Following the fall of Apartheid in the mid 1990s the University of Tübingen began the Tübingen Southern African Research Unit (TSARU) to examine long-term patterns of human behavioral evolution and cultural diversity from the Earlier Stone Age until the arrival of Europeans in southern Africa. For a quarter century we have conducted surveys and excavations in multiple regions of the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. This paper touches upon highlights of this research, while examining the strengths and limitations of fieldwork in caves and open-air settings. The talk addresses changing patterns of coastal adaptations, technological innovation, subsistence practices and symbolic communication over the course of the Stone Age.
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