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Holocene Settlement in the Western Cape, South Africa
 9780860546382, 9781407347875

Table of contents :
Front Cover
Copyright
Acknowledgements
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER ONE: THE STUDY
PART I: THE HOLOCENE ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER TWO: THE BIOGEOGRAPHY OF THE WESTERN CAPE
CHAPTER THREE: RECONSTRUCTING THE HOLOCENE ENVIRONMENT
PART II: THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION
CHAPTER FOUR: THE SITES
CHAPTER FIVE: THE MICROWEAR ANALYSIS
CHAPTER SIX: THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD
CONCLUSION
CHAPTER SEVEN: CONCLUSIONS
List of References Cited

Citation preview

Holocene Settlement in the Western Cape, South Africa

Nicola N. Hubbard

BAR International Series 498 1989

B.A.R. 5, Centremead, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 ODQ, England.

GENERAL EDITORS A.R. Hands, B.Sc., M.A., D.Phil. D.R. Walker, M.A.

BAR -8498, 1989: 'Holocene Settle100nt in the Western Cape, So uth Africa' © :licola Hubbard, 1989 The author’s moral rights under the 1988 UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act are hereby expressly asserted. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied, reproduced, stored, sold, distributed, scanned, saved in any form of digital format or transmitted in any form digitally, without the written permission of the Publisher. ISBN 9780860546382 paperback ISBN 9781407347875 e-book DOI https://doi.org/10.30861/9780860546382 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library This book is available at www.barpublishing.com

Acknowledgements

There are many people to whom I owe a great deal. F irst and f oremost o f these i s Dr. D . Roe who supervised the doctoral d issertation on which this work i s based. I a lso wish to a cknowlege the help I have r eceived f rom many members of the D onald Baden-Powell Quaternary Research Centre. In particular, I would l ike to thank Ray Inskeep, Nick B arton and S imon Colcutt f or their advice and opinions. There are a lso many i ndividuals i n South Africa who helped to make this work possible. John P arkington, under whose supervision much of the excavation work was originally conducted, made i t possible f or me to have access to the material i n the f irst p lace, and the National Monuments Council a llowed me to export some of the material temporarily to Oxford. Royden Yates was i nvaluable to me i n the f ield and a s a correspondent. I would a lso l ike to thank Judy Sealy, who gave a great deal of her t ime to translate Afrikaans f or me, and a ll of the members of the Department of Archaeology at the University of C ape Town who provided useful debate and i nformation. I a lso gratefully acknowledge the f inancial support that I received during this work f rom the Imperial Order of the D aughter's of the Empire and f rom the Swan Fund. F inally, I would l ike to express my thanks and eternal gratitude to my f amily especially to my husband, Brett Mudford, to whom this volume i s dedicated.

Volume I Table of Contents page List of Figures List of Tables

i ii

INTRODUCTION

1

CHAPTER ONE: 1 .0 1 .1 1 .2 1 .3 PART

2 .2 2 .3 2 .4 2 .5 2 .6

2 .7 2 .8

THE STUDY

INTRODUCTION THE WESTERN CAPE THE METHODOLOGY THE STRUCTURE OF THE I :

2

THE

BIOGEOGRAPHY OF THE WESTERN CAPE

INTRODUCTION CLIMATE 2 .1.1 Atmospheric Circulation 2 .1.2 Present-Day Weather OCEANIC SURFACE CURRENTS GEOLOGY RELIEF SOILS VEGETATION 2 .6.1 Karroo Vegetation 2 .6.2 Fynbos Vegetation FAUNA LATER HOLOCENE SETTLEMENT HYPOTHESES

CHAPTER THREE:

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE HOLOCENE ENVIRONMENT

3 .0 3 .1

INTRODUCTION CLIMATIC CHANGE 3 .1.1 The Mechanics of Climate Change 3 .1.2 Factors Affecting Atmospheric Circulation

3 .2

THE MODEL 3 .2.1 Nicholson and Flohn 3 .2.2 Extended Model THE PREDICTED PALAEOCLIMATES THE PALAEOCLIMATIC DATA EVALUATION OF THE MODEL ENVIRONMENTAL RECONSTRUCTION AND SETTLEMENT HYPOTHESES . P.) 3 .6.1 The Early Holocene ( 12,000 -8,000 B . P.) 3 .6.2 The Middle Holocene ( 8,000 -4,500 B 3 .6.3 Summary and Discussion SUMMARY OF PART I

3 .3 3 .4 3 .5 3 .6

3 .7

2 7 1 7 2 3

INVESTIGATION

THE HOLOCENE ENVIRONMENT

CHAPTER TWO: 2 .0 2 .1

iv

2 7 2 8 2 8 30 30 3 5 4 2 4 4 49 5 3 55 55 6 2 65 71

7 7 7 7 81 81 8 2 8 4 8 4 89 1 01 1 08 1 23 1 29 1 30 1 34 1 40 1 45 page

PART

II:

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION

CHAPTER FOUR: 4 .0 4 .1

4 .2

4 .3

THE SITES

5 .3

2 21 2 29

THE MICROWEAR ANALYSIS

2 29 2 31 2 36 2 38 2 39 2 41 2 41 2 42 2 42 2 46 2 48 2 48 2 49 251

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD

253

INTRODUCTION PATTERNS OF CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULI CHANGES IN SETTLEMENT STRATEGY ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL APPROACH

CONCLUSIONS CHAPTER SEVEN: 7 .0 7 .1 7 .2 7 .3

1 49 155 1 55 1 69 1 84 1 84 1 91 201 212 212

INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY THE EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAMME 5 .2.1 Hide 5 .2.2 Wood 5 .2.3 Bone 5 .2.4 Plants 5 .2.5 Meat 5 .2.6 Conclusion THE ARTEFACT ANALYSIS 5 .3.1 Hide working traces 5 .3.2 Wood working 5 .3.3 Other Traces 5 .3.4 Conclusion

CHAPTER SIX: 6 .0 6 .1 6 .2 6 .3

1 49

INTRODUCTION THE COASTAL SITES 4 .1.1 Elands Bay Cave 4 .1.2 Tortoise Cave THE MOUNTAIN SITES 4 .2.1 De Hangen 4 .2.2 Renbaan 4 .2.3 Klipfonteinrand CONCLUSIONS 4 .3.1 The Comparability of the Sites 4 .3.2 Patterning in the Archaeological Record

CHAPTER FIVE: 5 .0 5 .1 5 .2.

1 48

253 255 2 74 2 92 2 99

CONCLUSIONS

INTRODUCTION THE MODEL: then and now OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS: a model FUTURE WORK

L IST OF REFERENCES

300 300 301 3 05 316

for change

CITED

3 21

page

i i

List of Figures

Figure

Page

1 :1

Location of the principal

1 :2

The research area

sites mentioned in the text

2 :1 Schematic diagram of the planetary circulation system 2 :2 Anticyclonic belts of southern Africa 2 :3 Schematic diagram of principal seasonal changes in the circulation f eatures affecting southern Africa. 2 :4 Seasonal rainfall zones of southern Africa 2 :5 Geology of the research area 2 :6 Geologic cross-section of the research area 2 :7 Drainage of the western Cape 2 :8 Vegetation of the research area 3 :1 Present-day positions of the ITCZ and the wind convergence zone 3 :2 Atmospheric circulation under the model of Nicholson and F lohn 1 0,000-8,000 and 1 8,000 B .P 3 :3 Atmospheric circulation under the model of Nicholson and F lohn 6 ,500 -4,500 B .P 3 :4 Difference in sea surface temperature values between August 1 8,000 B . P. and August today 3 :5 Schematic diagram of extended model 3 :6 The present-day climate in the areas of climate change predictions 3 :7 Summary of the climate changes in areas 1 and 2 3 :8 Summary of the c limate changes in area 3 3 :9 Summary of the climate changes in areas 4 and 5

4 8

3 1 3 3 3 4 3 9 4 5 4 6 5 0 5 6

8 5 8 6 8 7 91 1 00 1 02 1 20 1 21 1 22

4 :1 Location of s ites in the western Cape 4 :2 Elands Bay Cave: grid plan 4 :3 Elands Bay Cave: schematic stratigraphy 4 :4 Tortoise Cave: grid plan 4 :5 Tortoise Cave: schematic stratigraphy 4 :6 De Hangen Cave: section and grid plan 4 :7 Renbaan: grid plan 4 :8 Renbaan: schematic section 4 :9 Klipfonteinrand: grid plan 4 :10 Klipfonteinrand: section a long west wall 4 :11 Terrestrial mammalian species variability: a comparison between Elands Bay Cave and Klipfonteinrand

1 51 1 56 1 57 1 70 1 71 1 85 1 92 1 94 2 02 2 03

5 :1 5 :2

2 32 2 37

6 :1

Function definitions ( artefact use) Stylized cross-section of the method of hafting

Raw material and

formal

2 19

page i ii tools at Nelson Bay Cave...259

f. f

6 :2 6 :3 6 :4

Raw material and formal tools at Boomplaas A Raw material and f ormal tools at Elands Bay Cave The beginning of the Albany at Nelson Bay Cave, Boomplaas A and Elands Bay Cave The Albany/early Wilton change at Nelson Bay Cave, Boomplaas A and Elands Bay Cave

6 :5

7 :1 7 :2 7 :3

2 60 2 61 2 63 2 65

Deacon's model of archaeological change Model of behavioural responses to resource changes A comparison of the environmental model against changes in the archaeological record of the southern and western Cape

3 06 3 09

3 13

List of Tables

Table 2 :1 2 :2 2 :3 2 :4 2 :5 3 :1 3 :2 3 :3 3 :4

4 :1 4 :2 4 :3 4 :4 4 :5 4 :6 4 :7 4 :8 4 :9 4 :10 4 :11 4 :12 4 :13 4 :14 4 :15 4 :16 4 :17 4 :18 4 :19 4 :20 4 :21

Page Seasonal

distribution of rainfall in the western Cape Reliability of rainfall in the western Cape Temperature in the western Cape Edible plants of the western Cape Principal ungulate herbivores of the western Cape Predictions and extended model Summary of data and predictions Summary of the principal resources of the early Holocene Summary of the principal resources of the middle Holocene

3 6 3 7 4 0 5 7 6 6 9 5 1 24 1 33 1 38

Radiocarbon results from Elands Bay Cave Terrestrial mammalian f auna from Elands Bay Cave Elands Bay Cave f auna Raw material use at Elands Bay Cave Elands Bay Cave: l ithic assemblage Radiocarbon results from Tortoise Cave Fish species at Tortoise Cave Mammalian fauna at Tortoise Cave Tortoise Cave: l ithic inventory Tortoise Cave: raw material frequencies Tortoise Cave: grouped comparison of l ithic assemblage Radiocarbon results from De Hangen De Hangen stone tool assemblage De Hangen raw material frequencies Renbaan: layers and dates Renbaan: f aunal frequencies Renbaan: l ithic inventory Renbaan: raw material frequencies Klipfonteinrand: mammalian f auna Klipfonteinrand: small f auna Klipfonteinrand: molluscs

page

1 59 1 61 1 62 1 65 1 66 1 74 1 75 1 75 1 79 1 80 1 81 1 87 1 89 1 90 1 95 1 96 1 98 1 99 2 05 2 06 2 06

iv

f. f

f. f

List of Figures

Figure

Page

1 :1

Location of the principal

1 :2

The research area

sites mentioned in the text

2 :1 Schematic diagram of the planetary circulation system 2 :2 Anticyclonic belts of southern Africa 2 :3 Schematic diagram of principal seasonal changes in the circulation f eatures affecting southern Africa. 2 :4 Seasonal rainfall zones of southern Africa 2 :5 Geology of the research area 2 :6 Geologic cross-section of the research area 2 :7 Drainage of the western Cape 2 :8 Vegetation of the research area 3 :1 3 :2 3 :3 3 :4 3 :5 3 :6 3 :7 3 :8 3 :9

Present-day positions of the ITCZ and the wind convergence zone Atmospheric circulation under the model of Nicholson and F lohn 1 0,000-8,000 and 1 8,000 B .P Atmospheric circulation under the model of Nicholson and F lohn 6 ,500 -4,500 B .P Difference in sea surface temperature values between August 1 8,000 B . P. and August today Schematic diagram of extended model The present-day climate in the areas of climate change predictions Summary of the climate changes in areas 1 and 2 Summary of the climate changes in area 3 Summary of the climate changes in areas 4 and 5

4 8

3 1 3 3 3 4 3 9 4 5 46 5 0 5 6

8 5 8 6 8 7 91 1 00 1 02 1 20 1 21 1 22

4 :1 Location of s ites in the western Cape 4 :2 Elands Bay Cave: grid plan 4 :3 Elands Bay Cave: schematic stratigraphy 4 :4 Tortoise Cave: grid plan 4 :5 Tortoise Cave: schematic stratigraphy 4 :6 De Hangen Cave: section and grid plan 4 :7 Renbaan: grid plan 4 :8 Renbaan: schematic section 4 :9 Klipfonteinrand: grid plan 4 :10 Klipfonteinrand: section along west wall 4 :11 Terrestrial mammalian species variability: a comparison between Elands Bay Cave and Klipfonteinrand

1 51 1 56 1 57 1 70 1 71 1 85 1 92 1 94 202 2 03

5 :1 Function definitions ( artefact use) 5 :2 Stylized cross-section of the method of hafting

2 32 2 37

6 :1

Raw material and

formal

2 19

page i ii tools at Nelson Bay Cave...259

ff.

6 :2 6 :3 6 :4 6 :5

7 :1 7 :2 7 :3

Raw material and formal tools at Boomplaas A Raw material and f ormal tools at E lands Bay Cave The beginning of the Albany at Nelson Bay Cave, Boomplaas A and Elands Bay Cave The Albany/early Wilton change at Nelson Bay Cave, Boomplaas A and E lands Bay Cave

2 60 2 61 2 63 2 65

Deacon's model of archaeological change Model of behavioural responses to resource changes A comparison of the environmental model against changes in the archaeological record of the southern and western Cape

3 06 3 09

3 13

L ist of Tables

Table 2 :1 2 :2 2 :3 2 :4 2 :5 3 :1 3 :2 3 :3 3 :4

4 :1 4 :2 4 :3 4 :4 4 :5 4 :6 4 :7 4 :8 4 :9 4 :10 4 :11 4 :12 4 :13 4 :14 4 :15 4 :16 4 :17 4 :18 4 :19 4 :20 4 :21

Page Seasonal

distribution of rainfall in the western Cape Reliability of rainfall in the western Cape Temperature i n the western Cape Edible plants of the western Cape Principal ungulate herbivores of the western Cape

3 6 3 7 4 0 5 7 6 6

Predictions and extended model Summary of data and predictions Summary of the principal resources of the early Holocene Summary of the principal resources of the middle Holocene

95 1 24

Radiocarbon results from Elands Bay Cave Terrestrial mammalian fauna from E lands Bay Cave Elands Bay Cave f auna Raw material use at Elands Bay Cave Elands Bay Cave: l ithic assemblage Radiocarbon results from Tortoise Cave Fish species at Tortoise Cave Mammalian f auna at Tortoise Cave Tortoise Cave: l ithic inventory Tortoise Cave: raw material frequencies Tortoise Cave: grouped comparison of l ithic assemblage Radiocarbon results from De Hangen De Hangen stone tool assemblage De Hangen raw material frequencies Renbaan: layers and dates Renbaan: f aunal frequencies Renbaan: l ithic inventory Renbaan: raw material frequencies Klipfonteinrand: mammalian f auna Klipfonteinrand: small f auna Klipfonteinrand: molluscs

1 59 1 61 1 62 1 65 1 66 1 74 1 75 1 75 1 79 1 80

1 33 1 38

page

1 81 1 87 1 89 1 90 1 95 1 96 1 98 1 99 2 05 2 06 206

iv

f. f

f. f

4 :22

Klipfonteinrand stone tool

4 :23 4 :24 4 :25

spits 1 -3 Klipfonteinrand: raw material use Comparable levels i n the western Cape s ites The phases of change in the western cape sequence

208 209 2 22

5 :1

Traces on the archaeological pieces

2 47

6 :1 6 :2 6 :3

Pooled data from the coastal zone Pooled data from the inland zone Chi-square results: retouched to time and to area Chi-square results: adzes to time and to area Chi-square results: scrapers to time and to area

2 81 2 82

6 :4 6 :5

assemblage

2 27

2 83 2 84 2 85

page v

INTRODUCTION

1

CHAPTER ONE: 1 .0

THE STUDY

INTRODUCTION

This research deals with the settlement and resource use strategies of the inhabitants of the western Cape of South Africa from the beginning of the Holocene until the recent period of herder contact, i .e. until c . 2 000 B . P. The aim of this research i s to investigate environmental variability during this period; to consider the impact of a changing environment on the available resources, and hence on the human population; and to present a model of settlement during the period. As the ultimate goal of this work i s to develop a better understanding of the relationship between prehistoric man and his environment, consequent discussions revolve around not only the types of settlement strategies used and changes in those strategies, but a lso on the mechanisms of change, the environmental stimuli of change, and on associated changes i n the industrial sequence of the area. The purpose of this chapter i s to provide an introduction f irstly, to the Later Stone Age of southern Africa; secondly, to the research undertaken within the western Cape prior to this project; and f inally, to this project i tself and the way in which I examine both the settlement strategies of, and changes i n those strategies during, the Holocene period in the research area. In this section, 1 .0, I give a very brief review of the history of Later Stone Age studies i n southern Africa generally. The aim of this review i s simply to place i n context the more recent work undertaken in the western Cape, with which this research i s concerned. I have purposely l imited the scope of this history as I feel i t has recently been well documented elsewhere ( see Deacon, J . 1 984, Parkington 1 984). In the f ollowing section, 1 .1, the focus narrows to detail the research conducted over the l ast 2 0 years or so within the western Cape. In this section I highlight the gaps and methodological weaknesses in the research programmes undertaken before I began my work, and during the period within which my own work was conducted. This section i s not meant to disparage the efforts of those who have so industriously undertaken this research. Indeed, the contributions and ideas stemming from work i n the western Cape have been outstanding. If the section concentrates on current deficiencies, this i s merely to emphasize the specific gaps that this project i s attempting to f ill. If I achieve the goals of this work at all, i t will be due, to a great extent, to the enormous amount of hard work and research a lready undertaken in the western Cape under the direction of John Parkington.

