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Soutfontein (SFT)-001: Preliminary report on an open-air bifacial point-rich site in southern Namaqualand, South Africa

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This paper presents the preliminary results of an analysis of

    bifacially-worked artefacts from Soutfontein (SFT)-001, an

    open site in the Knersvlakte region of southern Namaqualand,

    South Africa. For over a century, finely-worked bifacial points

    have been known to occur throughout southern Africa (e.g.

    Lubbock 1869; Johnson 1907a,b). Such artefacts were first recognized in open-air contexts around Cape Town and in dune

    field sites such as Kleinjongensfontein and Blombos Sands

    (Minichillo 2005), and were subsequently noted in shelter sites

    from Namibia to Zimbabwe and from the Cape to

    KwaZulu-Natal (Peers 1927, 1929; Armstrong 1931; Jones 1949;

    Malan 1955; Wendt 1976; Kaplan 1990; Evans 1994; Vogelsang

    1998). In recent history the focus of attention has been strongly

    directed towards assemblages of bifacial points recovered from

    stratified shelter contexts (e.g. Henshilwood et al. 2001; Rigaud et al.

    2006; Jacobs et al. 2008; Wadley 2007; Villa et al. 2009). This

    focus has largely resulted from the need to resolve outstanding

    issues concerning the relative position of bifacial point-bearing

    assemblages in southern Africa’s cultural stratigraphy and

    more recently to provide chronometric ages for their occurrence. The results of this research have been highly rewarding,

    with bifacial point-bearing assemblages having been dated to

    various periods in Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5, 4, and 3 (Villa et al. 2005; Beaumont & Vogel 2006; Jacobs

    et al. 2008; Tribolo et al. 2009). While the production of bifacial points appears to

    peak in association with the Still Bay industry in which they are

    the dominant implement form, such artefacts are not restricted

    to that industry and occur both earlier and later. Figure 1 shows

    the distribution of southern African sites from which large

    assemblages of bifacial points have been recovered.

UOW Authors


  •   Mackay, Alex C.
  •   Orton, Jayson (external author)
  •   Schwortz, Steve E. (external author)
  •   Steele, Teresa E. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Mackay, A., Orton, J., Schwortz, S. & Steele, T. E. (2010). Soutfontein (SFT)-001: Preliminary report on an open-air bifacial point-rich site in southern Namaqualand, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin, 65 (191), 84-95.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-77956934206

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1757

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 84

End Page


  • 95

Volume


  • 65

Issue


  • 191

Place Of Publication


  • South Africa

Abstract


  • This paper presents the preliminary results of an analysis of

    bifacially-worked artefacts from Soutfontein (SFT)-001, an

    open site in the Knersvlakte region of southern Namaqualand,

    South Africa. For over a century, finely-worked bifacial points

    have been known to occur throughout southern Africa (e.g.

    Lubbock 1869; Johnson 1907a,b). Such artefacts were first recognized in open-air contexts around Cape Town and in dune

    field sites such as Kleinjongensfontein and Blombos Sands

    (Minichillo 2005), and were subsequently noted in shelter sites

    from Namibia to Zimbabwe and from the Cape to

    KwaZulu-Natal (Peers 1927, 1929; Armstrong 1931; Jones 1949;

    Malan 1955; Wendt 1976; Kaplan 1990; Evans 1994; Vogelsang

    1998). In recent history the focus of attention has been strongly

    directed towards assemblages of bifacial points recovered from

    stratified shelter contexts (e.g. Henshilwood et al. 2001; Rigaud et al.

    2006; Jacobs et al. 2008; Wadley 2007; Villa et al. 2009). This

    focus has largely resulted from the need to resolve outstanding

    issues concerning the relative position of bifacial point-bearing

    assemblages in southern Africa’s cultural stratigraphy and

    more recently to provide chronometric ages for their occurrence. The results of this research have been highly rewarding,

    with bifacial point-bearing assemblages having been dated to

    various periods in Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5, 4, and 3 (Villa et al. 2005; Beaumont & Vogel 2006; Jacobs

    et al. 2008; Tribolo et al. 2009). While the production of bifacial points appears to

    peak in association with the Still Bay industry in which they are

    the dominant implement form, such artefacts are not restricted

    to that industry and occur both earlier and later. Figure 1 shows

    the distribution of southern African sites from which large

    assemblages of bifacial points have been recovered.

UOW Authors


  •   Mackay, Alex C.
  •   Orton, Jayson (external author)
  •   Schwortz, Steve E. (external author)
  •   Steele, Teresa E. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Mackay, A., Orton, J., Schwortz, S. & Steele, T. E. (2010). Soutfontein (SFT)-001: Preliminary report on an open-air bifacial point-rich site in southern Namaqualand, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin, 65 (191), 84-95.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-77956934206

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1757

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 84

End Page


  • 95

Volume


  • 65

Issue


  • 191

Place Of Publication


  • South Africa