Studying Human Origins in South Africa Image 1
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Studying Human Origins in South Africa (Image 1)

May 1, 2012
Cave 13B is one of several caves overlooking the Indian Ocean along the coastline of Pinnacle Point, a sea cliff on the south coast of South Africa. Inside the cave, Curtis Marean of Arizona State University and a team of archaeologists uncovered evidence of early human use of shellfish and other marine resources dating to the Middle Pleistocene. The cave is the focus of intense excavation work and has been since 2000. A later study of the cave in 2009 found evidence that early modern humans used fire in a controlled way to increase the quality and efficiency of stone tools, possibly a sign of the evolution of human brain power. The fieldwork and laboratory work for this project have been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) since 1999 (grants BCS 99-12465, BCS 01-30713 and BCS 05-24087). Credit: South African Coast Paleoclimate, Paleoenvironment, Paleoecology, Paleoanthropology Project (SACP4), Arizona State University; Curtis W. Marean, Director

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