2

In section 1 .2 the methodology employed in this research i s discussed, and the chapter concludes, in section 1 .3, with a chapter by chapter summary of the structure of the work. F ig. 1 :1 i s a map of southern Africa showing the location of the principal s ites mentioned i n the text. It has only been in the last two decades that the f ocus of Later Stone Age ( LSA) studies in South Africa has changed substantially from the outlook of the previous f orty years. Prior to the mid-1960's most of the work in the area stemmed directly f rom the early work of Goodwin and van Riet Lowe ( e. g. Goodwin and van Riet Lowe 1 929). Their approach was based i n European traditions, whereby cultures were described on the basis of type sites and characteristic artefacts. One result of this was the division of the South African Later Stone Age sequence into two broadly contemporary " Cultures", the Wilton and the Smithfield ( Parkington 1 984). At that time the Wilton was seen as a microlithic tradition characterized by convex scrapers and backed pieces, and more s ignificantly, with backed crescents ( now known as segments) as markers of the Culture. The distribution of the Wilton was broadly coincident with the distribution of f ine-grained rocks in the southern part of the continent, but the role that raw material availability played in defining the Wilton and Smithfield was not recognized until later ( Parkington 1 984). The Smithfield was f ound i n the interior regions of the subcontinent, and was initialTy divided i nto three separate assemblages, A , B , and C . • Of these, A and B were characterized by, amongst other things, the use of lydianite, while C , f ound on the east fringes of the Orange Free State, was associated with the f iner grained rocks available there. Of the three, only Smithfield C was characterized by small, convex scrapers. In f act, the latter was described essentially as a " crescentless" Wilton ( Parkington 1 984). With the excavation at Oakhurst Cave in the southern Cape by Goodwin ( 1938) the terms Wilton and Smithfield were applied for the f irst time in the same geographical area. A chronological sequence was described for the site consisting of Smithfield B and C underlying successive Wilton levels that were described as Normal ( with crescents) and Developed ( without crescents) ( Schrire 1 967:181, Parkington 1 984:97). Parkington ( ibid.) has commented that the transfer of the Smithfield terminology to this area probably led ultimately to even more confusion

1 .

L ater , o ther a ssemb lage t ypes w ere a dded t o b oth C u ltures .

3

C l )

n i

C l )

S ites

« 7 , 4

M entioned

l ine

I I

D ashed

4 1

a rea.

i ndicates

0 Lf l

r esearch

0 0 0

t he

0

4 1 R S

4 4 X

s : 1 4 H 4 )

0

-

-

4 ) f a 4

0 X

C 0

4 / 1

c 4 4 0

L ocation

. 1

a l

t r

0

4

about the relationship and status of these cultures, e specially in view of the f act that Smithfield C and the developed Wilton seem to have been very s imilar. In the f ollowing years the use of the term Wilton spread across much of Africa and eventually became so pervasive that, at the Burg Wartenstein conference i n 1 965, which was later to be seen as a pivotal point i n s tone age studies of southern Africa, Inskeep observed: I ndeed ,

t he t erm W ilton h as b een u sed o ver a v ery m uch m ore e xtensive a rea,

f rom t he o r iginal t ype s ite i n t he s outheastern C ape K enya.

T he

s ituation

h ere

i s

s o

v ery

d ifferent

..

a lmost

e xtend ing

c ontinuously

f rom t hat i n E urope ,

u p

t o

w here m ore

i ntens ive w ork h as b een c arried o ut, t hat o ne i s i mmed iately s usp icious o f t he v alid ity o f t he t erm ' W ilton '.

O ver s uch a v ast a rea a nd w ith s uch d iffering

e nv ironments

o ne

w ou ld l ogically e xpect t o f ind w ithin t he L ate S tone A ge p eriod s ign ificant d ifferences r eflecting

t he

a ctiv ities

o f

e ntire ly

d ifferent

a nd

u nre lated

g roups

( Inskeep

1 967 :558).

Shortly afterward, Janette Deacon re-examined the Wilton L arge Rock shelter and re-interpreted the sequence there, which was s imilar to that at Oakhurst, in terms of ontological model. Specifically, she saw the various changes i n Wilton tool assemblages as representing the l ife cycle of the culture ( Deacon, J . 1 972). Further studies of the Wilton and Smithfield by Deacon showed that much of the original geographic patterning was a lmost certainly due to a general decline i n the occupation of the i nterior portions of southern Africa ( caused by environmental deterioration) that temporally corresponded with most of the segment-rich ( or crescent) phase of the Wilton ( Deacon 1 974). This decline i n population, she argued, helped to substantiate the original division of the Smithfield and Wilton s ince i t seemed to confirm the absence of assemblages containing s egments within the Smithfield area. Just prior to Deacon's re-examination of the established cultural divisions, another development had begun in the interpretation of Later Stone Age material f rom southern Africa. This was the shift i n the f ocus of stone age studies away f rom l ithocentric definitions, and toward the development of a chronological sequences that related the use of artefacts to their environmental settings. This change i n perspective was, of course, part of the world-wide recognition that a precise knowledge of the palaeoenvironment was f undamental to the interpretation of archaeological material ( see, f or example, Butzer 1 964). The work of H . Deacon ( 1976) and R . Klein ( 1972, 1 974, 1 980, 1 983) was f undamental i n establishing this approach, and patterns of resource use and social structure began to be suggested i n association with technological and stylistic traditions. One result of this f ocus on environment was a l ocalization of l ithic studies and a new emphasis on e lucidating regional temporal sequences rather than geographical distributions. In the southern Cape, the sequence that emerged f or the l ate P leistocene and Holocene

5

was one of three separate industries ( see K lein 1 974). These have been identified as ( from oldest to youngest) the Robberg, the Albany and the Wilton, and these industries will be discussed i n more detail in the f ollowing section. Two major studies that are particularly pertinent to this project, have s ince emerged from this environmental perspective. The f irst was Parkington's ( 1977) essentially synchronic study of hunter-gatherer settlement patterns during the f inal part of the Holocene in the western Cape. A f urther detailed examination of this and subsequent work in the western Cape i s given i n the following section. The second important study was by Janette Deacon ( 1982), who examined the chronological sequence of the LSA i n the southern Cape from the s ites of Kangkara Cave, Nelson B ay Cave, and Boomplaas A . Boomplaas and Nelson B ay Cave, i n particular, were fundamental to her conclusions, as both of these s ites were investigated f or environmental as well as archaeological data. Faunal, geological, and charcoal studies were carried out, and these contributed a great deal of information about the palaeoenvironments of the area. Deacon's thesis was, however, primarily aimed at examining the technological development of the l ithic assemblages throughout the Later Stone Age i n the area. In the end, though certain environmental associations were noted, the industries she defined were based on changes in the tool technology. Little discussion was given on the precise role of the environment i n stimulating change ( other than noting a broad, though l agging, association between environment and some of the artefactual changes), the adaptive value of the changes, or the mechanisms of change. Nevertheless, Deacon's work provided an important framework within which it has now become possible to talk about both technological and environmental change. Similarly, H . Deacon's ( 1976) earlier suggestion of tool making traditions ( homeostatic plateaux) separated chronologically by periods of rapid change, i s allowing archaeologists to approach questions about change such as, can we identify specific causes of change, what f actors might operate in a positive f eedback systems such as he suggests, how rapid i s rapid change, and how stable i s homeostasis? Such was the state of affairs before I began this project and during the early part of my work. Research has, of course, continued on the broad front i n southern Africa during the course of my own work and a more detailed description of the work i n the research area i tself i s given below. This research i ncludes material generally available or made available to me between 1 980 and the middle part of 1 987.

6

1 .1

THE WESTERN CAPE

( see

f ig.1:2)

Since mid -1 968 the western Cape region of South Africa has been the focus of extensive archaeological i nvestigation. This work has been mainly carried out through the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town. During 1 968, investigations at the inland cave s ite of De Hangen suggested that the region would be suitable for research on the topic of transhumance, or seasonal changes in the area of settlement. J . Parkington pursued this l ine of investigation in his doctoral dissertation ( Parkington 1 977) and has since published a number of papers ( Parkington 1 980a, 1 980b, 1 981) stemming from this work. Parkington's doctoral thesis, Follow the San ( 1977) was an analysis of seasonality in the southwestern Cape of South Africa. Parkington divided the area into three adjacent localities; the coastal area between the Olifants and Berg Rivers on the west coast, the inland mountainous region, and the intervening sandy plain, the Sandveld. In his examination of the material he argued that there was evidence to support the theory that, dyring the period from about 2 000 B . P. to European contact coastal occupation was limited to the winter months and that inland occupation i n the mountainous area occurred during summer, and may have been limited to that period as well. My research represents a continuation of settlement studies in this area. The main aim of my work is to extend, to the earlier parts of the Holocene, the research undertaken by Parkington for the recent Holocene period. Though these earlier periods were not directly addressed by Parkington in his thesis, his belief was that the settlement strategy outlined for the recent period might be applicable to the entire Holocene in this region. He states: A t a bout 1 0,000 B .P.

t he p otential o f t he s ite [ E lands B ay C ave ] h ad a ltered t o s uch

a n e xtent t hat r ad ical c hanges i n s ite u sage w ere u shered i n .

B riefly ,

t he

p robab ly g eared t o t he

f aunal r emains p o int t o a n i nland t errestrial c atchment,

p lant a nd a n imal f oods o f t he s ummer m onths, e lements.

H owever ,

t he

t o t he r ising s ea l eve l] s ettlement

s ystem .

I t

b ut

i nclud ing

m ore

a nd

b efore m ore

t his m arine

t ranslation o f t he c ave i nto a c oastal/ e stuarine s ite [ due r esulted i n a ' flip h ad

b ecome

-over

e conom ically

o ccupation t o t ake a dvantage o f t he m arine r esources,

' ...

o f

d es irab le

t he t o

s ubsistence r eschedu le

a nd p resumab ly t o

o r s ite

m od ify

c omp lementary s egments o f t he s ystem t o f orm a n ew w ho le ( Parkington 1 977 :201).

1 . T wo o f t he t hree s ites h e e xam ined ,

D iepkloof a nd D e H angen , o n ly h ad H o locene l evels

t hat d ated t o c .1,600 B .P a nd 1 ,900 B .P.

r espectively .

H angen w as s ubsequently d ated s ign ificantly e arlier , l evel s eparately f rom t he u pper H o locene l evels.

7

T hough t he l owest l evel a t D e

P ark ington d id n ot c onsider t his

t he

O l ifants

R ive r

1 8E

3 2S

C e darbe rn M o u nta ins • O l ifants R iver M o unta ins

0

1 0

2 0

.

1

3 0

P i ketberg M ounta ins

k n . t

land

over

1000

feet

land

over

3000

feet

The

Research Fi g.

1 2

8

Area

C o ld B o kkeve ld M o un ta ins

and W hat

t his

[ homogene ity o f t he f aunal d ata ]

s eems t o m ean i s t hat a s pecific p attern

o f c oastal r esource e xp lo itation w as e stab lished a t t he s ite p rior t o 9 500 B .P. l asted

u ntil

t he

s ystem

a s

a w hole

a nd

d isintegrated o n ly a f ew c enturies a go ,

a

r emarkab le p eriod o f n ear-equ ilibrium ( Park ington 1 977 :219).

While I agreed with Parkington that the rising sea l evel was l ikely to place new emphasis on marine resources at about the time he suggests, I was sceptical that the pattern of wintering on the coast and summering i nland would have been established so early, and have been maintained f or so long. Though Parkington conceded i n his thesis that no middle Holocene levels had yet been excavated from E lands Bay Cave, at the time he f elt that such l evels would only show the evolution of the pattern a lready established i n the earlier levels ( Parkington 1 977:201). Parkington has s ince changed his view on mid Holocene settlement ( e. g. P arkington 1 984:117-118), but no work has yet been produced to test the implication that the transhumant settlement pattern of the recent Holocene was established i n and maintained f rom the earliest Holocene period. It was the l ack of direct i nvestigation of the earlier periods that originally prompted me to undertake this work. This i ntention was f urther strengthened by emerging evidence from other sources that the Holocene period experienced major changes in c limate ( see f or example Butzer et a l. 1 978, Van Z inderen Bakker 1 976a, 1 976b) Despite the f act that as early as 1 974 i t had been recognized by Butzer that: ..

w e s imp ly c annot

a ssume

u nchang ing o r i dentical.

t hat

H o locene

e nv ironments

i n

S outh

A frica

w ere

I nstead w e m ust a llow t hat t he e nv ironment w as a v ariab le

p arameter i n a ny m odel o f L ater S tone A ge e conomy o r e cology ( Butzer 1 974:37).

no work i n the western Cape at that time had even begun to consider seriously the role of environmental change, and none s ince has i nvestigated i t systematically. This s ituation was a lmost certainly due to the difficulty in recovering environmental data f rom a semi-arid region, such as the western Cape. However, environmental considerations c learly needed to be taken i nto account in any i nvestigation of the earlier parts of the Holocene, and I determined to undertake a study Holocene occupation in the western Cape starting f rom this perspective. During the 1 970's and early 1 980's work continued in South Africa within the research area, the focus of which continued to be the l ate to recent Holocene periods. Over the l ast twelve years research i n the area has concentrated on the numerous coastal middens a long the Atlantic shore ( Parkington 1 976; Buchanan et a l. 1 984), the open s ites scattered throughout the Sandveld area ( Manhire et a l. 1 984), and the patterning of stone tool assemblages throughout the research area ( Mazel and Parkington 1 981,

9

Parkington 1 980a). Other than Parkington's examination of the E lands Bay Cave sequence ( 1980b, 1 981), however, work on excavated cave s ite material has been l imited to undergraduate honours theses at the University of Cape Town. As a result a good deal of interesting data, which had not been drawn together as part of a coordinated, i ndepth regional project, was available for study. In the f ollowing i nvestigation the research area i s defined in the north by the mouth of the Olifants River, in the south by the mouth of the Berg River, in the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and i n the east by the i nterior margin of the Cedarberg Mountains ( see f ig 1 :2). Within this block of land, only two distinct geographic z ones have been recognized, the sandy coastal plain ( including the l ittoral zone) and the i nland mountain area. Parkington concluded that the i ntervening sandveld region i n which the s ite of Diepkloof i s located was mostly used as a region of passage between the mountains and coast during the recent Holocene ( Parkington 1 977:182). Because of this, and the f act that no carbon-dated material was available from this region,, I did not consider i t as a separate zone i n this research . However, the potential and resources of the area are considered f or each period, and the role that i t might have played in the various settlement strategies i s addressed where appropriate. In the conclusion of this volume i t i s suggested that f uture work i n the sandveld i s necessary to test the hypotheses put f orward for settlement strategy in the region between c . 4 ,500 and 1 ,700 B . P. It i s important to note a lso that the time range covered by this work i s not taken f rom the traditional and largely conventional Holocene starting point of 1 0,000 B . P., but rather from 1 2,000 B . P. Many authors ( see Van Z inderen Bakker 1 976b) now f eel that the P leistocene/Holocene boundary would be more appropriately placed at 1 2,000 B . P. to coincide with the Bolling interstadial in the northern hemisphere. Van Z inderen Bakker states: D epend ing o n t he e co log ical s etting, 1 2 ,400

B .P.

o ften

t he

s udden

a melioration

a dvent o f t he H o locene a t a bout 1 0 ,500 B .P. E urope .

i mportant

T he

e co logical

a round

B o lling-AllerOd c hanges

a melioration

i n S outh A merica,

' O lder

D ryas

i s n ot w ell k nown o uts ide N orth o f

w orld

t emperature

t he s ub -Antarctic,

B asin ,eastern M acedon ia a nd A liwal N orth i n S outh A frica. a dv isab le

c limate

T he c o ld i nterruption o f

t ime ' w hich l asted o nly f rom 1 2 ,000 t o 1,000 B .P., W est

i n

c o incided w ith m ore d ramatic s uccessions i n v egetation t han t he

I t m ight,

h eralded

t he A rgentine t herefore ,

1 2,000 B .P. ( Van Z inderen B akker 1 976b :18 1-2).

1 . ar ecent s tudy o f t his a rea h as b een c onducted b y M anhire ( 1987).

M anhire h as e xam ined

t he n umerous a ssemb lages c o llected f rom d eflation h ollows i n t he s andveld a nd , b asis

o f

b e

t o p lace t he P le istocene- Holocene b oundary i n t he s outhern h em isphere a t

ac omparative a nalys is w ith t he c ave s ites,

a ssemb lages a re l ikely t o d ate e ntirely f rom t he p ost-4,400 B .P. p eriod .

1 0

o n

t he

h as c oncluded t hat t he s andveld

In the southern hemisphere there are, then, good reasons f or an earlier date for the start of the Holocene. Additional evidence f rom deep sea cores from the equatorial P acific ( Shackleton and Opdyke 1 973) and f rom the Antarctic ( Lorius et a l. 1 979) has shown that post-glacial warming s tarted as early a s 1 4,000 B . P. Furthermore, some of the southern hemisphere deep sea cores record the warmest seasurface temperatures of the recent period as occurring around 9 ,400 B . P. ( Shackleton 1 978, Hays et a l. 1 976). Thus the warming trend of the Holocene, in the southern hemisphere anyway, i s l ikely to have begun much earlier than 1 0,000 B . P. The conventional starting point of the Holocene i s merely the result of techniques f irst developed and applied in the northern hemisphere. By adopting a date more applicable to the southern hemisphere I i ntend to establish f rom the outset the southern perspective of my work, and to underline the f act that i t i s now time to move away from automatic acceptance of terms that are historical anomalies and to consider, i nstead, whether they are appropriate to the s ituation. Due to the environmental approach taken in this project I use the term early Holocene to refer to the period beginning at 1 2,000 B . P. and ending around 8 ,000 B .P. The middle or mid-Holocene, in this research, i s between 8 ,000 B . P. and 4 ,500 B . P. The last phase of the Holocene has been divided into the l ater or l ate Holocene ( 4,500 B . P. -2,000 B . P.) and the recent Holocene ( 2,000 B .P. to the present) f or two reasons. Firstly, there now s eems to be general agreement that herder groups moved into the western Cape around 2 ,000 B . P., s ignificantly a ltering earlier prehistoric settlement patterns ( see Parkington 1 984), and secondly this division enables me to distinguish effectively between the period that John Parkington has a lready extensively studied in terms of settlement activity ( the recent Holocene), and the earlier periods of the Holocene that are addressed here. Parkington concluded in his thesis that plant foods were a pivotal resource, not only i n determining the timing and length of stay at a given site, but also i n determining the seasonal movements between resource areas ( Parkington 1 977:7-8). I believe that this reasoning i s a function of the approach that Parkington took i n Follow the San. Not only did the thesis extrapolate back from more recent to earlier times, but i t presumed, without ever actually demonstrating, that the inland area was the prime centre of occupation, and that a move to the coast was initiated only when plant resources became scarce i nland. Thus, part of his approach at the time was to f ocus on the inland area and see the coast as a secondary region. I will show i n this research that this was, however, not a lways the case. P arkington's emphasis on the i nland area during the recent Holocene i s a lso l ikely to be correct f or the middle and possibly later Holocene, but the reasons f or this having been the case cannot be understood i n i solation; nor should

1 1

any assumptions about still earlier periods be made. Therefore, I f eel i t i s important to examine the changes, in the order i n which they occurred, and this i s the diachronic and projective approach taken here. Though Parkington and others have continued to work i n the area, Follow the San remains the seminal work on settlement. Many of the conclusions of that thesis, e . g. that hunter-gathers were a lways transhumant between the coast and inland, have become basic assumptions in much of the subsequent work. This means that, where current research in the western Cape has been extended to i nclude earlier time periods ( e. g. Parkington 1 981), two problems can be immediately highlighted. F irstly, the methodology of Follow the San has never actually been applied to the earlier time periods, so that the theoretical c ase f or transhumant behaviour in the earlier periods has been assumed rather than established. Furthermore, the potential of the area f or non-transhumant settlement strategies has not been considered. The result has been that changes i n the archaeological sequence, until now, have a lways been interpreted i n terms of shifts i n the seasonal scheduling of occupation ( see Parkington 1 981). Secondly, up until now, the research undertaken on earlier time periods has been l imited to E lands B ay Cave ( EBC). This f ocus was understandable in that EBC was one of the f ew s ites with a long, well resolved sequence and a lso because the recent Holocene pattern had already been established f or the s ite. Therefore, differences i n the sequence could be i nterpreted as s imple variations on that theme. Because of the f ocus on EBC, the early to l ater Holocene settlement strategies of the i nland area have never been investigated. Rather, i t has been assumed or implied that occupation of the i nland area s imply took place during the opposite season to that i n which EBC ( and by extension, the rest of the coastal z one) was occupied. This assumption stems directly f rom the recent Holocene f indings of Follow the San, where the two areas were shown to be complementary parts of the s ame settlement system. Furthermore, none of the subsequent work has been able to account for the reasons behind the observable changes i n the archaeological record of the western Cape. I n f act, the only such attempt was made by P arkington who tried, i n a series of papers ( Mazel and P arkington 1 981; Parkington 1 980a, 1 981), to establish environmental change as the principal instigator of change i n the archaeological sequence of the area. However, while these papers were of value in other ways, the attempt to establish an environmental stimulus f or these changes was not entirely successful. Because of the environmental perspective of this project i t i s worthwhile, i n an effort to understand and overcome previous problems with this approach, to review the l imitations of the previous work i n this area i n more detail.

