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Collins, Benjamin Robert

Grant Type
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation
Cape Town, U. of
Status
Completed Grant
Approve Date
Project Title
Collins, Dr. Benjamin Robert, U. of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa - To aid research on 'Late MIS 3 Behavioral Diversity: The View from Grassridge Rockshelter, Eastern Cape, South Africa'

DR. BENJAMIN R. COLLINS, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, was awarded a grant in October 2015 to aid research on 'Late MIS 3 Behavioral Diversity: The View from Grassridge Rockshelter, Eastern Cape, South Africa.' The Grassridge Archaeological and Palaeoenvironmental Project (GAPP) contributes to understanding how hunter-gatherers adapted to periods of rapid and unpredictable climate change during the past 50,000 years. Specifically, GAPP focuses on excavation and research at Grassridge Rockshelter, located in the understudied interior grasslands of southern Africa, to explore the changing nature of social landscapes during this period through comparative studies of technological strategies, subsistence strategies, and other cultural behaviors. Recent excavations at Grassridge have produced a rich cultural record of hunter-gatherer life at the site ~40,000 to 35,000 years ago, which provides insight into the production of stone tools for hunting, the use of local plants for bedding and matting, and the use of ochre. This research suggests that the hunter-gatherers at Grassridge were well-adapted to their local environment, and that their particular suite of adaptive strategies may have differed from hunter-gatherer groups in other regions of southern Africa. In this respect, and considering the strong evidence for diverse behavioral strategies in southern Africa from ~50,000 to 25,000 years ago, this research offers tentative support for a socially fragmented landscape during this period.