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PLoS One ; 11(7): e0157408, 2016.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27383620


The Middle Stone Age (MSA) of southern Africa, and in particular its Still Bay and Howiesons Poort lithic traditions, represents a period of dramatic subsistence, cultural, and technological innovation by our species, Homo sapiens. Climate change has frequently been postulated as a primary driver of the appearance of these innovative behaviours, with researchers invoking either climate instability as a reason for the development of buffering mechanisms, or environmentally stable refugia as providing a stable setting for experimentation. Testing these alternative models has proved intractable, however, as existing regional palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental records remain spatially, stratigraphically, and chronologically disconnected from the archaeological record. Here we report high-resolution records of environmental shifts based on stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in ostrich eggshell (OES) fragments, faunal remains, and shellfish assemblages excavated from two key MSA archaeological sequences, Blombos Cave and Klipdrift Shelter. We compare these records with archaeological material remains in the same strata. The results from both sites, spanning the periods 98-73 ka and 72-59 ka, respectively, show significant changes in vegetation, aridity, rainfall seasonality, and sea temperature in the vicinity of the sites during periods of human occupation. While these changes clearly influenced human subsistence strategies, we find that the remarkable cultural and technological innovations seen in the sites cannot be linked directly to climate shifts. Our results demonstrate the need for scale-appropriate, on-site testing of behavioural-environmental links, rather than broader, regional comparisons.

Arqueologia , Mudança Climática , Casca de Ovo/química , Meio Ambiente , Paleontologia , Animais , Carbono/química , Cavernas , Fósseis , Geografia , Atividades Humanas , Humanos , Oxigênio/química , África do Sul , Struthioniformes
Science ; 347(6227): 1246-9, 2015 Mar 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25766234


Human occupation of tropical rainforest habitats is thought to be a mainly Holocene phenomenon. Although archaeological and paleoenvironmental data have hinted at pre-Holocene rainforest foraging, earlier human reliance on rainforest resources has not been shown directly. We applied stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis to human and faunal tooth enamel from four late Pleistocene-to-Holocene archaeological sites in Sri Lanka. The results show that human foragers relied primarily on rainforest resources from at least ~20,000 years ago, with a distinct preference for semi-open rainforest and rain forest edges. Homo sapiens' relationship with the tropical rainforests of South Asia is therefore long-standing, a conclusion that indicates the time-depth of anthropogenic reliance and influence on these habitats.

Fósseis , Floresta Úmida , Animais , Arqueologia , Isótopos de Carbono/análise , Esmalte Dentário/química , Dieta , História Antiga , Humanos , Isótopos de Oxigênio/análise , Paleodontologia , Plantas , Sri Lanka , Tempo , Árvores
Nature ; 463(7282): 757-62, 2010 Feb 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20148029


We report here the genome sequence of an ancient human. Obtained from approximately 4,000-year-old permafrost-preserved hair, the genome represents a male individual from the first known culture to settle in Greenland. Sequenced to an average depth of 20x, we recover 79% of the diploid genome, an amount close to the practical limit of current sequencing technologies. We identify 353,151 high-confidence single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which 6.8% have not been reported previously. We estimate raw read contamination to be no higher than 0.8%. We use functional SNP assessment to assign possible phenotypic characteristics of the individual that belonged to a culture whose location has yielded only trace human remains. We compare the high-confidence SNPs to those of contemporary populations to find the populations most closely related to the individual. This provides evidence for a migration from Siberia into the New World some 5,500 years ago, independent of that giving rise to the modern Native Americans and Inuit.

Criopreservação , Extinção Biológica , Genoma Humano/genética , /genética , Emigração e Imigração/história , Genética Populacional , Genômica , Genótipo , Groenlândia , Cabelo , História Antiga , Humanos , Masculino , Fenótipo , Filogenia , Polimorfismo de Nucleotídeo Único/genética , Análise de Sequência de DNA , Sibéria/etnologia