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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Southern African hunter-gatherers have long served as archetypes of ‘foragers’. Today, southern African hunter-gatherers are central to discussions of the biological origins of Homo sapiens and the emergence of complex forms of cognition. This article summarises the overall trajectories of the region’s hunter-gatherer communities over the past 25,000 years, emphasizing themes of greatest importance in contemporary research. It examines late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers; the Pleistocene/Holocene transition; Holocene hunter-gatherers and their rock art; and hunter-gatherers over the last 2,000 years.

Keywords: Later Stone Age, foraging, Homo sapiens, Pleistocene/Holocene transition, late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers, rock art

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