TANKwA – Technological adaptations of Nubian cores in the Karoo: new geometric morphometric approaches
|PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR||Emily Hallinan|
|FUNDING INSTITUTION||EUROPEAN UNION H2020 RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PROGRAMME|
|DURATION||2 years (01/06/2020-30/05/2022)|
The project TANKwA uses innovative digital archaeological methods to investigate human technological adaptations to arid regions during the Middle Stone Age – a critical period of early human anatomical and behavioural development. Specifically, this will focus on a new late MSA technological variant observed in the Tankwa Karoo region of South Africa which uses Nubian technology, a distinctive Levallois method of stone point production more commonly seen in MSA contexts in North Africa, the Levant and Arabia. Using cutting-edge digital Geometric Morphometric techniques, this research will establish a novel method for studying Nubian technology and lithic points, testing the hypothesis that this technology was an adaptive response to the challenges facing hunter-gatherers in an arid environment. The recently discovered open-air site of Tweefontein has a large artefact assemblage offering the ideal opportunity to characterise this technology, complemented by museum study of other South African Karoo sites. The novel approach applied will generate replicable quantitative data that allows the contextualisation of Nubian technology both in the southern African archaeological record and globally, establishing the first inter-regional comparison between Nubian technology in Egypt, Israel and South Africa. Find out more about the TANKwA project at https://emilyhallinan.com/.