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Cultural Interaction Was Vital to Behavioral Evolution

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Blombos Cave interaction BERGEN, NORWAY—Researchers from the University of Bergen and University of the Witwatersrand have examined artifacts from Blombos Cave and other sites in in South Africa to try and determine if different groups of people shared technology and engaged in cultural interaction during the Middle Stone Age, as early as 100,000 years ago. “The pattern we are seeing is that when demographics change, people interact more. For example, we have found similar patterns engraved on ostrich eggshells in different sites. This shows that people were probably sharing symbolic material culture, at certain times but not at others,” Karen van Niekerk of the University of Bergen said in a press release. She and Christopher Henshilwood concluded that the more contact the groups had, the stronger their technology and cultures became. “Contact across groups, and population dynamics, makes it possible to adopt and adapt new technologies and culture and is what describes Homo sapiens,” he said. To read more about Blombos Cave, go to "In Style in the Stone Age."  

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