Humans have a longstanding relationship with the sea that spans nearly 200,000 years. Researchers have long hypothesized that places like coastlines helped people mediate global shifts between glacial and interglacial conditions and the impact that these changes had on local environments and resources needed for their survival. Coastlines were so important to early humans that they may have even provided key routes for the dispersal of people out of Africa and across the world.
Two new multidisciplinary studies published in the journals Quaternary Science Reviews and Quaternary Research document persistent human occupation along the South African eastern seaboard from 35,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago. In this remote, and largely unstudied, location — known as the “Wild Coast” — researchers have used a suite of cutting-edge techniques to reconstruct what life was like during this inclement time and how people survived it.
The research is being conducted by an