Seasonality and seal exploitation in the southwestern Cape, South Africa

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21 Scopus citations


An ecological model is proposed for human responses to climatic seasonality in the later Holocene of the southwestern Cape in South Africa. This is an area where pronounced seasonality produces cyclical effects on plant, animal and human communities. The predictions of this model are that: 1. human foragers would switch from plant carbohydrates to seal fat as a winter energy source; 2. capture and butchery of seals would vary with season and seal age; 3. capture and butchery of ungulates would vary seasonally; and 4. seals would be exploited differently from ungulates throughout the year. The model is tested against faunal data from Smitswinkelbaai Cave.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
JournalThe African Archaeological Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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