313; Tschauner, “Archaeological Systematics”; contra Shea, “Sink the Mousterian?”

(100.) Trigger, A History of Archaeological Thought, 310.

(101.) Conard, Porraz, and Wadley, “What is in a Name?”; Will, Bader, and Conard, “Characterizing the Late Pleistocene”; Conard and Will, “Examining the Causes”; Will and Conard, “Assemblage Variability.”