Pinnacle Point, in South Africa, is home to a succession of notable archaeological sites where the beginnings of man are explored. For ancient man and animals, this region was a form of “Paradise on Earth”.
This portion of the shore is now inundated. But, according to experts, it was once a unique ecosystem known as the Paleo-Agua Plain, which served as a true home for people and animals for a long time. Today, there are several caverns along the whole coastline where humans lived 170,000 years ago.
Archaeologist Curtis Marean, one of the study’s authors, investigated this unusual location for decades, spanning the period from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago. His co-author, anthropologist Jamie Hodgkins, and colleagues drilled ancient predators’ teeth to attempt to track their travel patterns.
They focused on the antelope’s migratory patterns. The approach itself entails looking at carbon and oxygen isotopes in tooth enamel. It can tell you about the nature of migrations by looking at how the carbon content of the plants the animal consumes changes as the teeth develop.
The scientists used an African Gerenuk Redunka Antelope, which does not migrate, as a control animal and compared its enamel to that of migratory antelopes like the wildebeest. As a consequence, no animal migratory patterns were discovered.
This implies that all of these creatures resided in a single location and were content in their paradise. In terms of resources, Hodgkins feels it was an excellent location. “Humans had shellfish and other seafood during the interglacial eras when the shore neared the caves, and people had access to the rich earth’s space when the coast spread during the ice age,” explains the expert.
Another finding backs up this study. Despite the 74,000-year-old Toba volcanic eruption in Sumatra, which caused a worldwide winter, scientists from Marean’s study discovered that the humans at Pinnacle Point not only survived but thrived.