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Humanist
08-21-2015, 10:00 PM
Sadr K (2015) Livestock First Reached Southern Africa in Two Separate Events. (http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0134215) PLoS ONE 10(8): e0134215. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134215


After several decades of research on the subject, we now know when the first livestock reached southern Africa but the question of how they got there remains a contentious topic. Debate centres on whether they were brought with a large migration of Khoe-speakers who originated from East Africa; or whether the livestock were traded down-the-line among hunter-gatherer communities; or indeed whether there was a long history of diverse small scale population movements in this part of the world, one or more of which ‘infiltrated’ livestock into southern Africa. A new analysis of the distribution of stone toolkits from a sizeable sample of sub-equatorial African Later Stone Age sites, coupled with existing knowledge of the distribution of the earliest livestock remains and ceramics vessels, has allowed us to isolate two separate infiltration events that brought the first livestock into southern Africa just over 2000 years ago; one infiltration was along the Atlantic seaboard and another entered the middle reaches of the Limpopo River Basin. These findings agree well with the latest results of genetic research which together indicate that multiple, small-scale infiltrations probably were responsible for bringing the first livestock into southern Africa.