1 2

In 1 981 Mazel and Parkington broadly examined the synchronic relationship between artefact assemblages and their environmental setting i n the l ater and recent Holocene of the western Cape. In Time and P lace ( 1980a) Parkington a lso documented some of the temporal changes i n the artefact patterns of the middle to recent Holocene inland, in the sandveld and on the coast. On the basis of the results of the recent Holocene work, he f elt that these changes could be ascribed to an environmental cause. Nevertheless, Parkington realized that artefact variability could stem from other causes. In Time and P lace ( 1980a) he stated that s ix f actors can be given to account f or the variability i n stone tool assemblages. These are: the tool making tradition; choice by the individual; variable standards of expertise; the tools needed f or particular activities; the raw material availability; and a stochastic component. Parkington himself stated: Ag ood r esearch d esign i s o ne w hich a ttempts t o u nravel t hese i nterwoven s trands b y

m ak ing

m ean ing

o bservations

w hich

o f i nter-assemb lage

a rchaeo logy

w hereby c arefu l

i n

e ffect t est c ompeting h ypotheses a bout t he

d ifferences.

T his i s

t o " control" f or o ne o r m ore o f t he c ompeting v ariab les. d ifferences b etween s ets o f s tone t ool a ssemb lages p robab ly

r e lated

t o

a

f orm

o f e xperimental

s election o f a ssemb lages t o b e c ontrasted a ttempts

o ne f actor t han

c an

T he r esu lt c an b e t hat b e

s hown

t o

b e

m ore

a nother" ( Parkington 1 980a :73).

Having summarized the changes in adze, scraper and backed tool f requencies i n the western Cape, Parkington was therefore able to consider these changes in patterning against the proposals previously put f orward by H . Deacon ( 1976) and by J . Deacon ( 1972) to account f or spatial and temporal patterning of artefacts e lsewhere in southern Africa. Parkington concluded that, rather than representing homeostatic plateaux or cultural ontogeny, as suggested by the Deacons respectively in their own studies, the artefact assemblages of the western Cape may reflect environmental changes that brought about the rescheduling of activities. L However, the validity of these conclusions can be questioned ( see below ), and the approach has a lso been criticized by Janette Deacon on the basis of methodological i nadequacies, namely that Parkington f ailed to establish two i mportant prerequisites i n his study of s patial patterning i n the western Cape: ..

i t i s v ital t o e nsure t hat

( a) t he s ites o r a ssemb lages t o b e c ompared

a re c ontemporary a nd ( b) t hat t he u ses o f t he t oo ls a re k nown t o b e r e lated t o s pecific t asks ( Deacon i n P ark ington 1 980a :90).

The sequence at E lands Bay Cave was subsequently examined in the l ight of his environmental proposal and i t provided some evidence that changes in the artefact

1 3

assemblage there were temporally coincident with environmental changes ( Parkington 1 981). Unfortunately, this paper a lso incorporated methodological deficiencies. In particular, only superficial environmental evidence was presented and frequently this evidence was based on culturally gathered proxy data. Parkington, perhaps, should not be unduly criticized f or such deficiencies s ince, until the completion of J . Deacon's thesis in 1 982, these deficiencies were i nherent in much of the archaeological l iterature. Though c limatic change was referred to in the EBC paper ( Parkington 1 981), the scope and timing of such changes were not addressed, nor were the l ikely effects on the overall resource base assessed i n any way. Furthermore, after the publication of Time and P lace ( 1980a), no hypothesis that might have competed with the premise of environmentally stimulated change was considered. This i s a major deficiency in the research mostly because, even within Time and P lace, the validity of the environmental hypothesis was never really established. For example, that paper, as:

Parkington

( 1980a)

..the s et o f o pportun ities o ffered b y t he l ocation o f p articular l ocated i n b oth

a nd

defined

t hus

t he

" place"

i n

l ikelihood

a ctiv ities t ak ing p lace t here .... a ll s tone t oo l a ssemb lages a re t ime

a nd

p lace

a nd

t hus

m ust r eflect b oth

t rad ition

a nd

a ctiv ity" ( Parkington 1 980a :73).

Having acknowledged that place requires an understanding of the opportunities available, such opportunities were never established with respect to any of the sites or sequences examined in this paper ( Parkington 1 980a). The consequences of this f ailure can be seen i n the discussion of the Wilton Large Rock Shelter. Parkington ( 1980a) c laims that the " place" of the shelter cannot have changed much between l ayers 3 and 2 ( 4870 ± 1 15 B .P. and 270 ± 1 00 B . P. respectively, Deacon 1 972:14) because he 2 f elt these levels shared a s imilar composition i n their artefact assemblages. He immediately followed this statement with the condition that should i t be shown that the frequency of any tool type at the s ite was time controlled, then the explanation of this change was more l ikely to relate to a change i n activity ( place) than to cultural ontogeny ( see Deacon 1 972). Two criticisms can be made of this reasoning. First, i t i s c lear that there are time related cha m ps i n the segment frequencies i n these l evels at Wilton ( J. Deacon 1 972:16), which Parkington ( 1980a:80) was f orced to regard

1 . I n t he c onclusion o f t his w ork i t w ill b e a rtefact

a ssemb lage

s hown

t hat

i nterpreting

c hanges

i n

t he

a s r eflecting e nv ironmental c hange d oes n ot n ecessarily c onflict

w ith H . D eacon 's m ode l o f h omeostatic p lateaux.

1 4

a s an exception. Second, i t was claimed that the " place" of the shelter cannot have changed much during this time, on the basis of the artefacts ( Parkington op cit.) i nstead of examining the set of opportunities ( the environment and/or resources). Given the c limatic study undertaken l ater i n this volume i t now seems extremely likely that resource o pportunities at the s ite may indeed have changed during this period. Had Parkington's hypothesis been examined c arefully, the change i n segments, perhaps, need not have been dismissed s imply as an exception. It may now be a cceptable to admit the possibility of a change in " place" a t Wilton during this time. Whether these changes are best s een as a result of cultural ontogeny or activity change i s not the i ssue here. What i s important i s the f act that a fter setting out what a sound methodology should be ( Parkington 1 980a) the subsequent research did not f ollow that methodology. As stated above, i n the subsequent paper, on environmental change and the scheduling of visits to EBC P arkington ( 1981) did not address the " competing hypotheses" to explain changes i n the artefact sequence. S ince this review has shown that a very strong case f or environmentally driven change was never acutally presented, i t cannot be justifiably concluded that environmental changes were the most l ikely causes of assemblage variation at EBC ( Parkington 1 981). One further point about the methodology used i n work i nvolving environmental hypotheses can be made based on Mazel and Parkington's ( 1981) original study of stone tool patterning in the area. In this paper, the artefact variability was examined f irst and then the authors hypothesized the environmental and cultural s ituations that might have caused i t. To me, this seems a " cart-beforethe-horse" approach which, though it reaches some conclusions that may ultimately prove to be correct, cannot replace a detailed empirical study of the environment. However the paper does make an important contribution i n that i t highlights the f act that some tool patterning seems to relate, synchronically at l east, to the environmental s etting. In a more recent paper Parkington ( 1984) has examined changes i n Holocene environments together with related changes i n the biogeography of the area. However, this work was aimed at broadly synthesizing Later Stone Age s tudies i n South Africa and, unfortunately, was not able to address the area of the western Cape in detail.

1 . i t w as i n f act, ( 1974)

e xactly t his i ncrease i n s egment p ercentages

c onclus ion

t hat

t he

S m ithfield

t hat

l ed

t o

D eacon 's

a nd W ilton w ere p art o f t he s ame i ndustr ial

c omp lex , t he W ilton s imp ly b e ing d efined b y t he p resence o f t hese s egments.

1 5

Additionally, problems with the environmental hypothesis continued to exist. For example, Parkington continued to rely, f or his general overview of c limate change, on the model put f orward by Van Z inderen Bakker ( 1967a, 1 976a, 1 976b) and this model has i nherent problems to which I shall refer l ater ( see s ection 3 .0). As well, evidence f or changes in the biogeography were again taken primarily from archaeological contexts ( Parkington 1 984:116) i nstead of being more widely gathered. This latter approach i s somewhat circular i n that i t assumes the changes i n the f aunal record were related to environmental change and then uses the f aunal data to show how the environment changed. From this review of the previous work on environmental i nfluences on artefact patterns i t i s clear that a number of things need to be done i n this work to overcome the problems left unresolved by past work in the area :

established

1 . the environmental background has independent of the archaeological data;

to

be

2 . specific hypotheses about settlement i n the area should be established, i n order to test these against the archaeological evidence and; 3 . the relationship between at least s ome of the artefacts and the resources needs to be established, and the archaeological samples need to be defined to establish their comparability, before an i nvestigation of the archaeological patterning can be undertaken.

1 6

1 .2

THE METHODOLOGY

In the preceding s ections the phrases " resource use" and " settlement strategy" were l inked together. Settlement strategy refers directly to the timing and place of occupation ( when and where people l ived), while resource use refers to the i tems they needed to l ive ( food, water, shelter, stone and other materials f or artefact manufacture) a ll of which are reviewed in the next chapter. Settlement strategy i n this research i s defined as the time and place of occupation throughout the year, with l engths of stay and related movements, determined by the exploitation of resources. Therefore, an extensive i nvestigation of the c limate, environment and the archaeological record i s r equired i f changes i n settlement are to be understood through changes i n resource use. By knowing the environmental conditions of each of the periods under i nvestigation, i t i s possible to consider f irst, whether changes noted i n the archaeological record were i ndeed i nstigated by environmental change ( as opposed to other f actors such as resource stress due to population pressure, or culture change) and, secondly, whether these environmental changes a lso i nstigated settlement strategy change. Changes i n resource use, after a ll, even i f caused by environmental change, do not necessarily i mply changes in s ettlement strategy. However, by knowing the environmental sequence i t i s possible to predict the changes that would occur i n resource use with or without a corresponding change i n settlement strategy. Whenever divergence occurs between the resource use that would occur under static settlement conditions and that which i s revealed by the archaeological record, then a change i n settlement strategy i s implied. For example, i f the environmental reconstruction i ndicates the presence of an increasing variety of resources, but the archaeological record shows an i ncreased dependence on a l imited range of resources, then a change in l ength ( or possibly season) of settlement might be implied. The approach taken i n this research, therefore, can be directly contrasted with studies that scan archaeological material for evidence of settlement and then look f or f urther evidence to confirm a particular proposition. Instead, and I wish to make this completely clear at the outset, I deliberately set out an i nitial position based on non-archaeological data, and then examine the archaeological record f or evidence that either supports or rejects the i nitial proposition. This approach i s part of a deductive process that begins f rom an environmental and projective viewpoint. As the research contains a great deal of material that i s not explicitly archaeological, I have set out below, as briefly as possible, the details of this approach and my reasons f or adopting i t. The

concept

of deduction,

1 7

as

i t

i s

applied

in this

i nvestigation, needs to be examined carefully, especially as the term has undergone some changes i n i ts meaning depending, not so much on the person employing i t, but rather on the area of s tudy i n which i t i s being used. In a s trict mathematical s ense i t i s a logical statement or proof that derives a conclusion from one or more i nitial statements. In more general terms, deduction i s a method of reasoning that draws a conclusion from a given set of f acts or premises. Unfortunately, even under this broader definition of deduction, the general interpretation i s still that deduction yields a conclusion that, i n s ome respect, can be taken as a proof or truth. The pervasiveness of this viewpoint can be seen i n, and may in f act even be partly due to, the words of Sherlock Holmes who castigated Watson f or his careless methodology: H ow

o ften

h ave

i mpossib le ,

I s a id

t o

y ou

t hat

w hen y ou

w hatever r emains,however i mprobab le ,

h ave e lim inated

t he

m ust b e t he t ruth?

( Doy le 1 930 :111).

In the 1 9th century the scientist and philosopher Charles Pierce developed the concept of abduction, which overcomes the i dea that the end result i s the truth. Abduction i s a f orm of reasoning that yields, f rom a g iven set of f acts, an explanatory hypothesis rather than a proof. The resulting hypothesis or model i s accepted only on probation and only f or that particular set of f acts. Doran ( 1986) states that abduction uses: " a r ange

o f

c ontext;

a p articu lar

t echn iques

m odels... a nd

y ields

e ach o f b ody

o f

w hich

a p articu lar

t he c ontext i n t he l ight o f

t he

i s

p otentially

o bservational e v idence ;

a pp licab le

m ode l f rom t hose a vailab le

e v idence"

i n

t he

as et o f i nference a pp lied t o

( Doran 1 986 :24).

Both deduction and abduction seem to have aspects, then, that might be useful in the realm of archaeology. There are, however, s ignificant differences between the two processes. For example, abduction uses a range of hypotheses not to yield a truth, but to lead to a model. Therefore, the principal question asked in an abductive study must be, which of these hypotheses best f its the observed data? Deduction, on the other hand, begins with a premise and asks whether the observed data confirm or deny that premise. I f they conflict with the premise then another premise i s substituted i n a series of replacements meant ultimately to yield, not a model, but the truth. When applying e ither one of these processes to archaeology, i t seems to me, problems arise. Abduction, for example, requires the development of an i nitial range of hypotheses. Aside f rom the time commitment required to undertake this approach properly, the major archaeological problem with this approach i s that our observed data may never be good enough to choose between hypotheses.

1 8

Deduction, on the other hand, s eems to imply that, i f a premise or hypothesis i s not rejected, then i t i s proven. While in a perfect world of complete data, this might indeed be the case, in our archaeologically constrained one, i t i s certainly not. The result i s that f requently archaeological methodology, and certainly the methodology used here, l ies somewhere between the two philosophies. That i s, we often utilize only a s ingle hypothesis ( or in this case a set of i ndividual hypotheses), which takes us out of the realm of pure abduction. Then we use the observed data to try and disprove the hypothesis. If we cannot do this, even after repeated efforts, the result can s till only be considered a model, not the truth. Thus, the process f ails to reach the general conclusion of the deductive process. In an archaeological study, when new data emerge, we take our o ld models ( ideally, at least) and test them again. The same procedure i s f ollowed, i t may be noted, in statistical analysis, and this procedure i s often referred to as ' scientific methodology' ( the method by which we move from an i nitial premise to our conclusion); the process that Holmes would refer to as e liminating the impossible. As i t i s extremely unlikely that, in archaeology at l east, we will ever be able to conduct these e liminations to the point where only a s ingle option remains ( the truth), then i t has been generally accepted that our goal i s ultimately to discover s imply " the most l ikely". It may be noted, that while this i s still deduction, the result has now become a model, not a proof. One of the points made earlier was that, when utilizing a s ingle hypothesis ( or set of individual hypotheses, as i s the case here) the question asked of the data i s i nvariably, do the data confirm or reject this hypothesis? I believe that the f orm of this question, together with the nature of archaeological data, necessitate a revision or extension of this ' scientific methodology' to i nclude an introductory phase. That i s, I believe a " frontispiece" needs to be added to the methodology, which i s the use of deduction to derive the initial hypothesis. The details of this process as i t i s applied here can be f ound i n the section 1 .3. The deduction of the i nitial set of hypotheses i s a lmost certainly the most important methodological step in the investigation, and as f ar as I am aware, this i s a new procedure. It would have been perfectly possible f or example, and generally acceptable, i nstead of deducing these initial hypotheses, to have simply proposed a set of hypothetical settlement strategies based on prior knowledge of the archaeological situation. I would argue, however, that the l atter approach contains some hidden methodological problems, and i s accordingly l iable to be misused, consciously or unconsciously, leading

1 9

to unfounded conclusions. The methodological problems with the more usual approach centre on the question of how well we are able actually to test our archaeological hypotheses. It i s argued here that while i t i s desirable, and i s the object of this and other archaeological studies, to propose hypotheses that can be properly tested, i t i s a lso often extremely difficult. It i s desirable, because I agree with Hill ( 1972:63) when he c laims that " the hypothetico-deductive approach i s not only more efficient [ than the i nductive approach], but i s critical to the advancement of archaeology as a s cience". On the other hand, proper testing of hypotheses, as would be done i n an empirical study i s often difficult. For example, while archaeologists may wish to examine the question of whether a specific artefactual change preceded or f ollowed another event, such as environmental change or the establishment of new social contacts, the empirical evidence for the timing and occurrence of such events may be beyond our technical ability to gather i t. Thus, the theory or postulation would not be f alsifiable. On the other hand, other assorted evidence may be available that a llows the archaeologist, at l east, to build a case f or his or her theory. The l ack of f alsifiability does not, surely, disqualify such subjects from study. Therefore, i t becomes c lear that, even though we must certainly test our hypotheses against the data, there are at least two areas in which we can never exactly emulate empirical studies. In an empirical study, such as a statistical analysis, any null hypothesis can be chosen f or investigation, provided that i t i s f alsifiable i n some way. A l evel of rejection i s set and the principle of f alsifiability i s employed i n successive tests to try to reject this hypothesis. The less able we are to f alsify the hypothesis in successive tests, the more l ikely we are to accept the hypothesis as reality. Thus, the f irst difference i s that while in statistics it i s possible to say that at a certain level the null hypothesis i s either accepted or rejected, in a cultural study this l evel cannot be as c learly set. The f act of the matter i s that, while i n cultural studies i t may be possible to use ' scientific methodologies', i t i s not usually possible to reach empirical conclusions. For the most part, we cannot say " should X f ail to reach a Y level i t will be rejected". Secondly, i n a cultural investigation, the principle of f alsifiability i s a lso much harder to maintain. Often the evidence that would f alsify an hypothesis either does not exist in the physical record any l onger, or the conditions under which an hypothesis could be f alsified are so intricate that archaeologists could never expect to f ulfill them. In other words, i t i s only i n certain circumstances that a cultural study has a central hypothesis that can be

2 0

f alsified. Some would argue that the frequent i nability to disprove cultural hypotheses i nvalidates the use of ' scientific methodology' i n many instances ( see Hill 1 972 f or discussion). However, I believe that the use of s cientific methodology i s still important in archaeology, but that the differences between the two types of study require important consideration of, and possible changes i n, that methodology. The essential difference between the two types of s tudy seems to be that while i t i s common to reject the null hypothesis of a statistical test, it i s uncommon to reject the i nitial premise of a cultural study. Thus the null hypothesis of the statistical analysis becomes the default position • of the cultural one. Such a low i ncidence of rejection i n a cultural study can be equated i n some ways to a small " alpha" value; one which makes i t more l ikely that a f alse null hypothesis will be accepted ( type I I error). However, this acceptance l evel does not necessarily make the method unsound. I suggest that the problem of f alsifiability can be overcome to a great extent by establishing the default position through an i nitial, rigorous i nvestigation. I f, as i s argued here, i t i s difficult to reject the default position of a cultural study, then i t i s imperative to ensure that the default position i s one of i ntegrity. Otherwise, the process i s simply a mirage: an effort to give substance to a hypothesis by i ts surroundings. By using scientific method to determine our default position in the f irst place, we can at least ensure that the i nitial hypothesis i s grounded in some validity. Accepting such a default position until we are able to f ind a way i n which i t can be f alsified i s, at least, a reasonable a lternative. Scientific method, after a ll, does not prove things, i t s imply works to i solate the most l ikely. While the default hypothesis of a cultural study i s much more l ikely to be accepted than the null hypothesis of an empirical study, due to the very structure of the work, this does not mean we can ignore the a lternative hypotheses or abandon the attempt to reject the default. In the same way that successive tests lend credence to the null hypothesis of an empirical study, examining the evidence f or and against our default position underpins the strength of our conclusions in a cultural study. Additionally, developing the i nitial hypothesis through r igorous primary i nvestigation a lso allows f or a second

1 .

i .e .

ap os ition t hat i s a utomatica lly a ccep ted u ntil

t he d ata i nd icates o therw ise .

