West Coast Fossil Park’s September Talk: Tankwa Karoo
Evening Talk Series at the West Coast Fossil Park:
A Landscape Perspective: Evidence from the Tankwa Karoo
When: 13 September 2016 Where: West Coast Fossil Park
Time: 6 for 6h30
Price: R35-00 for the talk only and R80 for the meal (optional)
Booking essential for the meals please! Please see below.
The understanding of human behaviours and patterns during the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in South Africa, is derived from a robust set of chronological and technological sequences compiled from caves and rock shelters (closed sites). Although a necessary component, these closed sites provide a spatially and temporally limited view of MSA lifeways, as people were not only restricted to these “sites”, but were also utilising a vast open landscape. Drawing on landscape approaches originally developed in an East African context, we apply “scatters between the patches” (Isaac & Harris 1980) and “off-site” (Foley 1981) frameworks to the surface archaeological record of the marginal, arid Tankwa Karoo. By viewing the Tankwa Karoo as a continuous landscape rather than an incomplete set of discrete sites, we aim to understand past human technological and lithic provisioning behaviour at a landscape-scale. We use existing landscape-use models and the well-resolved excavated sequence for the wider Cederberg region to compare human adaptations to these neighbouring but contrasting environments, gaining insights into spatial variability in past land-use systems which cannot be gained from single-site studies.
To book: Phone 022 766 1606 – Nadia, Hildegard or Wendy
or e-mail [email protected]
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Do you know what the illustration of the West Coast Fossil Park below depicts?
The riverside scene at Langebaanweg depicts life some 5 million years ago. A hyaena (Ikelohyaena abronia) searched for carcasses stranded on the banks of the proto-Bergriver. On the opposite bank are elephant – like gomphotheres (Anancus capensis) and an okapi-like giraffid (Palaeotragus), both representing forest dwelling groups that had declined in importance since the preceding Miocene epoch. An eagle flies past in search of prey and mouse birds perch on the branch of a tree. The heavily vegetated scene contrasts with the present environment, which lacks surface water and indigenous trees. The riverside forest that flourished in the area during the Miocene, and the palm trees, give an indication of the warmer conditions that prevailed then. The nearest natural occurring palm trees are found today at Bathurst, 850 km east of Langebaanweg. The fossil mousebirds from this site are the oldest in Africa but much older fossil mousebirds have been found in Europe dating back to about 50 million years ago. Today mousebirds only occur in Africa.
Open weekdays 09:00 – 15:00
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: guided tours from 10.00 to 13.00. Opening times vary according to season. (You are advised to phone or email ahead of your visit)
Closed: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day & Good Friday
Distance from Cape Town: 120km
Where: R27 to R45
Coordinates: 32° 57′ 19.4″ S 18° 6′ 49.9″ E
Interesting things to do and see at the West Coast Fossil Park:
Sivatherium Coffee Shop
The Sivatherium Coffee Shop is a little gem at the main building of the West Coast Fossil Park. People visiting just love the unique concept – it has a welcoming atmosphere, where you can sit and enjoy breakfast or a light lunch and don’t forget to order a cup of aromatic coffee and cappuccino. Ask your waitron for our delicious cakes.
Where: R27 to R45
Contact: +27 22 766 1606
Take the road less travelled in the West Coast Way
For more information on West Coast Way Routes and the list of 101+ Things To See And Do in the Cape West Coast, visit our eventspage. Choose to go on a self-guided adventure drive by following the routes, or book an air-conditioned trip to top West Coast attractions in South Africa.