Research Articles

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 27
  • Item
    The Victoria west: Earliest prepared core technology in the acheulean at canteen kopje and implications for the cognitive evolution of early hominids
    (Royal Society, 2017-06) Li, H.; Kuman, K.; Lotter, M.G.; Leader, G.M.; Gibbon, R.J.
    Prepared core technology illustrates in-depth planning and the presence of a mental template during the core reduction process. This technology is, therefore, a significant indicator in studying the evolution of abstract thought and the cognitive abilities of hominids. Here, we report on Victoria West cores excavated from the Canteen Kopje site in central South Africa, with a preliminary age estimate of approximately 1Ma (million years ago) for these cores. Technological analysis shows that the VictoriaWest cores bear similarities to the ‘Volumetric Concept’ as defined for the Levallois, a popular and widely distributed prepared core technology from at least 200 ka (thousand years ago). Although these similarities are present, several notable differences also occur that make the Victoria West a unique and distinctive prepared core technology; these are: elongated and convergent core shapes, consistent blow directions for flake removal, a predominance of large side-struck flakes, and the use of these flakes to make Acheulean large cutting tools. This innovative core reduction strategy at Canteen Kopje extends the roots of prepared core technology to the latter part of the Early Acheulean and clearly demonstrates an increase in the cognitive abilities and complexities of hominids in this time period.
  • Item
    High and medium resolution satellite imagery to evaluate late holocene human-environment interactions in arid lands: A case study from the Central Sahara.
    (MDPI, 2017-04) Biagetti, S.; Merlo, S.; Adam, E.; Lobo, A.; Conesa, F.C.; Knight, J.; Bekrani, H.; Crema, E.R.; Alcaina-Mateos, J.; Madella, M.
    We present preliminary results of an Earth observation approach for the study of past human occupation and landscape reconstruction in the Central Sahara. This region includes a variety of geomorphological features such as palaeo-oases, dried river beds, alluvial fans and upland plateaux whose geomorphological characteristics, in combination with climate changes, have influenced patterns of human dispersal and sociocultural activities during the late Holocene. In this paper, we discuss the use of medium- and high-resolution remotely sensed data for the mapping of anthropogenic features and paleo- and contemporary hydrology and vegetation. In the absence of field inspection in this inaccessible region, we use different remote sensing methods to first identify and classify archaeological features, and then explore the geomorphological factors that might have influenced their spatial distribution.
  • Item
    Modeling the risk of transmission of schistosomiasis in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, Nigeria using satellite derived environmental data
    (Public Library of Science, 2017-07) Ajakaye, O.G.; Adedeji, O.I.; Ajayi, P.O.
    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease and its distribution, in space and time, can be influenced by environmental factors such as rivers, elevation, slope, land surface temperature, land use/cover and rainfall. The aim of this study is to identify the areas with suitable conditions for schistosomiasis transmission on the basis of physical and environmental factors derived from satellite imagery and spatial analysis for Akure North Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State. Nigeria. This was done through methodology multicriteria evaluation (MCE) using Saaty’s analytical hierarchy process (AHP). AHP is a multi-criteria decision method that uses hierarchical structures to represent a problem and makes decisions based on priority scales. In this research AHP was used to obtain the mapping weight or importance of each individual schistosomiasis risk factor. For the purpose of identifying areas of schistosomiasis risk, this study focused on temperature, drainage, elevation, rainfall, slope and land use/land cover as the factors controlling schistosomiasis incidence in the study area. It is by reclassifying and overlaying these factors that areas vulnerable to schistosomiasis were identified. The weighted overlay analysis was done after each factor was given the appropriate weight derived through the analytical hierarchical process. The prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis in the study area was also determined by parasitological analysis of urine samples collected through random sampling. The results showed varying risk of schistosomiasis with a larger portion of the area (82%) falling under the high and very high risk category. The study also showed that one community (Oba Ile) had the lowest risk of schistosomiasis while the risk increased in the four remaining communities (Iju, Igoba, Ita Ogbolu and Ogbese). The predictions made by the model correlated strongly with observations from field study. The high risk zones corresponded to known endemic communities. This study revealed that environmental factors can be used in identifying and predicting the transmission of schistosomiasis as well as effective monitoring of disease risk in newly established rural and agricultural communities.
  • Item
    Comments on 'the age of fossil stw573 ('little foot'): An alternative interpretation of 26al/10be burial data'.
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2017-05) Stratford, D.; Granger, D.E.; Bruxelles, L.; Clarke, R.J.; Kuman, K.; Gibbon, R.J.
    No abstract available.
  • Item
    Issues of water quality in stormwater harvesting
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2017-05) Knight, J.
    No abstract available