The first hominin from the early pleistocene paleocave of haasgat , South Africa
- Authors: Leece, A. B. , Kegley, Anthony D. T. , Lacruz, Rodrigo S. , Herries, Andy I. R. , Hemingway, Jason , Kgasi, Lazarus , Potze, Stephany , Adams, Justin W.
- Date: 2016
- Subjects: Paranthropus , Australopithecus , Homo
- Language: English
- Type: Article
- Identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/225429 , uj:22767 , Citation: Leece, A.B. et al. 2016. The first hominin from the early pleistocene paleocave of haasgat, South Africa. PeerJ, 4:1-18. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.2024.
- Description: Abstract: Haasgat is a primate-rich fossil locality in the northeastern part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we report the first hominin identified from Haasgat, a partial maxillary molar (HGT 500), that was recovered from an ex situ calcified sediment block sampled from the locality. The in situ fossil bearing deposits of the Haasgat paleokarstic deposits are estimated to date to slightly older than 1.95 Ma based on magnetobiostratigraphy. This places the hominin specimen at a critical time period in South Africa that marks the last occurrence of Australopithecus around 1.98 Ma and the first evidence of Paranthropus and Homo in the region between â‡ 2.0 and 1.8 Ma. A comprehensive morphological eval! uation of the Haasgat hominin molar was conducted against the current South African catalogue of hominin dental remains and imaging analyses using micro-CT, electron and confocal microscopy. The preserved occlusal morphology is most similar to Australopithecus africanus or early Homo specimens but different from Paranthropus. Occlusal linear enamel thickness measured from micro-CT scans provides an average of â‡ 2.0 mm consistent with Australopithecus and early Homo. Analysis of the enamel microstructure suggests an estimated periodicity of 7â€“9 days. Hunterâ€“Schreger bands appear long and straight as in some Paranthropus, but contrast with this genus in the short shape of the striae of Retzius. Taken together, these data suggests that the maxillary fragment recovered from Haasgat best fits within the Australopithecusâ€”early Homo hypodigms to the exclusion of the genus Paranthropus. At â‡ 1.95 Ma this specimen would either represent another example of late occurring Australopith! ecus or one of the earliest examples of Homo in the region. While the identification of this first hominin specimen from Haasgat is not unexpected given the composition of other South African penecontemporaneous site deposits, it represents one of the few hominin localities in the topographically- distinct northern World Heritage Site. When coupled with the substantial differences in the mammalian faunal communities between the northern localities (e.g., Haasgat, Gondolin) and well-sampled Bloubank Valley sites (e.g., Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai), the recovery of the HGT 500 specimen highlights the potential for further research at the Haasgat locality for understanding the distribution and interactions of hominin populations across the landscape, ecosystems and fossil mammalian communities of early Pleistocene South Africa. Such contextual data from sites like Haasgat is critical for understanding the transition in hominin representation at â‡ 2 Ma sites in the region from Australopithecus to Paranthropus and early Homo.
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Combining legacy data with new drone and DGPS mapping to identify the provenance of Plio-Pleistocene fossils from Bolt's Farm, Cradle of Humankind (South Africa)
- Authors: Edwards, Tara R. , Armstrong, Brian J. , Birkett-Rees, Jessie , Blackwood, Alexander F. , Herries, Andy I. R. , Penzo-Kajewski, Paul , Pickering, Robyn , Adams, Justin W.
- Date: 2018
- Subjects: Equus , GIS , Dinofelis
- Language: English
- Type: Article
- Identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10210/291092 , uj:31603 , Citation: Edwards, T.R. et al. 2019. Combining legacy data with new drone and DGPS mapping to identify the provenance of Plio-Pleistocene fossils from Bolt's Farm, Cradle of Humankind (South Africa). PeerJ 7:e6202 http://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6202
- Description: Abstract: Bolt’s Farm is a Plio-Pleistocene fossil site located within the southwestern corner of the UNESCO Hominid Fossil Sites of South Africa World Heritage Site. The site is a complex of active caves and more than 20 palaeokarst deposits or pits, many of which were exposed through the action of lime mining in the early 20th century. The pits represent heavily eroded cave systems, and as such associating the palaeocave sediments within and between the pits is difficult, especially as little geochronological data exists. These pits and the associated lime miner’s rubble were first explored by palaeoanthropologists in the late 1930s, but as yet no hominin material has been recovered. The first systematic mapping was undertaken by Frank Peabody as part of the University of California Africa Expedition (UCAE) in 1947–1948. A redrawn version of the map was not published until 1991 by Basil Cooke and this has subsequently been used and modified by recent researchers. Renewed work in the 2000s used Cooke’s map to try and relocate the original fossil deposits...
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