An u ll h ypothes is i s n e ither a ccepted n or r e jected u ntil i t i s t ested a ga inst t he d ata .

2 1

" check" on the results. In other words, such an approach provides a more f lexible base f or f uture work. Not only can the f inal model ( in this case settlement strategy) be revised as more archaeological data become available, but the initial hypothesis can a lso be revised and refined as more independent data ( in this case climatic or environmental) become available. Therefore, there are several important parts to a cultural study such as this one and these are worth reviewing again here. Firstly, each initial hypothesis must be established through the use of scientific methodology. Secondly, a thorough investigation must be undertaken to test the initial hypothesis against the data. If the hypothesis cannot be disproven at this stage, i t cannot, on the other hand, be said to be proven. Finally, the accepted hypothesis i s not necessarily an explanation, and an explanation must be provided before the hypothesis can be fully acceptable.

2 2

1 .3

THE

STRUCTURE OF THE

INVESTIGATION

To return, then, to the research topic, the questions that prompted me, i n 1 980, to undertake this project were: can we consider the environment to have remained stable i n this area throughout the Holocene and, i f not, can we accept the implication of previous work that the settlement patterns of the recent Holocene ( i.e. transhumance) were established much earlier i n the Holocene and remained essentially static throughout i t? The volume i s divided i nto three parts, i n the f irst of which ( Chapters 2 and 3 ), I consider both of these questions. In Chapter 2 , I present the study of present-day resources and c limate necessary f or the subsequent reconstructions of the environment under different c limatic regimes. In Chapter 3 , I address more specifically the question of environmental stability during the early and middle Holocene. Using the i nformation set out i n these two chapters. i t i s possible to enumerate the various resource use or settlement strategies available to the prehistoric people of the area and to decide which of them i s the most l ikely one f or each time period. The ' likelihood' i s judged on the basis of the reliability and variety of resources available, balanced against the energy expended to obtain them ( i.e. which strategy was most " efficient"). Having established, in the f irst part of the investigation, the i nitial set of settlement hypotheses, in the second part ( Chapters 4 - 6) I deal with the archaeological evidence. This evidence comes from f ive s ites excavated i n the western Cape during the past two decades. On the coast, E lands Bay Cave ( EBC) and Tortoise Cave ( TC) are investigated; while the inland s ites are De Hangen, Renbaan and K lipfonteinrand ( Klip) ( see Chapter 4 , f ig.4:1). These f ive s ites represent a ll the excavated and dated cave sites i n the research area, with the exception of Andriesgrond ( see below ) that were available for study when I began my research. Except for Renbaan these s ites were chosen during my f irst trip to Cape Town i n 1 982. At that time, I reviewed the material f or the remainder of the s ites, as well as from the i nland s ite of Andriesgrond ( Mazel 1 977), which I originally intended to use f or the research. As the work progressed, however, i t became c lear from discussion with my colleagues that considerable confusion existed about the stratigraphy at Andriesgrond. Rather than rely on undocumented memories of the stratigraphy of the s ite, I decided to replace Andriesgrond with the more recently excavated s ite of Renbaan. The archaeological samples f or the microwear analysis ( Chapter 5 ) had, however, a lready been obtained by the time the substitution was made. As the samples had a lready been exported them to Oxford, where

2 3

the necessary equipment existed and the microwear s tudy had begun, I continued to utilize the Andriesgrond s ample f or that section of the project. As the purpose of the microwear analysis was s imply to establish the l ikely f unction of scrapers and adzes i n the area ( see below), the Andriesgrond sample was adequate s ince the stratigraphic problems did not affect that i ssue. The major question i n the archaeological section of the research was how to document settlement strategy change f rom the archaeological record. Because of the environmental viewpoint of the i nvestigation, I wanted to l ook at ways in which changes i n resource use might be reflected archaeologically. Two obvious areas existed, f aunal/floral analysis and changes i n artefact frequencies. F loral material i s not considered in any detail here, because of the paucity of f lora i n the s ites which could, of course, be due to a number of different reasons. Therefore, f aunal material has been used i n conjuction with artefact frequencies to provide the archaeological evidence of settlement strategy. In particular, I considered the spatial and temporal patterning of the material and i ts variability. With regard to the f aunal material I had hoped to i nclude evidence f or seasonality, but f or reasons explained f urther in Chapter 3 , seasonality could not be considered as i t i s not possible as yet to control f or the effects of c limate change. As noted earlier, Janette Deacon ( in Parkington, 1 980) has commented that i nter-site comparisons of spatial and temporal patterning, particularly of artefacts, cannot be justifiably carried out without f irst establishing the contemporaneity of the samples and the function of the artefacts examined 1' . Both of these aspects have been considered, therefore, i n the second half of this volume, i n Chapters 4 and 5 respectively. Chapter 4 contains a detailed review of the s ites and material used in the archaeological study, while Chapter 5 outlines the brief, experimental microwear programme, and the results of the microwear analysis. As a prerequisite to deciding whether the changes observed i n the archaeological sequence, and outlined i n Chapter 4 , confirm or deny the predicted settlement hypotheses, the overall proposition of environmental i nitiation of change i s considered i n the f irst part of Chapter 6 . After accepting this proposition, it i s possible to determine whether the environmentally i nitiated changes a lso resulted i n settlement strategy change. This i s done through a statistical analysis of the r etouched 1 . T o D eacon 's t wo p rerequ isites , h owever ,

Iw ou ld a dd a t hird , t he a ctual r esource b ackground ,

b ecause t he a vailab ility o f r aw m ater ials i s

u nlike ly

l atter i s e stab lished i n t he f irst p art o f t his w ork .

2 4

t o

b e u n iform i n t ime o r s pace .

T he

tool c lass. More specifically, changes in the frequencies of adzes and scrapers were i nvestigated as the function of these tools had a lready been established in the microwear analysis. The results of the archaeological study are compared with the original, predicted strategies in the f inal section of Chapter 6 , and a model of the l ikely settlement strategies in the western Cape during the Holocene i s given, together with an assessment of the approach. Chapter 7 f orms the f inal part of the investigation. In an effort to provide a framework for research in the area, a general model of some aspects of culture change ( including settlement and technology) i s offered. This model i s aimed at stimulating further research and discussion on the role of the environment in culture change and the identification of social f actors f or change. Investigating these theories will, obviously, take a great deal more time and research than i s available here. However, they do provide, perhaps, a " jumping off point" at which to start the next time around. Additionally, the chapter includes a summary of the results of the project, and a discussion of the profitable avenues f or future research. In

summary,

the overall

goals

of this

research are:

1 . to examine scientifically the previously held hypothesis that the Holocene in the western Cape was essentially an environmentally static period; 2 . to develop deductively a hypotheses that can be tested;

set

of

settlement

3 . to i dentify the major periods of archaeological change i n the research area and to determine i f these changes can be attributed to environmental causes; 4 . to initiated changes

determine which environmental in settlement strategy;

5 . to environmental model

changes

test the predictions based on against the archaeological results;

6 . to determine strategy of each period;

the

most

common

the

settlement

7 . to discuss the validity of the approach and to present a mechanism by which settlement strategies are selected, and 8 . to i dentify some of i nitiate settlement strategy change. I hope contributions

the

conditions

that this i nvestigation makes i n three spheres; f irst and foremost

2 5

that

useful in my

mind, i s the environmental, methodological, and projective approach of the work, the s tructure of which should be a ble to be utilized again, to f urther both the r esearch i n the western Cape, and to s tudy other areas. The methodological contributions have a lready been discussed i n detail. I t i s worthwhile, however, to s tate more explicitly the advantages of the environmental and projective approach. An environmental viewpoint not only a llows u s to i nvestigate the correlation between c limatic change and changes i n culture, i n technology and/or, a s I have done here, i n behavioural s ystems, but as Avery ( 1982:352) has pointed out, i t a llows us to e liminate environmental or c limatic change a s the i nstigating f actor under certain c ircumstances. The projective viewpoint, that i s, examining changes i n the order i n which they occurred, i s a lso extremely i mportant. D ecisions are not made i n i solation, but r ather f rom a s tandpoint of accumulated knowledge and experience. I t i s e asy to understand that, i f the knowledge and experience i s different, then the decisions made on the basis of the s ame i nformation will often a lso be d ifferent. What i s l ess easy to conceive, perhaps, i s that the best way to try and understand the options available to, and decision-making process o f, another person, group, or culture, i s to regard those choices from their point of view, r ather than f rom one's own position. My own belief i s that, i f the u ltimate goal of archaeology i s to understand the behaviour of mankind by examining the past, then i t i s e ssential not s imply to l ook at the past, but rather to move f orward through i t. The second contribution of this research i s, of course, the additional knowledge gained of Holocene l ife i n the western Cape, and i n particular, the new model of settlement developed. Other i mportant a spects are i n the areas of i ntra-site behaviour, the provision of a detailed c limatic model f or the Holocene i n s outhern Africa and, on the specifically archaeological s ide, the recognition o f an Albany equivalent i n the western Cape. The f inal contributions of the work are of a theoretical nature. An explanatory mechanism f or the s election of particular s trategies i s suggested, and the use of the environmental approach to help to i dentify i nput f rom the environmental and s ocial spheres i n cultural change i s discussed. Additionally, a more general model of culture change i s presented i n the f inal chapter. I t i s my hope that these theoretical contributions will prove of more than local i nterest.

2 6

PART THE

HOLOCENE

I : ENVIRONMENT

27

CHAPTER TWO: 2 .0

THE B IOGEOGRAPHY OF THE WESTERN CAPE

INTRODUCTION

In the f irst part of this volume I examine the d istribution of resources i n the western Cape and use this resource distribution to determine the settlement strategies that could have been used during the Holocene. The climatic regime of the l ater Holocene period i s a ssumed i n this i nvestigation to have been the same as i t i s today i n the region. Therefore, the examination of present-day resources undertaken i n this chapter can be taken as broadly representative of the later Holocene as well. The f irst goal of this chapter, then, i s to give a general description of these resources so that the settlement strategies available to later Holocene people can be described. Equally important, however, i s the second goal, which i s to examine the principal a spects of the physical environment that govern the distribution and availability of resources i n the area. This examination i s f undamental to an understanding of the extent to which different c limatic regimes may or may not have affected these resources. The result i s that this chapter covers the background material i n a great deal more detail than i s usual in archaeological research. The chapter begins with a description of the c limatic regime in the area i n section 2 .1. Closely connected with the atmospheric pressure system of the area are the ocean currents, and these are discussed i n section 2 .2. Following this, each of the other main f actors that determine the type, quantity and distribution of the principal resources ( food, water, fuel and the raw materials of tool manufacture) are summarized. These i nclude geology ( 2.3), relief ( 2.4) and soil ( 2.5). Geology and relief together directly control the availability of stone raw material and, a long with the c limate, the water supply of the region, while the nature and physiographic structure of the parent rocks help to determine the soil types and their distribution. These f actors, i n turn, i nfluence the f loral and f aunal resources. Therefore, the present-day f lora and f auna of the area are considered i n section 2 .6 and 2 .7 respectively, with particular emphasis on f ood i tems. The most important points arising from these detailed reviews are summarized at the end of each s ection. In the f inal section, 2 .8, this information i s assimilated i n terms of the present-day regional distribution and seasonal availability of f ood and raw material resources. From this i t i s possible to define the range of possible subsistence and settlement strategies available during the l ater Holocene period. As the chapter

2 8

i s a lso meant to provide a general background against which the c limatic c hanges o f the Holocene may be viewed, r elevant i nformation f rom outside the r esearch area i s i ncluded to provide a present-day f ramework f or evidence that will be r eferred to l ater i n the work.

2 9

2 .1

CLIMATE

While many physical f actors play an important role in the distribution of the primary resources, mankind has probably always regarded weather as having the most direct influence both on himself and his resources. Aspects of weather such as rainfall, temperature, winds, snow, and frost a ll have an immediate impact on man and he considers these f actors to be of overwhelming importance to his l ife, as indeed they are. C limatic i nformation i s extremely important in understanding not only the present-day f eatures that contribute to settlement strategy selection, but a lso in comprehending how changes in the circulation patterns affected the weather of earlier Holocene periods. Therefore, both the atmospheric pressure system and the major weather components, such as those l isted above, are briefly described in this section ( sub-section 2 .1.1 and 2 .1.2 respectively). The f irst sub-section i s presented as a prerequisite to the more detailed study of c limate i n the following chapter, while the latter description of the major weather components i s important in assessing later Holocene settlement strategies. 2 .1.1 Atmospheric Circulation Near the surface of each hemisphere the atmosphere can be divided i nto f ive z ones. These z ones represent the wind systems and pressure belts that are in constant motion around the earth ( see f ig.2:1). Zone A i s the circumpolar belt of low pressure cyclonic cells. Zone B i s a second zone of cyclones that move in the mid-latitudes a long a band of surface westerlies. This z one i s often referred to as the roaring forties. Zone C i s a belt of subtropical high pressure with semi-stationary anticyclones. The equatorial s ide of this zone i s known as the horse latitudes. The surface easterly winds that occur i n zone D are known as the trade winds, while z one E covers the area where the circulation systems of the two hemispheres meet. This area i s known as the i nter-tropical convergence zone, or the ITCZ. The l ight, variable winds of this z one are known as the doldrums ( Nicholson and F lohn 1 980:329-331). There are, however, differences in the atmospheric circulation of the two hemispheres. These differences are primarily due to two f actors. First, the thick permanent i ce-cap of Antarctica contrasts with the thinner, seasonally distributed i ce of the northern hemisphere causing differences in temperature of up to 3 0 degrees centigrade in the two areas. This means that the circulation systems of the southern hemisphere are stronger than their northern counterparts. Additionally, the extent of the Antarctic i ce-cap influences the position of the

3 0

a - c ircumpolar l ows b - w esterlies c - s ubtropical h ighs d - e asterly t rade winds e - I ntertropical Convergence Z one

(ucz)-

doldrums

S chematic D iagram o f t he P lanetary C irculation S ystem

F ig.

