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Using environmental proxies from speleothems to investigate the effect of climate change on human behaviour. Mobile researcher: Jane Noah,

Tildelt: kr 0,13 mill.




2012 - 2013



SYNOPSIS The core of my research is to investigate if environmental (and climatic) factors played a significant role in influencing aspects of Middle Stone Age life. The intention is to determine how environmental variables could have affected Middle Sto ne Age behaviours associated with subsistence, mobility and the production of tools and other artefacts (e.g. incised ochres, engraved ostrich eggshell, perforated shells, etc). To achieve this, I use a multi-disciplinary approach by incorporating environ mental data from archaeological and geomorphological contexts with the speleothem proxy data produced in my study. This approach allows me to evaluate the speleothem data generated in my study with the archaeological evidence for past environments. In thi s way I am able to interpret my data within a broader environmental context and by extension I should be able to identify the likely climatic forcing mechanisms that were operating at the time the speleothems formed. Once I establish the environmental con text for my speleothem data I can address the archaeological implications of environmental change on MSA people between 160 ka - 60 ka. I intend to do this by linking the speleothem data and long-term climatic records with the archaeology emerging from va rious sites in southern Africa. In this way I intend to investigate the effects of environmental change on human behavior during the Middle Stone Age.