Cannibalism in the Middle Stone Age at Klasies River Main Site, South Africa

Talk abstract: We recently completed a revision of the human fossil record for the site, wherein we placed all of the specimens in stratigraphic context (pdf appended). I also placed almost all of the vault fragments in correct anatomical alignment. Curtis Marean and I have documented stone tool cutmarks on a good number of the human bones (in addition to the famous frontal cutmarks identified by Tim White). The cutmarks and the burining of the elements are  seen throughout the depth of the MSA sequence, suggesting that cannibalism was a persistent practice at the site for probably onwards of 40,000 years. The human remains also show the classic "Klasies Pattern" of abundance as do the faunal remains, although this might be related to excavation techniques.

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