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Varsche Rivier 003, a new Middle Stone Age site in southern Namaqualand, South Africa

Journal Article


Abstract


  • The Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeological record of

    South Africa figures prominently in investigations into modern

    human origins, because of its long history of research and

    because the local geology encourages the preservation of sites

    of the desired antiquity. Discoveries of worked bone (Henshilwood

    et al.

    2001; Backwell

    et al.

    2008), engraved ochre

    (Henshilwood

    et al.

    2002, 2009; Mackay & Welz 2008), perforated shells potentially used as beads (Henshilwood

    et al.

    2004;

    d’Errico

    et al.

    2005, 2008) and engraved ostrich eggshell

    (Parkington

    et al.

    2006; Texier

    et al.

    2010) have been used to

    argue for an earlier appearance or more gradual accumulation

    of behavioural innovations. In addition, these items often

    occur in association with two distinct variants of the MSA: the

    Still Bay characterised by finely-worked bifacial points and

    the Howieson’s Poort noted for its small backed artefacts.

    However, innovative items are not ubiquitous throughout

    the MSA and are absent in some modern excavations (Avery

    et al.

    2008), and the Still Bay (~75–67 kya) and Howieson’s Poort

    (~65–60 kya) appear to be temporally constrained and subsequently replaced by more typical MSA artefacts (Wadley 2005;

    Jacobs

    et al.

    2008). Therefore, further research is needed into the

    adaptive significance of these artefacts, why they are so

    spatio-temporally patchy, and how they relate to the origins of

    modern human behaviour and subsequent expansions out of

    Africa.

UOW Authors


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

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Steele, T. E., Mackay, A., Orton, J. & Schwortz, S. (2012). Varsche Rivier 003, a new Middle Stone Age site in southern Namaqualand, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin, 67 (195), 108-119.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84865803714

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1764

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 108

End Page


  • 119

Volume


  • 67

Issue


  • 195

Place Of Publication


  • South Africa

Abstract


  • The Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeological record of

    South Africa figures prominently in investigations into modern

    human origins, because of its long history of research and

    because the local geology encourages the preservation of sites

    of the desired antiquity. Discoveries of worked bone (Henshilwood

    et al.

    2001; Backwell

    et al.

    2008), engraved ochre

    (Henshilwood

    et al.

    2002, 2009; Mackay & Welz 2008), perforated shells potentially used as beads (Henshilwood

    et al.

    2004;

    d’Errico

    et al.

    2005, 2008) and engraved ostrich eggshell

    (Parkington

    et al.

    2006; Texier

    et al.

    2010) have been used to

    argue for an earlier appearance or more gradual accumulation

    of behavioural innovations. In addition, these items often

    occur in association with two distinct variants of the MSA: the

    Still Bay characterised by finely-worked bifacial points and

    the Howieson’s Poort noted for its small backed artefacts.

    However, innovative items are not ubiquitous throughout

    the MSA and are absent in some modern excavations (Avery

    et al.

    2008), and the Still Bay (~75–67 kya) and Howieson’s Poort

    (~65–60 kya) appear to be temporally constrained and subsequently replaced by more typical MSA artefacts (Wadley 2005;

    Jacobs

    et al.

    2008). Therefore, further research is needed into the

    adaptive significance of these artefacts, why they are so

    spatio-temporally patchy, and how they relate to the origins of

    modern human behaviour and subsequent expansions out of

    Africa.

UOW Authors


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

Publication Date


  • 2012

Citation


  • Steele, T. E., Mackay, A., Orton, J. & Schwortz, S. (2012). Varsche Rivier 003, a new Middle Stone Age site in southern Namaqualand, South Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin, 67 (195), 108-119.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84865803714

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1764

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 11

Start Page


  • 108

End Page


  • 119

Volume


  • 67

Issue


  • 195

Place Of Publication


  • South Africa