3 1

2 :1

meteorological equator ( presently lying about 6 degrees north of the geographical equator during southern summer and 1 5 degrees north during southern winter) and the thermal gradient of the southern hemisphere ( see s ection 3 .1). Second, the smaller l and mass of the southern hemisphere affects the heat budget, causing a much stronger z onal f low i n the southern hemisphere ( ibid.). The circulation system of South Africa i s dominated by two cells of atmospheric high pressure, the South Atlantic anticyclone and the Indian Ocean anticyclone, which l ie on either s ide of the continent. Together, these anticyclones are responsible f or the Southeasterly Trade Wind System, which i s strongest on the eastern s ide of the ocean basins, and the Westerly Wind System, which circles the hemisphere south of the African continent ( Wellington 1 955:191). These stable cells originated during Tertiary time ( Van Z inderen Bakker 1 976b:160). A high " zonal index" ( the pressure differential between the sub-tropical high pressure zone and the c ircumpolar l ow pressure zone) during summer ( January) causes the two anticyclonic cells to increase in s ize and i ntensity of circulation. The zonal index i s lower i n winter ( June) when the polar high extends f arther north. Therefore, the anticyclonic cells become smaller and the intensity of their circulation i s lessened with their centres shifting away from each other ( Wellington 1 955:192-194)(see f ig.2:2). Another important f eature of the oceanic anticyclones i s that a long with the seasonal i ncrease and decrease in their s ize and i ntensity, these anticyclones a lso change their l atitudinal position i n conjunction with the extent of polar i ce. In July, the position of the South Atlantic anticyclone i s 2 7 degrees south and the Indian Ocean cell l ies at 3 2 degrees south, whereas i n January these anticyclonic cells have shifted to 3 0 degrees south and 3 5 degrees south respectively. The position of the South Atlantic anticyclone during winter means that the Westerly Wind System moves c lose enough to the south coast of Africa f or cyclonic rain to f all in the western Cape ( Van Z inderen Bakker 1 976a:142; Wellington 1 955:142). Several important points emerge from this review of atmospheric circulation. The main changes in the circulation patterns i n relation to the extent of polar ice i n the northern and southern hemispheres are shown schematically in f ig. 2 :3. These changing circulation patterns cause seasonal differences i n the hemispheric or zonal temperature gradients. As a result, the strength of the anticyclonic c irculation i ncreases during summer and arid southeasterlies sweep the western edge of South Africa. With the i ncrease i n polar i ce during winter and consequent extension of the polar high, decreases i n the i ntensity of circulation occur. These changes are

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concurrent with the shift i n the meteorological equator, and the overall result i s a northward shift in the position of the oceanic anticyclones and the westerly wind system. Thus, the seasonal changes in i ntensity of anticyclonic c irculation have a direct affect on the direction of the predominant winds and therefore, on the time and amount of rainfall i n the research area ( see below). 2 .1.2

Present-Day Weather

Because the moisture-laden westerlies only reach the research area during winter, more than 75% of the total rainfall of the area occurs during this season ( April to September i nclusive, see table 2 :1). However, due to topography and the aridifying effects of the Benguela Current ( see below), there are major differences within the research area i n the amounts of rainfall received. For example, the Cape Folded Mountain zone i nland receives anywhere f rom 6 00 mm to 900 mm per annum, and the underlying Table Mountain rock retains some of this water throughout the year. The Cape Forelands along the coast, however, only receive about 1 00 mm per annum. This i s primarily due to the presence of the Benguela Current off the west coast of South Africa. This cold upwelling current acts much l ike a mountain range, causing the condensation of moisture from sea breezes and preventing rain from reaching l and. While this current contributes to the low precipitation received in the Coastal Forelands, the general aridity of the area i s exacerbated by the sand covering, through which water i s lost very rapidly ( Mazel 1 980:11-12; Parkington 1 977:32-33). Leeward of the i nland mountain ranges only small amounts of rain f all even during winter ( Parkington 1 977:38; Wellington 1 955:240). Tables 2 :1 and 2 :2 l ist the amount of rainfall recorded at certain s ites within the research area. Table 2 :2 gives the 6 0% ( 3 out of every 5 years) and 8 0% ( 4 out of every 5 years) probabilities of the given amounts of rain occurring. While this table gives some i dea of the reliability of rainfall i n the area, i t f ails to highlight accurately the seasonal nature of the precipitation. Table 2 :1, which presents the average monthly rainfall, i s more useful, therefore, in understanding the distribution of precipitation throughout the year. Precipitation in the research area i s generally of low i ntensity, a lthough where mountain f eatures f orce the wind higher, there i s an i ncrease i n intensity ( Wellington 1 955:258). For the purposes of the f ollowing chapter which i ncludes palaeoclimatic data f rom outside the research area, i t i s worthwhile to review briefly the rainfall patterns e lsewhere in South Africa. The eastern s ide of

3 5

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1 . 8

9 .0

1 2 .9 1 7 .6 2 1 .0

2 4 .2

1 4 .3 1 9 .8

9 . 1

8 . 6

4 . 7

d a ys

2 5

1

1

1

2

5

3

1

1

1

3

4

2

1 (w i nter 8 1 )

Seasonal

di stributi on ( after

of

Rai nfall

Parki ngton

Tabl e

2:1

36

in

1977)

the

Western

Cape

R a infa ll ( g m ) M o nth

C e res

P i ke tbe rg

C a lv in ia

s o u th o f t h e

E l ands B a y

O l ifants R i ver

6 0 1

8 01

6 0 1

8 0 1

6 0 1

8 0 1

6 01

8 0 1

6 0 1

8 0 1

J a n

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

F e b

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

M a r

0 25

0 -25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

A p r

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

M a y

5 0-75

2 5-50

2 5 -50

2 5-50

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

J u ne

7 5 100

5 0-75

2 5 -50

2 5-50

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

J u ly

7 5 100

2 5-50

2 5 -50

2 5-50

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

A u g

7 5 100

5 0 -75

5 0-75

2 5-50

0 -25

0 -25

0 -25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

S e pt

5 0-75

0 -25

0 -25

0 -25

0 -25

0 25

0 -25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

O c t

2 5-5 0

0 25

0 -25

0 -25

0 -25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 25

N o v

0 25

0 -25

0 -25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 25

D e c

0 -25

0 -25

0 -25

0 -25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 25

0 -25

Reli ability

of

Rainfall 1931

( after

Buys

et

Tabl e

37



in

the

1965

al . 1979)

2 :2

Western

Cape

the continent, for example, experiences predominantly summer rainfall. The l atitudinal position of the Indian Ocean high during winter means the northeasterly winds that bring maritime air to the continent are too f ar north to affect the eastern coast of South Africa. In summer, the anticyclone moves south and the northeasterly monsoons are f elt a long this coast ( Wellington 1 955:195-196) ( see f ig. 2 :3). The coastal region receives i n excess of 1 000 mm of rain per annum, but there i s a sharp decrease in precipitation inland from this coast. In the southern and southeastern Cape, rain f alls at a ll times of the year ( Wellington 1 955:192). This region i s within the i nfluence of the Westerly Wind System during winter and rains can penetrate as f ar north as Barkly East. During summer, when the Indian Ocean anticyclone i s positioned further south, wet weather originating in the east affects the southern Cape ( Coetzee 1 967:101-105). F ig. 2 :4 shows the rainfall zones of South Africa. While the amount of sunshine and radiation f rom the Earth's surface i n general governs the ground and atmospheric temperatures i n South Africa, the western Cape i s subject to the additional i nfluence of the Benguela Current ( see section 2 .2.) which has a general cooling effect along this coast in contrast, for example, to the warm Agulhas current that f lows off the southern coast. The overall effect of the Atlantic waters i s thus to moderate temperatures at the coast i n comparison to those inland ( Parkington 1 977:33; Wellington 1 955:219). Table 2 :3 shows that the daily range of temperature on the coast i s roughly half of that experienced approximately 9 0 km inland. The average summer maximum temperature ( January) in the research area i s approximately 2 2 degrees centigrade at the coast and 2 7 degrees centigrade i nland. During winter ( July), the average minimum temperatures range from 7 .5 degrees centigrade on the coast to 2 .5 degrees centigrade i nland. The daily range of temperature in the western Cape f or January i s 1 0 degrees centigrade ( coast) and 1 5 degrees centigrade ( inland), and f or July it i s 7 .5 degrees centigrade ( coast) and 1 2.5 degrees centigrade ( inland) ( Thompson 1 965:57-59,63-65). Temperature and insolation have important effects on the distribution of f ood resources in the area. Aside from the obvious affect of l imiting plant and animal occupation of the area to species that are tolerant to these temperature values and ranges, temperature plays an important role i n evaporation rates. Not only does this directly affect the water availability on the land, but i t a lso controls the amount of water evaporated from the oceans, and consequently available f or precipitation. Other weather considerations

3 8

are

the

occurrence

of

2 0

2 5

3 0

2 5

3 0

a



winter

n

rain

Summer rainfall

- M arch peak

year-round rain - J anuary peak

- J anuary -

S easonal

Rainfall ( after

Zones

of

Wellington F ig.

2 : 4

3 9

-M arch

Southern Africa 1 955)

rain

M e an D a ily T e m perature J a n

J u ne

J u ly

A u g

C a pe C o lumb ine M a x

2 0 .8 2 1 .1 2 0 .6 1 8 .9 1 7 .6 1 6 .7

1 5 .8

1 6 .4 1 7 .0

1 8 .4 1 8 .7 2 0 .3

M i n

1 3 .1 1 3 .4 1 3 .1 1 2 .4 1 .5 1 0 .6

1 0 .0

1 0 .1 1 0 .1

1 .4 1 2 .2 1 2 .8

7 . 7

5 . 8

6 .3

7 . 0

1 7 .8

1 9 .2 2 0 .7

2 4 .4 2 8 .3 3 0 .3

5 . 3

6 .5

9 .8

1 2 .5

1 2 .7 1 3 .0

d a ily r a nge P o rterv ille

F e b

7 . 7

M a r

A p r

7 . 5

M a y

6 . 5

6 . 1

6 . 1

M a x

3 1 .5 3 1 .8 2 9 .9 2 6 .1 2 1 .5 1 9 .7

M i n

1 5 .7 1 6 .2 1 4 .6 1 0 .4 8 . 1

d a ily r a nge

6 . 6

1 5 .8 1 5 .6 1 5 .3 1 5 .7 1 3 .4 1 3 .1

Temperature ( after

in

the

Western

Parkington

Tabl e

40

2 :3

1977)

S e pt

6 . 9

7 . 7

O c t

N o v

7 . 5

D e c

7 . 5

1 3 .2 1 5 .1

1 4 .6 1 5 .1 1 5 .2

Cape

snow and frost. However, these are unlikely to have a s ignificant affect on settlement i n the research area. In general, f rost occurs i nfrequently i n this area a lthough occasionally i t f orms i n the sheltered valley bottoms ( Wellington 1 955:225). Frosts rarely occur on the coast i tself. Snow i s f ound i n the mountains on average about f ive times a year, but i t never endures throughout the winter ( Mazel 1 980:11). A general summary of the weather of the research area i s that i t experiences generally hot, dry summers and wet, cool winters. The amount of rainfall and range of temperature are greater i nland than on the coast. Temperatures are generally lower on the coast than inland. During winter i nland temperatures dip low enough to require warm shelter, while summer temperatures contribute to the aridity of the coastal area by i ncreasing evaporation. These points will be referred to again when examining the potential of the area f or l ater Holocene settlement at the end of this chapter.

4 1

2 .2

OCEANIC SURFACE CURRENTS

An important role i n the biogeography of the western Cape i s played by the adjacent ocean currents. These currents are governed by atmospheric circulation and the physical principles that control the f low of the water masses. The major current that affects the research area i s the Benguela Current which f lows northward a long the west coast of South Africa from about 3 3 degrees south to about 1 5 degrees south where i t meets the westward f lowing South Equatorial Current ( Currie 1 953:497; Wellington 1 955:132). As the current travels northward there i s a continual " fanning out" of the water toward the west caused by the Southeasterly Trade winds. Due to this westward movement of the surface water there i s a compensating upwelling of colder waters on the eastern side of the current. These cold waters are thought to derive from the Antarctic Intermediate Current which f lows under the subantarctic and subtropical waters ( Currie 1 953:2; Wellington 1 955:132). A second important f actor i n the cause of the upwelling i s a dynamic principle that operates in the southern hemisphere. Eckman's l aw i s outlined by Wellington as: .. w here i n s uch a [ southern h em isphere ] c urrent a w arm l ayer o verlies a c o ld o ne t here

w ill

b e

az one o f c ontact s lop ing t o t he l eft ( when o ne i s l ooking i n t he

d irection o f m ovement) a nd t he u pper l ayer w ill m ove d own t his p lane t o t he t he u nderwater m ov ing t o t he r ight. p roportional

t o

l eft,

T he d ynam ic e ffect o f t he e arth's r otation i s

t he v elocity o f t he c urrent.

I n af ast m ov ing c urrent t he p lane

o f c ontact w ill s lope s teep ly a nd t he l ateral m ovement w ill b e s trong , t he r everse h old ing t rue f or a s low c urrent ( We llington l 955:133-134).

Therefore during winter, when the South Atlantic anticyclone becomes smaller and loses intensity, there is a consequent weakening of the Southeasterlies and thus, a lessening of the velocity of the current. This affects the s lope of the plane of contact between the warm and cold waters and reduces the amount of the upwelling ( Currie 1 953:498; Wellington 1 955:134). This seasonal variation in upwelling has been discussed by Currie ( 1953), Duncan ( 1964), Stander ( 1967), and Visser ( 1969). In general i t i s agreed that upwelling i s strongest during spring, diminishing throughout summer to i ts weakest point during autumn. Throughout winter the upwelling i ncreases in strength to reach i ts maximum again i n spring. It appears that upwelling occurs sporadically along the coast rather than ubiquitously. Visser ( 1969:5) and Wellington ( 1955:132) describe the discovery by the 1 950 William Scoresby expedition of " interlocking tongues" of warm and cold water i n this z one. The upwelled waters have the beneficial effect of bringing to the surface poorly oxygenated water, which i s rich i n the nutrients upon which

4 2

phytoplankton thrive. The abundance of phytoplankton promotes plentiful marine l ife, thus providing the exceptionally rich and varied resources of the coastal z one ( Currie 1 953:499, Parkington 1 977:31). Though mostly beneficial, this upwelling can occasionally cause outbreaks of poisonous dinoflagellates ( red tide) that can effect a dramatic reduction i n the availability of marine resources. These outbreaks, and their effect on resource distributions and human settlement strategies, are discussed in more detail in section 2 .8. The aridifying and cooling effects of the Benguela Current have a lready been discussed in section 2 .1.

4 3

2 .3

GEOLOGY

The geology of the area plays a major determining role in the distribution of a number of resources. The geology can either directly affect the availability of resources ( e. g. stone raw material) or can i ndirectly influence the distribution of other resources ( such as plants, by being a main determinant of soil composition). It i s useful, therefore, to examine the geology of the area and highlight both the stone raw material resources and the major rock groups. Both are shown on Fig. 2 :5. At the northern and southern extensions of the research area are the Malmesbury Group formations, which consist mainly of " slates, phyllites, argillaceous quartzites and in localized areas, l imestones and basic igneous rocks" ( Haughton 1 969:299). The Malmesbury Group, even though poorly exposed, can provide raw material in the f orm of chert from several of i ts f ormations. At the end of the Precambrian, thermotectonic events initiated a new style of sedimentation represented by the three l ithological groups, the Table Mountain Group, the Bokkeveld Group, and the Witteberg Group, that together f orm the Cape Supergroup ( Tankard et a l. 1 982:334). The Table Mountain Group i s composed of an approximately 4 000 metre thickness of quartz arenites, mudstones, and conglomerates ( Tankard et a l. 1 982:334-335). This group i s thickest in the area of the Cedarberg ( see f ig.2:6) where subsidence was the greatest ( Du Toit 1 939:214; Haughton 1 969:334). East of the Cedarberg Mountain range the rocks dip gently eastward beneath the rocks of the Bokkeveld Group, while west of the Cedarberg the beds extend to the Atlantic coast ( Haughton 1 969:331). The rocks of this group contain cherts and jaspers that are a l ikely source of raw material in the area, as well as quartzite and vein quartz. More precisely, in the western part of the region the basal f ormation of the Table Mountain Group ( the Piekenierskloof) has well developed coarse conglomerates with sandstone interbeds. The conglomerate l ithofacies are thickest in the Lambert's Bay area, north of Elands Bay, and thin towards the southeast. Clast sizes, which in the west sometimes reach 4 0 cm, also decline towards the southeast(Tankard et a l. 1 982:336-337). The Pakhuis Formation of the Table Mountain Group a lso includes extrabasinal rock types, such as chert ( Tankard et aL 1 982:345), that can be utilized as raw material, and again these are primarily available in the west. Additionally, erratics of chert and jasper are present in the northern parts of the Table Mountain Group. Though exotic c lasts are

a lso

f ound

4 4

i n

the

south,

the

Table

1 9

1 8

0

Geol ogy

E ä-

t h u

Pri nci pal

Stone

Raw

Materi al s

T a b le M o unta in G r oup -c h e rt , j a sper , q u artz ite , q u artz ( v e in )

-D o kkeve ld . 74' c

5 0 k ilometres

G r oup

W i ttebe rq G r oup

sh a le in du rated s h a le , q u artzite

M ams l ebr uy G ru op a n d r e lated r o cks -Re cent S a nds

che rt si lcre te

O t he r

THE

GEOLOGY

OF THE

RESEARCH AREA

( after Wellington

F ig.

45

2 : 5

1 955)

• -

46

a )

( a fte r N a ughton

S e ct io n f r om W e s t

Q u ate rnary S a nds

T a b le M o unta in G r oup

N o rthe rn E n d o f

W e s te rn F o lde d B e lt

o r K a rro o cks

W i ttebe rg G r oup

i o n

Mountain sediments become progressively more quartzose in this area with f ewer and smaller c lasts ( Tankard et al. 1 982:346). The Bokkeveld Group i s a suite of predominantly argillaceous rocks i ntermittently separated by sandstone l evels. The rocks l ie conformably on the sediments of the Table Mountain Group ( Du Toit 1 939:216; Haughton 1 969:338). The rocks are f ound in a narrow strip passing to the east of the Cedarberg. In the northeast they are overlapped by the rocks of the Dwyka Formation ( see below). To the west, the rocks are now only present as outliers resting in valleys ( Du Toit 1 939:216). The major importance of the rocks of this group i s their i nfluence on soil f ormation ( see section 2 .5) though shale f rom this formation could be used as a raw material. The third component of the Cape Supergroup i s the Witteberg Group, which l ies conformably on the rocks of the Bokkeveld. The name i s derived f rom Witteberg Mountain where the white quartz arenites characteristic of the group are so well exposed ( Du Toit 1 939:226; Haughton 1 969:341; Tankard et a l. 1 982:360). The rocks of the Witteberg are f ound in the eastern part of the research area and the most northerly outcrops of i t occur around 3 2 degrees north. From there, they extend southward as a broad belt of bare uplands ( Tankard et a l. 1 982:362). Some rocks of this group have been hardened by contact metamorphism. As a result, shales and mudstones f rom i t could be used as stone r aw materials as well as the arenitic quartz ( quartzite) which i s more commonly available. Further east s till i s the Karroo Supergroup. Only the basal f ormation, the Dwyka Formation, i s relevant to this i nvestigation. Lying paraconformably on the underlying Witteberg, the Dwyka beds are composed predominantly of tillite, though i n the south the upper l ithofacies contain s ilts and carbonaceous shales ( Haughton 1 969:460; Tankard et a l. 1 982:365, 3 67-368). Raw material i s available from this f ormation where these shales have been hardened by contact metamorphism with the i ntrusive Karroo Dolerites ( see f ig. 2 :6) The l atter are the dolerite dykes and s ills that f ormed during the l ate Triassic/early Jurassic volcanism of Gondwana fragmentation ( Haughton 1 969:494). As indicated above, these dykes are important because of their contact metamorphic effects. Specifically, shales and mudstones of both the upper Witteberg and Dwyka f ormations near the contact have been converted i nto f linty black rocks, called hornstone or lydianite, which are suitable f or raw material. Contact with s andstone has produced a hard metaquartzite. Nowhere has there been large scale assimilation of strata by the i nvading magma ( Du Toit 1 939:331-332).

4 7

The f inal important geological occurrence within the research area i s of Quaternary age. During the extremely arid episodes of this period, thick blankets of wind-blown sand were deposited ( Haughton 1 969:498). Occurring within these Quaternary sands as irregular masses, or projecting through them as rounded and somewhat polished surfaces, are " surface quartzites" ( see Du Toit 1 954:448). These are rocks which, in the coastal region at least, have had sand grains cemented together, mainly by silica. They are greyish to yellowish, f ine-grained rocks without bedding planes, which tend to break with conchoidal fracture. Due to the varying character of these rocks, with different types on the coast and i nland, the comprehensive name of s ilcrete has been proposed ( Du Toit 1 954:447, Haughton 1 969:498). The rocks range considerably i n thickness. At K liphuis, near the mouth of the Olifants River, there i s a deposit of at least 3 0 f eet ( 9.14 metres), though this i s an exceptionally thick occurrence ( Du Toit 1 954:448). This rock type i s important because of i ts suitability a s a raw material. In summary, raw material f or stone tool manufacture i s well-distributed throughout the area. However, some differentiation can be noted i n the most common rock types in various areas. In the west, quartz, quartzite, and s ilcretes dominate the raw material range. Though c lasts of f ine grained rocks and some hardened shales are available in the area, the f ormer are mostly f ound s omewhat f urther i nland and the l atter are not at a ll common except on the eastern edge of the research area where contact with the Karroo dolerites has had metamorphic effects. In terms of the i nfluence of the geology of the area on other resources, the prominent features are: the Quaternary Sands of the coast which restrict plant growth and exacerbate water loss; the soft Bokkeveld shales that contribute to the r icher i nland soils; and the reservoir effect of the Table Mountain Sandstone in the mountain area. All of these will be referred to again i n the f ollowing sections.

