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Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa
Many Precambrian granulite-facies metamorphic complexes contain so-called straight gneisses, which are massive rocks with a clearly pronounced blastomylonitic texture, lineation, and gneissosity. These rocks occur exclusively in high-temperature ductile shear zones, which can develop either during the primary exhumation of rock complexes or during the overprinting by high-temperature dynamometamorphism. The main criterion for distinguishing between these two types of straight gneisses is the configuration of their P-T trajectories, which are recorded in the mineral assemblages in these rocks and their host gneisses.
Straight gneisses in Proterozoic polymetamorphic complexes commonly compose high-temperature ductile shear zones overprinted on Archean granulite complexes, and the P-T paths of these rocks are Z-shaped. Such ductile shear zones commonly have a strike-slip morphology and can be easily seen in aerial photographs and discerned during structural geological surveying.
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Timing of metamorphism was identified for the Northern Marginal Zone as 2 to Ga which is younger than single grain zircon dating by the secondary ion.
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The Taung Skull Fossil Site, part of the extension to the site inscribed in , is the place where in the celebrated Taung Skull — a specimen of the species Australopithecus africanus — was found. Makapan Valley, also in the site, features in its many archaeological caves traces of human occupation and evolution dating back some 3. The area contains essential elements that define the origin and evolution of humanity.
Fossils found there have enabled the identification of several specimens of early hominids, more particularly of Paranthropus, dating back between 4.
The results indicate that by combining the two isotope systems primary magmatic zircon domains can be distinguished from those formed during later metamorphic events, even if the distinct zircon domains underwent multiple Pb loss and the texture—age relationships, as obtained by cathodoluminescence images and U—Pb analyses, are ambiguous. Furthermore, the applied technique allows distinction of zircon grains formed in juvenile magmas from those generated by melting of older continental crust or affected by substantial crustal contamination.
Isotope methods applied to Archaean magmatic rocks provide important information about the formation and evolution of the continental crust during the early Earth’s history. Such methods can provide answers to some of the most controversial questions; for instance, about the timing of Archaean to Proterozoic crust-forming events and the recycling of this crust during subsequent orogenic processes e.
In detail, such investigations provide valuable information on the timing of magma generation and its source, such as a juvenile depleted mantle, a reworked older crust or a combination of both e. For such studies, the mineral zircon has been shown to be an ideal candidate, for the following reasons. Krogh, ; Compston et al. Patchett et al. Amelin et al. In this study we investigate zircon from orthogneisses and granitoids in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt, which represents a mobile belt squeezed between the Zimbabwe Craton to the north and the Kaapvaal Craton to the south Fig.
Barton et al. Furthermore, the position of the Limpopo Belt between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons makes it important for obtaining information about the crust—mantle processes that took place during the amalgamation of these two cratons. Geological map of the Limpopo Belt with sample locations.
Polokwane dating zone
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These rocks occur exclusively in high-temperature ductile shear zones, which Event in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt Using Pb Single Phase Dating of.
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Ductile shear zones associated with the to Ma Limpopo Orogeny locally contained gold mineralization. Some of these shear zones were reactivated under brittle conditions and contain zones of hydrothermal alteration that are of potential economic significance. Within the approximately Ma Matok Complex, two examples of this shear zone controlled alteration are exposed, the Dwars River and Sand River alteration zones.
The granitic rocks of this Complex experienced early selective sericitization of plagioclase and the subsequent development of perthitic porphyroblasts.
Unraveling the record of successive high grade events in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt using Pb single phase dating of metamorphic minerals. Research.
In the past few decades, a diverse array of research has emphasized the precocity of technically advanced and symbolic practices occurring during the southern African Middle Stone Age. However, uncertainties regarding the regional chrono-cultural framework constrain models and identification of the cultural and ecological mechanisms triggering the development of such early innovative behaviours.
Comparisons with other published lithic assemblages show technological differences between the Pietersburg from BRS and other southern African MIS5 traditions, especially those from the Western and Eastern Cape. We argue that, at least for part of MIS5, human populations in South Africa were regionally differentiated, a process that most likely impacted the way groups were territorially and socially organized.
Nonetheless, comparisons between MIS5 assemblages also indicate some typological similarities, suggesting some degree of connection between human groups, which shared similar innovations but manipulated them in different ways. We pay particular attention to the end-scrapers from BRS, which represent thus far the earliest documented wide adoption of such tool-type and provide further evidence for the innovative processes characterizing southern Africa from the MIS5 onwards. Editor: Michael D.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Archaean granulites of the Limpopo Belt, Zimbabwe: One slow exhumation or two rapid events?
Similarities of rock records from both these cratons , especially of the overlying late Archean sequences, suggest that they were once part of the Vaalbara supercontinent. To the south and west, the Kaapvaal Craton is flanked by Proterozoic orogens , and to the east by the Lebombo monocline that contains Jurassic igneous rocks associated with the break-up of Gondwana. The Kaapvaal Craton formed and stabilised between 3.
SHRIMP dating of titanite from metasyenites in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt yields a meanPb/Pb age of ±Ma calculated from
Jan D. Kramers, Hassina Mouri, The results of 50 years of geochronological work in the Limpopo Complex are reviewed. The data define three main age clusters. The oldest, at ca. The second, with a genuine spread between 2. It was a period of high-grade regional metamorphism with intense deformation and widespread anatexis, dated also mainly but not exclusively by zircon U-Pb. The third cluster is well constrained at 2.
The Paleoproterozoic dates from metamorphic minerals are particularly associated with zones of intense transcurrent shearing at high-grade metamorphism.