How close to the size of human populations that lived tens of thousands of years? Richard Klein of Stanford University and Teresa Steele of the University of California, Davis, try this on shells and snail shells. With their help, they want to find out how many people in the early and middle stone age young colonized the coasts of South Africa today.
According to researchers, studies show that intensive collecting activity can lead by the people to the fact that the average size of mussel and snail shells changes: the higher the collective pressure, the smaller the shells because the molluscs have less time to grow, and large build shells. Small and Steele therefore evaluated from three shells of marine snail species from Central and Neolithic sites on the south coast of South Africa.
As they say, was that the shells from the former sites were significantly greater than those from the Neolithic – a result as they had already received it in the study of archaeological sites on the west coast of South Africa. They interpret this as evidence that the populations of early humans were small in this area in the Mesolithic and to grow strong until the transition to the Neolithic period.
Small and Steele also evaluated sites from the Mesolithic, which are attributed to the so-called Howieson’s Poort and Still Bay industries. These are characterized by rare finds, which are interpreted as early symbolic artifacts such as processed ocher fragments or perforated shells, which may serve as jewelry. More often, such objects from the Neolithic period. This is usually associated with a higher population density.
Because only this has, according to the experts the transfer and spread of innovations possible – in a kind of chain reaction, as formulated by an expert. Klein’s view, however only brought the cognitive skills that underlie the innovations underlying the survival advantage, which then reflected in an increase in population. That these skills were pronounced only in accordance with the transition to the Neolithic period, he now wants to impose his study.