4 8

2 .4

RELIEF

( see

f ig.

1 :2,

2 :6,

2 :7)

The relief of an area affects the inhabitants in at l east three ways. F irstly, through interaction with the c limate, the relief i nfluences the distribution of both soil and water affecting, in turn, a ll biological distributions. Secondly, i t provides habitation s ites or at least determines their location and thirdly, the topography of an area i nhibits or promotes movement, thus creating preferred routes and settlement areas. The western Cape i s categorized as a Margin p Area of southern Africa as defined by Wellington ( 1955). Within the western Cape there are three separate physiographic regions, from west to east : the Coastal Forelands, the Cape ( western) Folded Belt, and the Karroo Basin ( Wellington 1 955:105), though the l atter f alls outside the research area. In the western Folded Belt three main orthographic l ines can be recognized, f rom west to east: the Olifants River Mountains, the Cold Bokkeveld Mountains, and the Cedarberg Mountains ( see f ig.1:2). The ranges of the Folded Belt are mainly of Table Mountain Group rocks, with subsidiary ranges of the Witteberg Group. Rocks of the Bokkeveld Group have been i nvolved in the f olding, but due to erosion these softer rocks are now f ound a lmost exclusively i n valleys between the r idges ( Wellington 1 955:21,105-106). The mountain heights average around 1 500 metres above sea l evel ( a.s.1.). The Olifants River Mountains are the eastern f inger of an anticline that once extended f arther west with the f olding continuing into the Piketberg Mountains north of the Berg River. Unlike the broad structure of the Cedarberg Mountains, the Olifants River Mountains f orm a westward f acing escarpment. The f olding dies out towards the north and at Matsikamma Mountain, in the northern part of the research area, the rocks of the Table Mountain Group are a lmost horizontal ( Wellington 1 955:106). The l argest of the upland plains, or series of valleys, i s the Cold Bokkeveld, which l ies just south of the research area ( Wellington 1 955:111). South of this i s

1 .

W ellington ( 1955) h as o utlined t he p hys ical g eography o f S outhern A frica ,

r egard ing i t

i n t erms o f t hree m a in r eg ions: t he C entral P lateau , t he P eripheral H ighlands , a nd t he M arg inal

A rea.

T he e dge o f t he C entral P lateau o nce p robab ly f ormed t he c oast o f t he

c ontinent. D uring M ezozo ic a nd T ertiary t imes t his a rea w as u p lifted a nd t he s ea f loor e xposed .

S treams c ut b ack t he p lateau ,

E scarpment,

c an

n ow

a nd

t he

e dge

o f

t he

p lateau ,

t he

G reat

b e r egarded a s t he b oundary b etween t he C entral P lateau a nd t he

M arg inal A reas.

4 9

.Vanrhynsdorp

Doringbaai

Elands Bay › •

Baboon Point

.Citrusdal St.

Helena Bay Piketberg

Bokkeveld Ceres

Cape

Town

Drainage

of the Western Fif t.

2 :7

50

Cape

the Warm Bokkeveld ( see f ig. 2 :6), an area of higher rainfall that gives r ise to the Olifants River. This river f lows north between the Olifants River Mountains and the Cold Bokkeveld Mountains, i ts f ertile f loor of Bokkeveld shale perennially watered f rom mountain springs ( King 1 951:fig.67; Wellington 1 955:111). The rocks of the Table Mountain Group help to modify the effects of the arid c limate i n this area by acting as an aquifer, releasing water s lowly, and i n the wetter areas giving rise to perennial streams ( Du Toit 1 954:18; Wellington 1 955:11314). 1 To the west of the Cape Folded belt l ie the western Forelands, which are plains covered to considerable depth by drift sand ( Wellington 1 955:118). The mountain features that sometimes break this even surface are either rocks of the Table Mountain Group, l ike the Piketberg, or granite bosses ( Wellington 1 955:118). In general, however, the relief of this area varies f rom s lightly undulating to a lmost f lat ( Van der Merwe 1 941). Specifically, the area between the mouth of the Berg River and the mouth of the O lifants River and i nland as f ar as P iketberg and the O lifants River Mountains, i s locally termed the Sandveld. The topography of this sand covered plain i s such that streams f low i n channels across the sand to rocky outcrops on the coast ( Parkington 1 977:32). A mere seven stream/river beds occur i n this 1 20 kilometre long area, and of these only two, the Olifants and the Berg, are perennial; both taking their r ise in areas of higher rainfall to the south. One, the Sand Leegte ( see f ig. 2 :7), i s thought not to have had water f low beyond the headstream area f or over 2 00 years ( Du Toit 1 954:16; King 1 951:318). Along the coast i tself, outcrops of rocks of the Table Mountain group occur just south of the mouth of the Olifants River and south a long the coast from there f or about eighty kilometres. While these rocks have generally been worn down, they sometimes f orm strong coastal f eatures ( Wellington 1 955:153). For example, three kilometres south of the Olifants River mouth at Strandfontein ( Bamboes Bay), there are c liffs over 3 0.5 metres high. However, these continue south only f or a f ew kilometres. At Lambert's Bay ( between Doringbaai and Elands Bay) there i s a remnant of the rocks lying off the coast, Penguin Islet, and at Baboon Point, Cape Deseada on the south s ide of Elands Bay, the highest f eature a long this part of the coast can be f ound; a promontory that i s the termination of a ridge of Table Mountain rocks " having a height of over 6 00 f eet [ 182.9 metres], a mile or two f rom i ts low seaward extremity" ( Wellington 1 955:154). The coast southward from Baboon Point to St. Helena Bay i s low and sandy. There are only two open r iver mouths a long this coast,

5 1

the Berg and the O lifants ( see f ig. 2 :7). The Olifants River i s tidal f or about twenty-seven kilometres. I ts estuary i s about 3 .3 kilometres wide, bordered on i ts northern edge by a c liff of s lates and rocks of the Table Mountain Group and on i ts southern edge by high coastal dunes. It i s separated from the sea by dunes that are breached by a wide tidal channel. The Berg River i s tidal f or about 2 4 kilometres, meandering i n i ts f lood-plain. Its f inal westward bend brings i t parallel to the coastal dunes, through which i t f inally breaks i n a tidal channel. The rest of the r iver mouths a long this coast are generally closed ( Wellington 1 955:154). The most important aspect of the topography f or human settlement i s a lmost certainly control of the water supply. A perennial supply of f resh water i s available only a long the courses of the Berg and Olifants Rivers where it i s conserved by Table Mountain Sandstone. Fresh water i s l imited e lsewhere i n the area either because i t i s easily lost through the loose structure of the soil or due to the rainshadow effect of the Folded Mountain Belt. Natural shelters are common, of course, i n the mountain range, but can a lso be f ound a long the coast in rocky areas. The intervening sandveld, however, offers l ittle natural protection over l arge areas. Movement through the area i s guided a lmost entirely by the water courses, primarily the Olifants River, but during winter, when water i s available in Verlore Vlei and i ts r iver, this too, would be a preferred course f or human and animal movement.

5 2

2 .5

SOILS

Soil f ormation i s a process that i nvolves a number of i nteractive f actors. There are f our main determinants: geology, topography, c limate and vegetation, a ll of which are intricately l inked, not only by the manner i n which they directly i nfluence soil f ormation, but a lso through their relationships to each other. For example, climate can be said to control the process of soil f ormation through weathering and erosion. The extent and effectiveness of these processes, however, i s dependent on the climate and the topography. Similarly, while the type of soil helps to determine the kind of vegetation that grows on i t; the vegetation contributes the majority of organic matter i n the soil, helping to determine its nature. Thus, knowledge of soil distribution i n the research area i s important f or understanding the constraints on plant and other resources. C . R. Van der Merwe ( 1941) described the soils of South Africa and i dentified three main soil types within the research area, and these are distributed a lmost exactly over the same areas as their parent rocks: 1 . grey s andy soils and soils of Table sandstone that occur i n the Cape Folded Mountains; 2 . the coastal to the west and;

Mountain

aeolian s ands on l ime and sandy soils

3 . gravelly, sandy, c lay b ar ns on clay that are at the southern end of the research area.

found

The f irst group i s derived from the sandstones of the Table Mountain Group and the shales of the Bokkeveld Group and i s f ound primarily in the i nland mountain zone. Because of the distribution of the underlying rock, soils derived f rom the Table Mountain Group are f ound mostly on the mountain s lopes, while the shale derived soils are located primarily within the valleys. As soil maturity i s directly related to the steepness of the s lope, the Table Mountain Group soils are never well developed. In f act, mountains with steep s lopes in the research area have no soil whatsoever. On less steep s lopes some soil has accumulated mixed with s andstone fragments, and i t l ies in patches interspersed with undecomposed rock ( Du Toit 1 954:479). Sometimes towards the f oot of the mountains, deeper soils, mainly of colluvial origin, occur. However, even these soils are characterized by high acidity, sandiness and l ow plant f ood content ( Wellington 1 955:318). The rocks of the Bokkeveld are softer and weather much more r apidly than those of the Table Mountain Group ( Du Toit 1 954:479; Van der Merwe 1 941:269). Within the valleys, sheltered by the high mountains, soils f rom the Bokkeveld shales are much better developed than those of the Table

5 3

Mountain Groups and, consequently, are more fertile with more abundant plant growth ( Van der Merwe 1 941). To the west of this area the soils become entirely sandy i n nature. In the Sandveld proper, east of the coastal dunes, the soil i s composed of pink or yellowish sand of quartz grains and small amounts of black iron ores. On the surface the sand i s f airly loose, becoming s lightly more dense with depth, though there i s no change i n texture. Along the coast are large sand dunes mixed with shell and a certain amount of c lay ( Van der Merwe 1 941:294). Toward the north and south, a long the lower reaches of the Berg and Olifants Rivers, sandy b ar ns have developed on the river banks, and silty c lays on the plains. These plains are periodically submerged by f loodwater, and are therefore impregnated with salt ( Van der Merwe 1 941:294). Elsewhere a long the water courses, i nsignificant strips of colluvial material have accumulated ( Van der Merwe 1 941:277). • At the southern end of the research area gravelly c lay loams occur in f airly l arge areas. This soil i s mostly rather shallow, deriving mainly from rocks of the Malmesbury and Bokkeveld Groups ( Van der Merwe 1 941:2762 77). It i s associated with mediterranean sclerophyllous bush and scrub ( fynbos) ( see section 2 .6) ( Wellington 1 955:319). The two most important f eatures of soil distribution worth noting are the sandy nature of the westernmost soils and the better soil development i nland, especially in the valleys. The f ormer leads to high water loss and shifting plant communities, while the latter a llows f or denser development of plant communities. Elsewhere, plant associations are rather patchy due to the sporadic soil f ormation. High salt content i n certain areas, such as the estuaries of the Berg and Olifants Rivers, can be attractive to f auna.

5 4

2 .6 VEGETATION

( see

f ig.

2 .8)

The point of reviewing the vegetation of the area i s not only to understand the distribution and density of plants that are of particular value as f ood, fuel or raw material resources, but a lso to gain some f eeling f or the appearance of the area. In addition, it i s important to highlight plants that might be attractive to non-human f auna of the area. Unfortunately, this sort of i nformation i s often not very specific. However, large numbers of plants are now known to be edible by humans and many of those that can be f ound within the Western Cape are l isted i n table 2 :4. Edible plants are available throughout the area, but not a ll of the vegetation areas ( known as veldtypes) support the same density and growth of plants. The distribution of the veld-types i s, in turn, dependent on a ltitude, topography and soil. Though Acocks ( 1975) shows seven different veld-types within the research area, most of these can be categorized as being dominated by either of the vegetation types known locally as karroo or fynbos. A general description of both of these i s given below. P lants are by no means l imited to the veld-type under which they are l isted, but are common within or representative of, that veld. Some plants may be poisonous in a raw state, though they become edible when cooked, and obviously not a ll parts of the plants are equally edible. Edible plants are marked with an asterisk, which at the genus level indicates that there i s one or more edible species of this genus within the region, not that a ll members of this genus are edible. The distribution of the veld-types i s shown on f ig. 2 :8. 2 .6.1 Karroo Vegetation The karroo vegetation i s primarily of dwarf scrub, and i s nearly a lways evergreen ( Werger 1 978:243). It can be either succulent or woody, the latter often having narrow ericoid leaves, an adaptation to the drier climates of the karoo velds. Both types are f ound in tall and short varieties. Common succulent varieties include stem succulents ( e. g. Euphorbia gregaria), leaf succulents ( e.g. Aloe Caviflora) and combined leaf and stem succulents ( e.g. Cotyledon* sp. and Crassula* sp.). The shorter f orm of succulents are rarely more than 2 00 mm in height and are f ound in the driest parts of the research area ( Werger 1 978:279). The smaller woody bushes are f ound mostly on f lat ground and grow up to 3 00 mm in height. The taller f orms occur on ridges and kopjes ( Wellington 1 955:280; Werger 1 978:245). Along r iver courses Acacia karoo*, Rhus* sp. and other tall trees occur ( Wellington 1 955:279). In addition to these perennials, many species of annuals spring up after rain, including grasses such as

5 5

0

k ilo metres

[ I ]

Macch ia

(F ynbos)

Western

Mountain

Ka r roid

B roke n

Karoo

S trandveld

f

e l;

1 1 11 1.1 1 1 1:

Coastal

Rhenosterbosveld

Coastal

Macchia

Succulent

Karoo

V egetation

of the

Fig.

R esearch Area

2 : 8

56

Ve ld

G ENUS

S PECIES

O CCURRENCE

E DIBLE P ARTS

#Acacia s p.

P an African

l eaves/shoots,gum(POB)

A cacia k aroo

w estern C ape

s eeds,gum(S)

#Adenia s pp.

P an African

l eaves/shoots,(POB)

Agrapyron d istichum

w estern C ape

f lowers/nectar(S)

A lbunca s pp.

w estern C ape

l eaves/stems(S)

A lbunca a ltissima

w estern C ape

A lbunca m ajor

w estern C ape

l eaves/stems(S) s talk(WBB)basal p ortion

A llium d regeanum

w estern C ape,

o f p eduncle(Sm) D oom nk aroo

u .s.o,

l eaves/stems(S),(MS)

f lowers,leaves/shoots(POB)

#Amaranthus s p.

P an African

Amaranthus s pp.

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem(S)

A nacampseros s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.,leaves/stems(S)

Annesorhiza s p.

w estern C ape

u .s.o. ( 5)

A ntholyza p licata

w estern C ape

u .s.o. ( S)

A ntholyza r ingens

w estern C ape

u .s.o. ( 5)

Aponogenton s pp. Aponogenton d istyachos

w estern C ape

f lowers/nectar(S)

w estern C ape

f lowers/nectar(S)

P akhuis M t.

l eaves(tea)(T)

A spalathus l inearis l inearis

P iketberg a rea

l eaves(WBB)

A sparagus s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.,leaves/stems(s)

a ll B abiana s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o

Brabium

w estern C ape

s eeds(S)

Brachystelma s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o. ( S)

# Buddleia s pp.

P an African

f ruit(POB)

Bulbine s pp.

w estern C ape

l eaves/stems(S)

C annamois v irgata

w estern C ape

s eeds(S)

C anthium i nerme

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

C aralluma s pp.

w estern C ape,

A spalathus

t enuifolia

s tellatifolium

( S)

D oom nkaroo

l eaves/stem(S)(MS)

C arpanthea p omeridiana

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem ,fruit(S)

a ll C arpobrotus s pp.

w estern C ape,

e sp.mammillaris

C arissa h aematocarpa

D oom nk aroo

s eeds, f ruit(S)

s trandveld

f ruit(T)

K arriod B roken v eld

f ruit(WBB)

R iversdale t o Oudtshoorn #Cassia s p.

P an African

f ruit(Sm) s eeds/pods,leaves / shoots(POB)

C assine p arvifolia

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

C assine peragua

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

C assytha c ilialata

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

#Ceropegia s p.

P an African

l eaves/shoots(POB)

C eropegia s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

C hamarea c apensis

w estern C ape

u .s.o. ( S)

C hrysanthemoides m onilifera w estern C ape C olpoon c ompressum E DIBLE P LANTS

w estern C ape

f ruit(S) f ruit(S)

O F T HE WESTERN C APE T able 2 :4

57

G ENUS

S PECIES

O CCURRENCE

E DIBLE P ARTS

#Commiphora s p.

P an African

l eaves/shoots,u .s.o(POB)

C ommiphora s p.

w estern C ape

f ruit(WBB)

C onophytum t runcatellum

w estern C ape, D oom nk aroo

l eaves/stems(S)

C otyledon paniculata

w estern C ape

s eeds(S)

#Crassula s p.

P an African

u .s.o.(POB)

Crassula a lpestris

w estern C ape, D oom nk aroo

C unonia c apensis

w estern C ape

#Cussonia s p.

S outh Africa

f lowers/nectar(S)(MS) o il(s) f ruit,leaves/ s hoots,u .s.o(POB)

C ussonia

t hyrsiflora

Cynella hyacinthoides

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

w estern C ape, D oom nk aroo

u .s.o.(S)(MS)

Cyclopia s p.

f ynbos

l eaves

#Cynanchum s pp.

P an African

l eaves/shoots(POB)

( T)

Cyperus u sitatus

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

Cyphia s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o

( S)

D idelta s pinosa

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem(S)

#Dioscorea s p.

P an African

u .s.o.(POB)

D ioscorea e lephantipes

w estern C ape

#Diospyros s p.

D oom nk aroo

u .s.o.(S)

P an African

f ruit,seed/pods(POB)

D iospyros a ustroafricana

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

D iospyros g labra

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

D iospyros r amulosa

w estern C ape, D oom nk aroo

f ruit(S)(MS)

D iospyros whytenana

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

D ipogon l ignosus

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

Dorotheanthus s pp.

w estern C ape

l eaves/stems(S)

Eriospermum s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

#Euclea s p.

P an African

f ruit,leaves/shoot(POB)

E uclea l inearis

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

Euclea r acemosa

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

E uclea

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

t omentosa

#Ficus s p.

P an African

f ruit,leaves/shoots(POB)

F icus c ordata

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

F icus i licina

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

Fockea s pp.

w estern C ape

Fockea c omaru

w estern C ape,

D oom nk aroo D oom nkaroo

u .s.o.(S)(MS) u .s.o.(S)(MS)

a ll G ethyllis s pp.

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

G ethyllis s p. #Gladiolus s p.

