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Pinnacle Point

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Cookie Monster

on 25 March 2011

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Transcript of Pinnacle Point

Pinnacle Point (pp13b) view from PP13B source- magazine If Pinnacle Point (PP13B) didn't exist, we, humans, wouldn't be roaming the surface of the Earth; so it is because of it that we are alive. If you want to learn more about this location, and events that changed the history of Planet Earth, please, be my guest and read on. Pinnacle Point changed the world immensly trough many ways including the fact that it saved humanity, affected what and how much we know about our ancestors, and affected how much we know about survival. Pinnacle Point changed the world through the fact that now, we know more about our ancestors than before. It hosted early humans throughout a drastic climate change. "Before this change, the climate was mild, and food was plentiful. Life was good"; but then the planet entered a long glacial stage known as "Marine Isotope Stage 6 which was cold and dry." These Marine Isotope Stages happened around the world; they were "alternating warm and cool periods in Earth’s paleoclimate deduced from oxygen isotope data." This specific one (MIS6) "lasted from about 195,000 to 123,000 years ago. In this period of time conditions began to deteriorate. The population of early humans around the world went from about 10,000 Homo sapiens, all the way down to hundreds. With today’s population currently approaching 7 billion people it is very hard to believe that once, thousands of years ago, we could have gone extinct." "Humans today exhibit very low genetic diversity, relative to many other species with much smaller population sizes and geographic ranges – a phenomenon best explained by the occurrence of a population crash in early H. sapiens." "The southern coast of Africa would have been one of the few spots where humans could survive during this climate crisis, because it harbors an abundance of shellfish and edible plants. Previously, the oldest known examples of humans systematically using marine resources dated to less than 120,000 years ago, but due to the new discoveries at Pinnacle Point, it was changed to about 164,000 years ago." "People inhabited Pinnacle Point from about 164,000 to 35,000 years ago." Another new thing we have learned about our ancestors is that they used and made their own tools, such as silcrete blades. By doing tests, scientists were able to prove that our ancestors used heat to make their silcrete blades, which changed Stone Age from starting about 20,000 years ago, to starting way back, 164,000 years ago. "To make these silcrete blades, people had to build a sand pit to insulate the silcrete, and slowle bring the heat up to 350°C. Then you had to hold the temperature steady and finally drop it back down gradually." They passed on the knowledge of how to make them, which is so specific, that to do so, our ancestors would most likely need a language, which made human developing advance a lot, and probably past other animals. (Scientific American “When the Sea Saved Humanity” by Curtis W. Marean (vol. 303, #2, August 2010), archeology.about.com, en.wikipedia.org) PP13B helped Homo sapiens survive through the “bottleneck” by supplying a healthy diet of shellfish and roots, which helped both their population, and their development, increase more easily than before, into the diverse intelligent humans of modern day. Their diet helped decrease child mortality rate, increase birth rate, and become a less nomadic people. Some proof that Homo sapiens there were developing more, is that they were the earliest unequivocal example of symbolic behavior on record due to the fact that scientists found decorative seashells and paint. They found "dozens of pieces of red ochre (iron oxide) that were carved and ground to create a fine powder that was probably mixed with a binder, such as animal fat to make a paint that could be applied to the body and other surfaces." (Scientific American “When the Sea Saved Humanity” by Curtis W. Marean (vol. 303, #2, August 2010)) silcrete blades Homo sapiens plants shell fish iron oxide genetics shells fat paint Thanks to Pinnacle Point, we now know much more about how to survive. One example is the fact that we know we can survive by eating certain food including plants and shellfish because of their rich protein. "Shellfish grow well in PP13B because the mixed temperature in the water caused by warm and cool currents joining. As a result, many types of shellfish grow there, providing a lot of food." "Geophytes, (a type of plant) are a more important source of food though, because they contain high amounts of carbohydrate. They attain their peak of carbohydrate reliably at certain times of the year. Unlike fruits, nuts, and seeds, they have few predators." A funny coincidence is that "the diet of our ancestors was all gluten free." "From a survival stand point, what makes the southern edge of Africa attractive is the unique combination of plants and animals. The area that PP13B is found in, is known as the Cape Floral Region. Cape Floral Region is a 90,000 square kilometer strip that hugs the shore line. It’s a thin strip of land with the highest diversity of floral for its size, in the world. It has an astonishing 9,000 different plant species. 64% of the 9,000 plant species in Cape Floral Region are found nowhere else in the world. The famous Table Mountain that rises above Cape Town, in the heart of Cape Floral Region, has more plant species than the ENTIRE UK!" (Scientific American “When the Sea Saved Humanity” by Curtis W. Marean (vol. 303, #2, August 2010) blackbird-bakery.com, archeology.about.com) + = Pinnacle Point saved our specie during a time where food was rare and the Earth turned "cold and dry"; "Even though we once went through a dramatical population decline" (from about 10,000 Homo sapiens to just a few hundreds), we still roam the surface of the Earth with "our population currently approaching 7 billion." Although it is hard to believe, "everyone alive today descended from that small group of people that survived in the same region," at the southernmost tip of Africa. “The sea saved humanity;” we know that, but "does the fact that our ancestors had a gluten free diet have anything to do with whether or not they survived?" (Scientific American “When the Sea Saved Humanity” by Curtis W. Marean (vol. 303, #2, August 2010), blackbird-bakery.com, archeology.about.com) Bibliography:

W. Marean, Curtis. "When the Sea Saved Humanity." Scientific American. August 2010: 54-61. Print.

"Marine isotope stage." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Web. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_isotope_stage>.

Morgan, Karen. "Gluten Free Diet Presumed as the Key to the Survival of the Species." Blackbird Bakery. October 14th, 2010 — 11:59 pm. Web. 12 Mar 2011. <http://blackbird-bakery.com/archive/gluten-free-diet-presumed-as-the-key-to-the-survival-of-the-species/>.

Hirst, K. Krist. About.com Archaeology. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar 2011. <http://archaeology.about.com>. by Francesca Biondi-Morra
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