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Quaternary Environmental Change in Southern Africa: Physical and Human Dimensions

Provides an up-to-date treatment of landscape-human-climate interactions in southern Africa
Written by a team of international experts, including contributors from the UK, USA, Australia, Sweden, Germany and South Africa
Presents an interdisciplinary approach for understanding the response of sub-Saharan landscapes to past and future climate changes and the consequent sustainability of human populations

By: Jasper Knight (Editor), Stefan W Grab (Editor)

436 pages, 16 plates with 21 colour photos and colour illustrations; 67 b/w photos and illustrations, 31 b/w maps, 11 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jun 2016 | #225770 | ISBN-13: 9781107055797
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £99.99 $122/€112 approx

About this book

Ongoing climate change necessitates advances in our understanding of the interrelationships between climate, landscape-shaping processes and human activity over long time periods, especially in areas that are already climatically stressed. Quaternary Environmental Change in Southern Africa presents new ideas on macroscale landscape evolution; mountain, fluvial and aeolian processes; and environments in southern Africa, a key region in the story of human evolution during the last 2 million years. Interdisciplinary in scope, it brings together an international team of experts to synthesise the latest research and understanding of landscape-human relationships in this region. It incorporates results from the emerging fields of geoarchaeology and cultural landscapes and utilises the latest data and analytical techniques. A key reference for researchers studying hominid evolution, geoarchaeology and environmental change, it provides a benchmark study of southern African landscape evolution during the Quaternary. It will also appeal to professionals and policymakers with interests in future human-landscape evolution in southern Africa.


List of contributors

1. The context of Quaternary environmental change in southern Africa Jasper Knight and Stefan W. Grab
2. A brief geological history of southern Africa Steve McCourt
3. A continental-scale perspective on landscape evolution in southern Africa during the Cenozoic Jasper Knight and Stefan W. Grab
4. Hominin origins and evolution during the Neogene Jason L. Heaton
5. Hominin evolution during the Quaternary Kristian J. Carlson and Sarah Edlund
6. Quaternary environmental change on the southern African coastal plain John S. Compton
7. Dating the southern African landscape Stephan Woodborne
8. Glacial and periglacial geomorphology Stefan W. Grab and Jasper Knight
9. Colluvial deposits and slope instability Greg A. Botha, Arnaud J. A. M. Temme and Rebekah G. Singh
10. Desert dune environments David S. G. Thomas
11. Changes in fluvial systems during the Quaternary Stephen Tooth
12. Wetlands in southern Africa William N. Ellery, Suzanne E. Grenfell, Michael C. Grenfell, Rebecca Powell, Donovan C. Kotze, Philip M. Marren and Jasper Knight
13. Sandy coasts Hayley C. Cawthra and Mark D. Bateman
14. Environmental change during the Pleistocene and Holocene: estuaries and lagoons of southern Africa Ander M. de Lecea, Andrew N. Green and J. Andrew G. Cooper
15. Soils and duricrusts Jürgen Runge
16. Karstic systems Karin Holmgren and Paul Shaw
17. Terrestrial ecosystem changes in the late Quaternary Michael E. Meadows and Lynne J. Quick
18. Faunal evidence for mid- and late Quaternary environmental change in southern Africa James S. Brink
19. Pollen, charcoal and plant macrofossil evidence of Neogene and Quaternary environments in southern Africa Marion K. Bamford, Frank H. Neumann and Louis Scott
20. Minerogenic microfossil records of Quaternary environmental change in southern Africa Jennifer M. Fitchett, Jasper Knight and Stefan W. Grab
21. Development of the archaeological record in southern Africa during the Earlier Stone Age Kathleen Kuman
22. Development of the archaeological record during the Middle Stone Age of South Africa Sarah Wurz
23. Later Stone Age hunter-gatherers and herders Peter Mitchell
24. Southernmost Africans, archaeology and the environment during the Holocene Maria H. Schoeman
25. Landscape-climate-human relations in the Quaternary of southern Africa Jasper Knight, Dominic Stratford and Stefan W. Grab


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Jasper Knight is a professor of physical geography at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a geoscientist with research interests in geomorphology and sediment system responses to climate change during the late Pleistocene and Holocene, specifically on glaciers, rivers, coasts and mountains, in Europe, USA, Australasia and southern Africa.

Stefan W. Grab is also a professor of physical geography at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is a geomorphologist with a research focus on cold region and mountain geomorphology, Quaternary environmental change in southern Africa and quantifying climate change during recent and historical times.

- Jasper Knight
- Stefan W. Grab
- Steve McCourt
- Jason L. Heaton
- Kristian J. Carlson
- Sarah Edlund
- John S. Compton
- Stephan Woodborne
- Greg A. Botha
- Arnaud J. A. M. Temme
- Rebekah G. Singh
- David S. G. Thomas
- Stephen Tooth
- William N. Ellery
- Suzanne E. Grenfell
- Michael C. Grenfell
- Rebecca Powell
- Donovan C. Kotze
- Philip M. Marren
- Hayley C. Cawthra
- Mark D. Bateman
- Ander M. de Lecea
- Andrew N. Green
- J. Andrew G. Cooper
- Jürgen Runge
- Karin Holmgren
- Paul Shaw
- Michael E. Meadows
- Lynne J. Quick
- James S. Brink
- Marion K. Bamford
- Frank H. Neumann
- Louis Scott
- Jennifer M. Fitchett
- Kathleen Kuman
- Sarah Wurz
- Peter Mitchell
- Maria H. Schoeman
- Dominic Stratford

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