D oom nK aroo

u .s.o.(MS)

S outh Africa

f lowers,leaves/shoots(POB)

G ladiolus s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

G lia gummifera

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

Grewia o ccidentalis

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

Grielum grandiflorum

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

LANTS E DIBLE P

O F T HE WESTERN C APE T able 2 :4

58

G ENUS

S PECIES

O CCURRENCE

E DIBLE P ARTS

G rielum h umifusum

w estern C ape, D oom nk aroo

u .s.o.(S)(MS)

H alleria l ucida

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

H exaglottis s pp.

w estern C ape,

H oodia s pp.

w estern C ape, D oom nk aroo

l eaves/stems(S)(MS)

Hydnora a fricana

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

Hyobanche s anguinea

w estern C ape

f lowers/nectar(S)

Hypertelis s alsoloides

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem(S)

I xia s p.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

L apeirousia s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

L eucodendron s pp.

w estern C ape

s eeds(S)

D oom nk aroo

L eucospermem s pp. L .

u .s.o.(S)(MS)

e sp.

c onocarpodendron

w estern C ape

s eeds(S)

Lycium f errocissimum

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

M assonia d epressa

w estern C ape

u .s.o,flowers/nectar(S)

M aurocenia frangularia

w estern C ape

f ruits(S)

M elianthus m ajor

w estern C ape

f lowers/nectar(S)

M esembryanthemum w estern C ape

l eaves/stem(S)

M icroloma s agittatum

w estern C ape

f lowers/nectar,seeds(S)

M icroloma

w estern C ape

f lowers/nectar,seeds(S)

c rystallinum t enuifolium

M oraea s pp.esp. M .

w estern C ape,

f ugax

D oom nkaroo Nylantia s pinosa

#Nymphaea s p.

u .s.o.(S)(MS)

w estern C ape, D oom nkaroo

f ruit(S)(MS)

s trandveld

f ruit(T)

P an African

f lowers,

s eeds/pods,

l eaves/shoots, u .s.o(POB) Nymphaea c apensis

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S) f ruit,seeds/pods(POB)

#01ea s p. O lea c apensis

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

O lea e uropaea africana

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

O lea e xasperata

w estern C ape

f ruit(s)

a ll Oxalis s pp.

w estern C ape, D oom nkaroo

u .s.o.,leaves/stem(S)(MS)

Oxalis . fl ava

D oom nk aroo

u .s.o.,leaves/stem(MS)

P achypodium b ispinosum

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

P elargonium s pp.

w estern C ape, D oom nkaroo

u .s.o.,leaves/stem(s)(MS)

# Phragmites s p.

P an African

l eaves/shoots,u .s.o.(POB)

P hragmites c ommunis

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem(S)

P odocarpus l atifolius

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

# Portulacaria s p.

S outh Africa

l eaves/shoots(POB)

E DIBLE P LANTS

O F T HE WESTERN C APE T able

2 :4 59

G ENUS

S PECIES

O CCURRENCE w estern C ape

Prionium s erratum

estern C ape e sp.P.repens w

Protea s pp.

Pteridium a quilinum

w estern C ape

E DIBLE P ARTS l eaves/stems(S) f lowers/nectar(S) y oung unopened l eaves(S)

R afnia s p.

f ynbos

l eaves(T)

#Rhoicissus s p.

S outh Africa

f ruit,leaves/shoots,

Rhoicissus

w estern C ape

f ruit(S) f lowers,leaves/shoots(POB)

s tems ( PUB) t omentosa

#Rhus s p.

P an African

a ll R hus s pp.

w estern C ape,

a ll Romulea s pp.

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

Romulea s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o(s)

#Sanserieria s pp.

S outh Africa

u .s.o(POB)

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem(S)

S outh Africa

f lower,

D oom nk aroo

f ruit(S)(MS)

S celetium s pp. e sp.

S .

s trictum

#Schotia s p.

s eeds/pods,

l eaves/shoots(POB) S chotia afra v ar .

afra

k arroid broken v eld

s eeds,fruit(WBB)

S cutia myrtina

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

S ideroxylon i nerme

w estern C ape

f ruit(S)

S paraxis s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o(S)

S truthiola c iliata

w estern C ape

f lower/nectar(S)

#Talinum s p.

P an African

l eaves/shoots(POB)

w estern C ape

T archochnanthus T etragonia fruticosa

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem(S) l eaves/stem(S)

Trachyandra s pp.

w estern C ape

l eaves/stem ,flower/nectar(S)

s trandveld

f lowers ( T)

c amphoratus

Trachyandra f alcata

w estern C ape

f lower/nectar(S)

Tritonia s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o.(S)

#Tulbaghia s p.

S outh Africa

f lowers,leaves/shoots(POB)

T ulbaghia a lliacea

w estern C ape

u .s.o.,leaves/stem(S)

estern C ape Typha l atifolia c apensis w

l eaves/stem(S)

#Watsonia s p.

S outh Africa

f lowers,u .s.o.(POB)

Watsonia s pp.

w estern C ape

u .s.o(S)

W illdenowia s triata

w estern C ape

s eeds(S)

#Zantedeschia s p.

S outh Africa

f lowers,leaves/shoots(POB)

estern C ape Z antedeschia a ethiopica w

E DIBLE P LANTS

l eaves/stem(S)

O F T HE WESTERN C APE T able

2 :4 60

G ENUS

P UB

S PECIES

-P eters

O CCURRENCE

E DIBLE P ARTS

a nd O 'Brien 1 980

M S

-M etlerkamp a nd S ealy 1 983 -S mith 1 966

S

- S ealy 1 984

S m

T

-T aylor 1 978

W BB

#

g enus s pecies

o ccurs

-W att a nd B reyer-Brandwijk 1 962

i n t he w estern C ape but,

t hat o ccur

i n t his a rea a re

i t

i s n ot d efinite

t he e dible

s ource r efers.

E DIBLE P LANTS

O F T HE WESTERN C APE T able 2 :4

61

o nes

t o

t hat t he which t he

Aristida sp. and Themeda trianda. While the annuals soon die in drought, many of the perennial bushes can survive up to ten months of drought. Chemically the grasses show more variation than the bushes. They are more nutritious i n the early stages of their growth, a lthough i n autumn and winter they are not as nutritionally valuable as the bushes ( Wellington 1 955:283). Geophytes are common and include many species of the f amilies L iliaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Iridaceae, and others. Species with bulbs, such as Pseudogaltonia sp., Brunsvigia sp. and Boophane sp. occur, as well as those with smaller corms, such as Cyperus sp,, Moraea* sp., and Ixia* sp. ( Werger 1 978:246). Succulent karroo, western mountain karroo, karroid broken veld and strandveld are a ll types of karroo vegetation that occur within the research area. Of these, strandveld i s by f ar the most common, occurring a lmost ubiquitously along the western coast ( Acocks 1 975). The strandveld i s characterized by scrub varieties, and i s naturally unstable due to its occurrence in areas of uncompacted sand ( Taylor 1 978). Recent overgrazing and the occurrence of f ire have prevented the plant communities from frequently reaching their c limax stage. C limax communities, when they do occur, include Asparagus* spp., Lycium* sp., Diospyros austro-africana*, D . glabra*, Euclea tomentosa*, and Rhus dissecta* ( Taylor 1 978:213), and these plants must have been even more f requent in the prepastoral periods. Restio e leocharis and Erica sp. are a lso commonly present i n this veld. The karroid broken veld i s a lso worthy of special comment as it occurs primarily in the valley of the Olifants River, which must have been an attractive area f or settlement. The topography of the area tends to concentrate run-off into pockets of soil, providing a variety of habitats and f lora. Many types of trees, such as Euclea*, Rhus* and Acacia* are found in this veld, and these are useful not only f or their edible parts, but a lso f or f uel and tool manufacture. 2 .6.2

Fynbos Vegetation

The most distinctive characteristic of this bush vegetation i s i ts high diversity of species. Many of these grow in l imited habitats and f or this reason the plant community will change with every subtle variation in the landscape. The f requency of f ire i n areas of f ynbos vegetation has resulted i n a huge range i n the stages of regrowth, so that community recognition i s made even more difficult ( Taylor 1 978:184). The vegetation generally consists of evergreen

6 2

shrubs

with hard, leathery l eaves, many of which contain oil or resin and are brownish or greyish in appearance. These properties have conferred the name of sclerophyll on the vegetation ( Wellington 1 955:274). The fynbos vegetation can be characterized by the presence of plant elements that resemble members of the Restionaceae, Ericaceae, and Proteaeceae f amilies i n growth f orm, a lthough they may not actually belong to these f amilies. The restioid e lement, contributed mainly by plants of the Restionaceae and Cyperaceae f amilies, i s the most characteristic f eature of fynbos vegetation. These plants are commonly tufted with tubular, mostly leafless, or non-woody stems ( Taylor 1 978:175). Another constant f eature i s the small, narrow and sometimes rolled leaves of many plants that f orm the ericoid e lement. Typical of these are plants belonging to f amilies such as Ericaceae, Rutaceae, Bruniaceae, Polygalaceae, Thymelaeaceae, and to genera such as Aspalathus*, C liffortia, Phylica*, Metalasia and Stroebe ( Taylor 1 978 . : 175). Taller bushes with moderately s ized leaves f orm the proteoid e lement, and these commonly belong to the f amily Proteaceae. Within the research area genera include Protea*, Leucodendron*, Leucospermum*, and Mimetes ( Taylor 1 978:175). The proteiod e lement dominates the lower s lopes of the i nland mountains, especially where rainfall i s over 5 00 mm per annum. This variety of macchia often i ncludes small trees such as Podocarpus e longatus and Olea africana*. The ericoid and restoid varieties are usually f ound at s lightly higher e levations, where grasses and geophytes are rarer than lower down the s lopes, with trees virtually absent ( except f or Widdringtonia cedarbergensis, which at one time may have been even more common). In drier areas, macchia vegetation becomes more open in character, and i ncludes species of Cannamois* ( Taylor 1 978:186-203). Fig. 2 :8 shows the distribution of the three fynbos velds: macchia, coastal macchia and coastal rhenosterbosveld. As indicated above, there are a wide variety of edible plant species available throughout the area. Table 2 :4 l ists the many of the edible varieties of plants that are l ikely to occur i n the western Cape. Clearly, a huge variety of plant f ood i s available in the area. Better studies of the nutritional values and seasonal availability of these plants are needed, however, before a detailed assessment can be made on their role in i nfluencing settlement strategies. As edible varieties of plants occur in both the karroo and f ynbos vegetation, the main feature of vegetation that affects human settlement i s probably the overall plant density in each type of veld. This means that relatively more edible varieties would be available i n the fynbos than i n the karroo velds, especially in the fynbos vegetation of lower a ltitudes.

6 3

Along the coast and s andveld, scrub and trees are less dense than i n the i nland area, but grasses are plentiful after rain and would attract l arge herbivores. Geophytes are available in this area, but these plants ( i.e. those with underground storage organs), and trees with edible fruits are much more common inland, especially on the lower s lopes of the Cape Folded Mountains and within the Olifants River Valley. Grasses a lso occur in these i nland areas but, a long with geophytes and trees, these become scarcer at higher altitudes. Therefore, the vegetation of the coast can be seen as primarily attractive to grazing f auna, with human plant- f ood resources a lso present. Inland, the greater numbers of edible plants and better availability of wood both for fuel and tool manufacture would be an attractive f eature f or human occupation, while woody areas would a lso attract browsing animals, which could be expected to be more plentiful than grazers in this area.

6 4

2 .7

FAUNA

The f inal resource to be considered i s the f auna. Not only can animals be used as f ood resources, but i tems such a s shell, bone and hide provide other kinds of resources, which can be used i n coverings, tools, and decorative i tems. The most i mportant f actor in terms of i nfluencing s ettlement however, i s undoubtedly the f ood value of the animal. This aspect of f aunal distribution will be the f ocus of the discussion below, though other valuable contributions of particular species will be noted. I will a lso consider, wherever possible, aspects of the animal's habitat or feeding that i nfluences i ts distribution, as this will be an important f actor in assessing changes i n f aunal distributions under different c limatic regimes. As with the vegetation, the f auna of the western Cape has changed s ignificantly in recent times. This i s principally due to three reasons: 1 . extensive hunting, which has severely reduced the vast herds of grazers that once i nhabited southern Africa; 2 . replacement of the i ndigenous f auna by i ntroduced species, particularly cattle and sheep; and 3 . the l oss of native vegetation through mismanagement and the cultivation of agricultural crops such as wheat. Though i t i s possible, through archaeological material and palaeofaunal collections, to gain a reasonable i dea of the range of f auna that was present i n the area prior to pastoral settlement, i t i s extremely difficult to estimate the numbers or density of such f auna. Archaeological material i s not at a ll useful f or this because of problems with selective sampling and preservation. Historical documents, such as the diaries of Jan Van Riebeeck which date to the mid-1600's ( Thom 1 951,1954,1958) or the records of Paterson's journeys i n the Cape f rom just over a century l ater ( Forbes and Rourke 1 980) can help to i dentify d istribution areas and estimate numbers, but their contribution i s l imited to what was of interest to the original author. The review given below i ncludes not only the animals that currently inhabit the research area, but a lso those that have been documented ( archaeologically, through rock art, or written records) i n the area in the past. The largest of the animals i n the research area were the ungulate herbivores, i ncluding species of browsers, grazers, and mixed f eeders. Table 2 :5 l ists the principal ungulate herbivores, according to their main type of f ood. Also noted on this table i s the average male weight of the s pecies as well as their dependence on water. The l atter c an affect distributions quite considerably, with the water dependent animals most l ikely avoiding the coastal area except during winter. Obviously, given the s ize of a ll of

6 5

GRAZERS Wei ght ( mal es/kil os)

common

name

1 60 - 1 70 c . 1B0

b l oubok'" w il debeest "

1 35 1 9

hartebeest vaalribok

- 200 30

Hippotragus

name l eucophaeus

Connochaetes Alcelaphus

( some browsing) h ippopotamus "

1 500-3200 MIXED

sci entific

Pelea

g nou

buselaphus

capreolus

Hippopotamus

amphibius

FEEDERS

Wei ght ( mal es/kil os) 400

common

- 1 00

e l and

name

( will

sali ne 500

-e oo 23

1 0

1 9

name

drink

water)

Cape buffal o " grysbok"" ( b)

1 0

sci entific

( g)

Taurotragus

( g)

Syncerus

oryx

caffer

Raphicerus

melanotis

steenbok' 5 - (b)

Raphicerus

campestris

b ) k li pspri nger"2 - (

Oreotragus

oreotragus

BROWSERS Wei ght ( mal es/kil os) 1 0 700

common

20 1600

water

grey

go

dependent not

duiker' .5 -

for

long

grazi ng

-m ore

browsing

drawn

from

Haltenorth

or

Sylvicapra

peri od than

PRI NCIPAL

well

in

dry

watered

name

g rimmia

b icornis

habi tat

season

w ithout

water

browsing

than

grazing

Dorst

& D ill er

D iceros

needs

necessary

-m ore

' data

sci entific

rhi noceros "

drinking can

name

Dandel ot

1970;

1980.

UNGULATE

HERBIVORES Tabl e

2 5

66

OF

THE

WESTERN

CAPE'

these animals, plentiful meat, marrow, and hide resources could be obtained f rom them. Given a lso the c limatic and vegetation conditions that prevailed during the l ater Holocene, we would expect browsers to be more plentiful inland. On the other hand, grazers would have predominated a long the coastal plain, e specially during spring while, f or the most part, avoiding the more wooded areas i nland. Mixed feeders would have been f ound i n both areas, a lthough they were perhaps more abundant i nland. More particular habitats can be cited f or: grey duiker ( Sylvicapra grimmia), a browser, which i s known to avoid desert areas, but otherwise would be found throughout the research area, including the highest mountains. k lipspringer ( Oreotragus oreotragus), a mixed i s specifically adapted to a rocky habitat.

f eeder,

which

hippopotamus ( Hippopotamus amphibus), a grazer, which as well as requiring water f or drinking purposes, a lso l ives i n small or l arge streams or lakes, only moving any distance from these during the rainy season ( Dorst and Dandelot 1 970; Haltenorth and D iller 1 980). There are a number of smaller terrestrial mammals that currently frequent the research area, many of which have been documented i n archaeological s ites. Animals such as the dassie ( rock hyrax, Procavia capensis), which specifically inhabit rocky areas, and a number of species of hare ( Leprus capensis, L . saxatilis, Pronolagus crassicaudatus, and Bunolagus monticularis) undoubtedly must be considered as f ood i tems, though they would not be l ikely to contribute much i n the way of other resources. Rodents, such as the hedgehog ( Erinaceus frontalis), the porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis), and the Cape ground squirrel ( Xeres i nauris) were a lso probably eaten, though others such as the dune mole rat ( Bathyergus suillus) are more difficult to c lassify definitely as food i tems. Similarly, some of the carnivores i n the area that are often f ound i n archaeological s ites ( the striped polecat, I ctonyx striatus, the ratel or honey badger, Mellivora capensis, various jackals, Canis sp. and mongooses, Herpestes sp. ) may or may not have contributed to the diet, though there i s nothing except our current biases to i ndicate that any of these animals were excluded as possible food i tems. Many reptiles a lso occur i n the area, especially snakes and l izards. The principal large reptile i s the tortoise, the most common of which i s Chersina angulata. This animal has a wide range of habitat, and thus would be available throughout the research area. They are known to become very lethargic during autumn and are thought to

6 7

hibernate during winter ( Parkington 1 977:70,107; 1 981:353). Tortoise provides strong shell that can be utilized f or bowls etc. as well as being a f ood i tem. Along the coast, of course, marine resources are available as well as terrestrial ones. The Cape f ur seal ( Arctocephalus pusillus) l ives i n large numbers a long low rocky and sandy coasts, and i s frequently f ound in rookeries c lose to shore. Whales such as Balaenoptera musculus and B . phvsalus migrate along this coast ( MacKintosh 1 966:126-126), and occasionally wash-up on shore. The rock lobster ( Jasus l alandii) inhabits rocky parts of the coast i n order to f eed on mussels, such as the black sand mussel ( Choromytilus meridionalis), and l impets ( both of which can a lso be eaten by humans), such as Patella granitina and P . granularis, that inhabit these areas ( De Villiers 1 976; 1 977). S ince both the Cape fur seal and cormorants ( see below) f eed on the rock l obster, i ts distribution helps to l ocalize coastal resources still more toward rocky areas ( Heydorn 1 969; Rand 1 959:16, 1 960:8), though other shellfish, such as the white sand mussel ( Donax serra) occur in sandy areas ( Brown and Jarman 1 978:1264; Heydorn 1 969:3) and would have been consumed by humans. Salt water f ish include steenbras ( Lithognathus l ithognathus), hottentot ( Pachymetopon blochii), white stumpnose ( Rhabdosargus globiceps), and haarders ( Mugil gp. and Liza sp.). The diary of J . van Riebeeck ( Thom 1 951) records the latter being taken by the thousands by net f ishing i n Table Bay and Saldanha Bay. The young of steenbras and stumpnose l ive in estuaries until mature and could be taken from there, while haarders are f ound in a wide range of habitats ( Sealy 1 984:56). Inland, the freshwater f auna not only includes a wide variety of f ish such as the sand or mudfish ( Labeo seeberi) and the C lanwilliam yellowfish ( Barbus capensis)(Sealey 1 984:58), but a lso the Cape c lawless otter ( Aonyx capensis) ( Bigalke 1 978:1008). Freshwater molluscs include snails ( e.g. Lymnaea truncatula, Bulinus sp., Gyraulus connollyi) and bivalves such as Cafferia caffer and P isidium spp. ( Brown 1 978:1166). Huge numbers of birds, many of which are f ound a long the coast, also inhabit the research area. These i nclude the Cape cormorant ( Phalacrocorax capensis), the crowned cormorant ( P. coronatus), the bank coromorant ( P. neglectus), and the white-breasted cormorant ( P. carbo), a ll of which i nhabit rocky shores. The latter can a lso be f ound inland on large stretches of water. Other birds f ound a long the coast i nclude the Cape pigeon ( Daption capense), the white pelican ( Pelecanus onocrotalus), the Cape gannet ( Morus capensis), and the jackass penguin ( Speniscus demersus), though the latter i s f ound on the mainland only irregularly. Another penguin, the rockhopper

