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The cultural and technological innovations of Middle Stone Age humans in Southern Africa may not be directly linked to climate, according to new research.

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Photo: www.shutterstock.com 

Environmental records obtained from archaeological sites where there are Middle Stone Age deposits are the subject of the study published in the journal, PLOS ONE.  Patrick Roberts from the University of Oxford, and colleagues, find that the Middle Stone Age marked a period of dramatic change amongst early humans in southern Africa. Some scholars had suggested that climate change primarily drove technological and cultural innovations such as bone tools, ochre production, and personal ornamentation.

Coauthor Julia Lee-Thorp, Professor of Archaeological Science at the University of Oxford, comments: 'Climate change has often been invoked as a driver of early cultural and technological innovation by our species; however, solid evidence for proving such links has been weak.'

Read more on the University website (opens new window)