A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South Coast, South Africa

Charles W. Helm, Richard T. McCrea, Hayley C. Cawthra, Martin G. Lockley, Richard M. Cowling, Curtis Marean, Guy H.H. Thesen, Tammy S. Pigeon, Sineàd Hattingh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A Late Pleistocene hominin tracksite has been identified in coastal aeolianite rocks on the Cape south coast of South Africa, an area of great significance for the emergence of modern humans. The tracks are in the form of natural casts and occur on the ceiling and side walls of a ten-metre long cave. Preservation of tracks is of variable quality. Up to forty hominin tracks are evident. Up to thirty-five hominin tracks occur on a single bedding plane, with potential for the exposure of further tracks. Five tracks are apparent on a second hominin track-bearing bedding plane. A number of individuals made the tracks while moving down a dune surface. A geological investigation at the site and stratigraphic comparison to published geochronological studies from this area suggest that the tracks are ∼90 ka in age. If this is the case, the shoreline at the time would have been approximately 2 km distant. This is the first reported hominin tracksite from this time period. It adds to the relatively sparse global record of early hominin tracks, and represents the largest and best preserved archive of Late Pleistocene hominin tracks found to date. The tracks were probably made by Homo sapiens.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number3772
    JournalScientific Reports
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

    Fingerprint

    bedding plane
    Pleistocene
    coast
    cave
    dune
    shoreline
    rock
    Africa
    exposure
    comparison

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

    Cite this

    Helm, C. W., McCrea, R. T., Cawthra, H. C., Lockley, M. G., Cowling, R. M., Marean, C., ... Hattingh, S. (2018). A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South Coast, South Africa. Scientific Reports, 8(1), [3772]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22059-5

    A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South Coast, South Africa. / Helm, Charles W.; McCrea, Richard T.; Cawthra, Hayley C.; Lockley, Martin G.; Cowling, Richard M.; Marean, Curtis; Thesen, Guy H.H.; Pigeon, Tammy S.; Hattingh, Sineàd.

    In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 3772, 01.12.2018.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Helm, CW, McCrea, RT, Cawthra, HC, Lockley, MG, Cowling, RM, Marean, C, Thesen, GHH, Pigeon, TS & Hattingh, S 2018, 'A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South Coast, South Africa' Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 1, 3772. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-22059-5
    Helm, Charles W. ; McCrea, Richard T. ; Cawthra, Hayley C. ; Lockley, Martin G. ; Cowling, Richard M. ; Marean, Curtis ; Thesen, Guy H.H. ; Pigeon, Tammy S. ; Hattingh, Sineàd. / A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South Coast, South Africa. In: Scientific Reports. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
    @article{4372a6f90d3240ada56aae690e0099f3,
    title = "A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South Coast, South Africa",
    abstract = "A Late Pleistocene hominin tracksite has been identified in coastal aeolianite rocks on the Cape south coast of South Africa, an area of great significance for the emergence of modern humans. The tracks are in the form of natural casts and occur on the ceiling and side walls of a ten-metre long cave. Preservation of tracks is of variable quality. Up to forty hominin tracks are evident. Up to thirty-five hominin tracks occur on a single bedding plane, with potential for the exposure of further tracks. Five tracks are apparent on a second hominin track-bearing bedding plane. A number of individuals made the tracks while moving down a dune surface. A geological investigation at the site and stratigraphic comparison to published geochronological studies from this area suggest that the tracks are ∼90 ka in age. If this is the case, the shoreline at the time would have been approximately 2 km distant. This is the first reported hominin tracksite from this time period. It adds to the relatively sparse global record of early hominin tracks, and represents the largest and best preserved archive of Late Pleistocene hominin tracks found to date. The tracks were probably made by Homo sapiens.",
    author = "Helm, {Charles W.} and McCrea, {Richard T.} and Cawthra, {Hayley C.} and Lockley, {Martin G.} and Cowling, {Richard M.} and Curtis Marean and Thesen, {Guy H.H.} and Pigeon, {Tammy S.} and Sine{\`a}d Hattingh",
    year = "2018",
    month = "12",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1038/s41598-018-22059-5",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "8",
    journal = "Scientific Reports",
    issn = "2045-2322",
    publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
    number = "1",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - A New Pleistocene Hominin Tracksite from the Cape South Coast, South Africa

    AU - Helm, Charles W.

    AU - McCrea, Richard T.

    AU - Cawthra, Hayley C.

    AU - Lockley, Martin G.

    AU - Cowling, Richard M.

    AU - Marean, Curtis

    AU - Thesen, Guy H.H.

    AU - Pigeon, Tammy S.

    AU - Hattingh, Sineàd

    PY - 2018/12/1

    Y1 - 2018/12/1

    N2 - A Late Pleistocene hominin tracksite has been identified in coastal aeolianite rocks on the Cape south coast of South Africa, an area of great significance for the emergence of modern humans. The tracks are in the form of natural casts and occur on the ceiling and side walls of a ten-metre long cave. Preservation of tracks is of variable quality. Up to forty hominin tracks are evident. Up to thirty-five hominin tracks occur on a single bedding plane, with potential for the exposure of further tracks. Five tracks are apparent on a second hominin track-bearing bedding plane. A number of individuals made the tracks while moving down a dune surface. A geological investigation at the site and stratigraphic comparison to published geochronological studies from this area suggest that the tracks are ∼90 ka in age. If this is the case, the shoreline at the time would have been approximately 2 km distant. This is the first reported hominin tracksite from this time period. It adds to the relatively sparse global record of early hominin tracks, and represents the largest and best preserved archive of Late Pleistocene hominin tracks found to date. The tracks were probably made by Homo sapiens.

    AB - A Late Pleistocene hominin tracksite has been identified in coastal aeolianite rocks on the Cape south coast of South Africa, an area of great significance for the emergence of modern humans. The tracks are in the form of natural casts and occur on the ceiling and side walls of a ten-metre long cave. Preservation of tracks is of variable quality. Up to forty hominin tracks are evident. Up to thirty-five hominin tracks occur on a single bedding plane, with potential for the exposure of further tracks. Five tracks are apparent on a second hominin track-bearing bedding plane. A number of individuals made the tracks while moving down a dune surface. A geological investigation at the site and stratigraphic comparison to published geochronological studies from this area suggest that the tracks are ∼90 ka in age. If this is the case, the shoreline at the time would have been approximately 2 km distant. This is the first reported hominin tracksite from this time period. It adds to the relatively sparse global record of early hominin tracks, and represents the largest and best preserved archive of Late Pleistocene hominin tracks found to date. The tracks were probably made by Homo sapiens.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85043272243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85043272243&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1038/s41598-018-22059-5

    DO - 10.1038/s41598-018-22059-5

    M3 - Article

    VL - 8

    JO - Scientific Reports

    JF - Scientific Reports

    SN - 2045-2322

    IS - 1

    M1 - 3772

    ER -