68

( Eudyptes crestatus), has been recorded ( McLachlan and L iversidge 1 978:3).

at

Velore

Vlei

Another bird a lso associated with vlei habitats in the r esearch area i s the greater f lamingo ( Phoenicopterus ruber). The l esser f lamingo ( P. minor) i s a lso a waterl oving bird, but prefers permanent water to temporary vleis. Herons, such as the grey heron ( Ardea cinerea), the black-headed heron ( A. melanocephala), the yellow-billed egret ( Egretta i ntermedia), the black egret ( E. ardesiaca), and the l ittle egret ( E. qarzetta) a lso prefer water habitats, often i n grassland settings; the l ittle egret prefers estuaries and coastal settings in particular. The Egyptian goose ( Alopochen aegyptiacus) and ducks such as the South African shelduck ( Tadorna cana) and the yellowbilled duck ( Anas undulata) a ll enjoy open water settings. The black stork ( Ciconia nigra) inhabits marshier waters, while the white s tork ( C. ciconia) prefers open veld. Other birds that prefer l and habitats include the African quail ( Coturnix coturnix), which l ives i n areas of thick cover, the grey winged francolin ( Francolinus africanus), which i nhabits grassy hillsides, and the ostrich ( Struthio camelus), which inhabits the drier areas ( McLachlan and L iversidge 1 978:1-2). It i s difficult to comment on the l ikely contribution of birds to the diet, as they vary widely in their densities and the ease with which they could be taken. Certain birds, l ike cormorants, gather i n huge numbers at times, and might be taken easily ( see below), while others, such as herons, are more solitary, and could be difficult to capture. Additionally, many birds may have been scavanged rather than hunted and thus their occurrence would be somewhat random. Aside from the meat potential of birds, eggs must a lso be considered as f ood i tems. Again, documenting the contribution of eggs to the prehistoric diet i s difficult s ince the shells are not l ikely to survive. The main exception to this i s, of course, ostrich eggshell ( OES), which occurs quite frequently in later stone age horizons. Not only was this certainly a f ood i tem, but waterbottles have been made from OES as well as plain and decorated beads. The occurrence i n this area of a much smaller, but potentially useful bird, the greater honeyguide ( Indicator i ndicator), should a lso be mentioned. As i ts name implies, this bird will purposefully lead humans and animals, such as the ratal, to bees' nests i n order to obtain the bees and wax for i tself ( McLachlan and Liversidge 1 978:314-315). Honey f or the human diet and bees' wax and propolis f or mastics could be obtained by f ollowing this bird. In summary, i t can be seen that numerous animals are f ound throughout the research area. Though the larger mammals could provide more f ood with a s ingle kill, the

6 9

bulk of prehistoric dietary material probably came from consistent use of smaller animals such as birds, hares, rodents, dassies, f ish, and shellfish. Particularly valuable animals in terms of providing resources additional to f ood were birds ( bones f or arrows, and eggs f or food and decorative i tems), tortoises ( meat and tortoise carapace), and the larger terrestrial animals ( large meat potential, marrow and hides). Many of the animals listed above were f airly localized or had seasonal restrictions on their availability, and these l imitations will be discussed i n the f ollowing section. Generally i t can be seen that coastal resources, while including grazers and the smaller animals that inhabit dry, f lat areas, were principally oriented towards marine resources ( shellfish, birds, f ish, seals and whales). Of these, shellfish would have been by f ar the easiest to collect as well as being the most reliable. B irds, seals and whales may, therefore, only have been available and/or consumed, i ntermittently, though f ish probably formed a consistent part of the diet. Seals, rock lobster, mussels, l impets, and various coastal birds all i nhabit the rocky portions of the coast, so that coastal settlement would be directed towards these areas. The inland f aunal resources were probably more varied than those of the coast, especially the larger terrestrial species. These resources could a lso be supplemented through a consistent and varied supply of small animals and riverine resources.

7 0

2 .8

LATER HOLOCENE SETTLEMENT HYPOTHESES

Having reviewed ( in considerable detail) the resources of the research area and their physical determinants, it i s now possible to consider how the distribution and availability of these resources might have affected later Holocene settlement strategies. One obvious conclusion i s that various resources, i ncluding f ood, are available throughout the research area, so that a number of settlement strategies may have been possible. However, not a ll the resources are distributed evenly, either geographically or over the span of a year. Three possible settlement strategies will be examined, and the one that provides the greatest abundance and variety of resources f or the amount of energy expended, will be proposed as the most l ikely to have been f ollowed during the later Holocene. The f irst strategy to be considered i s year-round l iving a long the coast. It i s c lear that there are plentiful f ood resources in this area, especially in terms of marine resources. However, a c loser examination of these resources reveals some deficiencies and seasonal restrictions. Without question, the biggest deterrent to year-round l iving in the coastal area i s seasonal restriction on water. Though human groups could store water, in ostrich eggshell containers f or example, many animals would not be able to survive i n this z one outside of the winter r ainy season. These would include wildebeest, hippopotamus and Cape buffalo. Though hartebeest, vaalribbok and possibly e land would not be as badly affected by changes i n the water supply, of these, only eland i s a mixed f eeder. As grass would disappear f rom the area by mid-summer, e land would be one of the few l arge terrestrial animals available year-round in the coastal zone. Some non water-dependent mixed feeders or browsers may also have been able to survive year-round in this area, though given the relative scarcity of trees in the coastal z one, these would probably have been limited to the smaller animals such as grysbok and steenbok. Fruits, berries and geophytes would be available during spring and/or summer i n the coastal area, but the general density of plant f oods was probably not as high a long the coast as i nland. Small game would a lso be available throughout the year, but again, the density would be circumscribed by the lower availability of water and plants during summer in comparison to the inland area. Similarly, fuel and natural shelters are available on the the coast, but would not be as plentiful as i n the mountain z one, though shelter was probably only fundamental during winter in either area. While stone resources are varied throughout the r esearch area, there seem to be sufficient supplies of one kind or another i n both resource zones, so that the distribution of l ithic material would probably not

71

substantially affect s ettlement. Though marine and estuarine resources are available i n the coastal area and obviously are not available i nland, these a lso tend to be s easonally restricted, again mostly to the winter. For example, Cape f ur seals are born during October and s tay with their mothers on the rookery until they are s ix months o ld. At this t ime they begin to move out to sea to add marine f ood to their diet. This i ndependence coincides with f requent winter storms i n the area and makes the young seals quite susceptible to accidental death after which they may be washed-up onto the shore and scavenged f rom there. Additionally, they may have been more susceptible to human predation from May to October i n any case, as they tend to be left on their own more at the rookery f rom the time they are six months o ld. ( Haltenorth and D iller 1 980:169; K ing 1 983:52; Parkington 1 977:109; Ridgeway 1 972:151). Stranded whales might a lso be more l ikely to occur during the winter months. B lue and f in whales currently migrate south f rom their subtropical breeding areas during summer, passing the research area with their newborn young around February. The return visit northward occurs around July or August, when the juveniles are just under a year o ld ( MacKintosh 1 966:126). Although accidental death and strandings could occur at either t ime, such strandings would be more l ikely during the cyclonic winter weather. Another major f eature that affects the seasonality of the coastal resources i s the "red tide" phenomenon that occurs i n this area. These red waters are caused by b looms of dinoflagellates, which are frequently toxic. They occur c lose to the surface of the water i n calm, sunny conditions. Therefore, these outbreaks are f ar more frequent in summer than in winter, and the s tronger upwelling of the Benguela Current during spring and summer a lso contributes to their frequency. Though not a lways directly toxic to the f ilter f eeding molluscs that consume the dinoflagellates, these toxins can nevertheless accumulate in their digestive glands causing paralytic poisoning i f the shellfish are then consumed by humans ( Brown et a l. 1 979: 4 6, 5 0). Sometimes even non-toxic outbreaks of dinoflagellates, such as Gonyaulux gamma, can cause mass mortality of marine f ish and i nvertebrates by depletion of the oxygen i n the water. Still other dinoflagellates, such as G . grindleyi, can directly poison the marine population causing mass mortality of marine i nvertebrates. A study done after an outbreak of this dinoflagellate i n December 1 966 ( De Villiers 1 979) describes the effect of this outbreak on a population of white sand mussels at E lands Bay. It i s i nteresting to note that, probably due to the distribution of adult and sub-adult molluscs on the beach, mussel c lasses of different ages were d ifferentially affected.

7 2

The larger mussels, lowest on the beach, were most badly affected, with mass mortality resulting. The " generation gap" caused by the mortality of the adult group l asted f or a number of years. Not until 1 977 did the numbers of mussels reach those of the years preceding the outbreak. The biomass, however, had still not fully recovered, since the average s ize of the mussels was still smaller than prior to 1 966. De Villiers ( 1979:74) estimated that full recovery of the population would not take place before 1 981, some 1 4 years after the i nitial outbreak. "Red tide", therefore, can have many different effects. Not only can the toxic dinoflagellates cause l ongterm effects, which would certainly lead to a modification of human resource behaviour, but a lso nontoxic dinoflagellates can cause marine mortalities which may considerably disturb the ecological balance of the coastal region. For example, Crawford et a l. ( 1980) have documented massive nest desertion by the Cape cormorant at I chaboe I sland off the coast of Namibia during 1 979. The reason f or the nest desertion was thought to be l ack of f ood. While this particular i ncident was not directly related to a dinoflagellate outbreak, i t i s c lear that mass mortality of cormorant f ood due to dinoflagellate outbreaks ( e. g. toxic poisoning of the mussels or f ish mortality caused by oxygen deficiency) could i nitiate a s imilar desertion. It i s c lear, therefore, that any mass mortality caused by dinoflagellate outbreaks, toxic or otherwise, can have f ar reaching and quite long-lasting effects on the local ecological cycle. As f or the short term implications of " red tide", a s mentioned before, these occurrences are mostly during s ummer, and the prehistoric population may have avoided s hellfish resources i n that season as a result. Though many of the resources of the coastal area have an availability restricted to the winter, two resources i n particular may be more f requently available during summer, and these should be briefly mentioned. The f irst i s the rock lobster ( Jasus l alandii) which, because of oxygen depletion of the subsurface water during the strong upwelling events of summer, tends to move to inshore waters during summer where i t can take advantage of the oxygenating effects of wave action ( Heydorn 1 968:26; Newman and Pollock 1 971:7-8). During these months lobster can be plentiful in water as shallow as one metre ( Heydorn 1 969:32). The s econd event that tends to take place during summer, i s the cormorant habit known as " trekking". Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of these birds f ly across the water i n l ong l ines, which ripple as the l eaders f ly l ower and higher across the surface of the water. When a shoal of f ish i s f ound, the birds settle on the water and dive and surface in a f lourish of activity ( McLachlan and L iversidge 1 978:1, 2 5-26). It i s possible that the

7 3

i ncreased presence of these birds a long the coast in summer may have a llowed greater numbers to be taken by humans at this time. C learly, some resources were available at the coast year-round, and certain numbers of people could have been supported by these. Most of the marine resources are l imited to winter and tend to collect in rocky areas. Reference to the topography of the z one shows that f ew rock outcrops exist a long the coast of the research area, though around E lands Bay, Lamberts Bay and the mouth of the O lifants large outcrops occur. Thus, winter settlement would be expected to occur mostly around these areas. The l ack of water i n the area during summer would be the biggest constraint on population s ize, though more people would perhaps have been able to maintain year-round settlement in this area if the estuaries of the Berg and the Olifants Rivers were the f ocus of occupation in summer. Better water supplies would have been available in these areas, supporting more plant and terrestrial wildlife. Though shellfish would still have been avoided, marine and estuarine f ish would have been available most of the time. Though these rivers are currently tidal well into their courses ( see section 2 .4), research on the Olifants River ( Morant 1 984) has shown that the salinity of the r iver changes substantially during summer, and relatively high salinities ( up to 2 0 parts per thousand) occurs as f ar as eight kilometres i nland. However, i nformants have reported that prior to the damming of the river system, willow trees grew along the estuary within a f ew kilometres of the mouth, indicating extremely low s alinities ( Morant, pers.comm.). It i s l ikely, therefore, that good drinking water would have been available from the river, relatively c lose to shore during the later Holocene. Thus, i t must be concluded that, for the most part, coastal resources were seasonally restricted, and without summer occupation of the two major estuaries, resource deficiencies would exist in a year-round occupation schedule of this area. The second possible settlement strategy that would have been available i s year-round occupation of the inland area. Again, i t i s c lear that resources were available throughout the year in this area. Seasonal restrictions on this availability are perhaps not as r igid i n the i nland area, as at the coast, but given the emphasis on plant foods and browsing animals in this area, food must have been relatively scarce during winter. On the other hand, water would have been available year-round from the Olifants River. Late spring and summer would have seen a resurgence of these f ood resources, with availabilities declining through autumn. Iridaceae species are at their most nutritious during summer, when they are dormant ( Sealey 1 984:113-115), being at other times bitter and shriveled. Fruits and berries of plants and trees such as

7 4

Nylantia, Rhus, Phylica, and Willdenowia would a lso be available. Small animals, such as dassies, enjoy sunning themselves on rocky outcrops, and tortoise become more active during spring and summer ( Parkington 1 977:70, 1 07), and some grazers would have been available in the r iver valley. It must be concluded, therefore, that year-round s ettlement i nland was a possible option, even though winter resources would not be plentiful. It should be c lear, however, that given the scheduling of the resources i n both z ones, the most advantageous strategy would have been to i ncorporate the resources of both zones into the settlement regime. The benefits of this strategy accrue mainly because the resources of the two z ones are " out of phase" with one another. That means that when the reliability of resources i n one area i s declining, i t i s improving in the other area. The resulting strategy i s extremely efficient i n that a high quantity and variability of f ood i s maintained throughout the year by the relatively easy mechanism of . two major trips each year to the a lternate z one. The timing of these trips would be decided by the decline i n resources in the z one of current occupation, rather than the increase in resources in the opposite zone. In the case of the western Cape, this means that movement i nland would most l ikely occur during late spring, f ollowing the increase i n red tide outbreaks, and after the s andveld grasses have begun to die. This timing would also take advantage of the availability of young grazing animals during early spring in the coastal and sandveld area. These animals would most l ikely be year o ld juveniles, left on their own f or the f irst time when new young are born. The inland area would be occupied f rom late spring until mid- t o l ate autumn. The timing of movement to the coast would be governed by the decline in plant resources and the beginning of the winter rains. The only other settlement strategy that could possibly offer this range of resources would be transhumant settlement a long the coast, with summers spent at the Berg and Olifants estuaries. Selection of this strategy, while offering a good range of resources ( though perhaps not as great as the i nland/coastal strategy), would be mainly circumscribed by the number of people that could be supported by the marine and terrestrial resources of these estuaries which are relatively small areas compared to the mountain region i nland. In summary, it seems that the l ater Holocene resource distributions in the study area offered more subsistence options than have previously been suggested ( e.g. Parkington 1 977). Though staying along the coast throughout the year was perfectly possible, especially i f the estuaries played a major role in the strategy, neither this option nor year-round occupation of the inland area offers the range of resources available with transhumant

7 5

settlement between the inland and coastal z ones. Furthermore, coastal s ettlement, at any rate, could not have supported the s ame numbers of people. Thus, the most commonly utilized strategy of this period was l ikely to i nvolve movement between the i nland and coastal zones.

7 6

CHAPTER THREE: 3 .0

RECONSTRUCTING THE HOLOCENE ENVIRONMENT

INTRODUCTION

In the preceding chapter the present-day resources and the f actors i nfluencing those resources were outlined. Using this basis, the settlement strategies most l ikely to occur i n the research area under the current climatic regime were i solated. These strategies were put f orward as the most l ikely f or the period between 4 ,500 B . P to 2 ,000 B . P. In this chapter the i nvestigation i s taken a step f urther by addressing the question of how changes in the c limate and environment of the research area would affect the dependent resources, and to what extent different s ettlement strategies during the early ( 12,000 -8,000 B . P) and mid-Holocene ( 8,000 -4,500 B . P) would be indicated as a consequence. Therefore, the a im of these two chapters i s to i solate the most probable strategies f or settlement throughout the Holocene. Over the past three decades or so, i t has been realized somewhat gradually that the previous assumption of a direct correlation between glacials of the northern hemisphere and wet periods or pluvials i n Africa was a ltogether too s imple. Atmospheric patterns were s ignificantly a ltered in a complex manner by the increased i ce of glacial periods, and changes i n regional c limates could not be predicted in a straightforward way. In recent years, therefore, studies have at last begun to look f or solid data that reveal regional c limatic changes. So f ar, the majority of this work has been carried out under two umbrella projects, the CLIMAP and COHMAP projects. Together, these projects will eventually produce comprehensive maps of world palaeoclimates. Specifically, the COHMAP project aims to produce descriptions of world weather at 3 ,000 year intervals beginning at 1 8,000 B . P. The project has both a data collection and analysis component, and a modelling component. The l atter i s aimed at developing a mathematical model of atmospheric change, based on the collected data. This model, apart from helping to predict future c limates, should eventually reveal past c limatic changes in areas that cannot directly provide data. Unfortunately, comprehensive mathematical models are not yet available, but general descriptive models, based on s imple mathematical models have been developed and are sufficient f or the type of investigation carried out here. Much of the information about c limatic change in the Holocene necessarily comes f rom outside the immediate

1 .

t he

C limate :

L ongrange

C o -operative H olocene

I nterpretation ,

M app ing

a nd P red iction a nd t he

W eather M app ing p rojects r espectively .

7 7

research area. Unfortunately, the dry regime of the actual research area i s not conducive to the preservation of c limatic indicators such as pollen, and other work, such as a study of evaporite deposits, has yet to be carried out. Therefore, I have had to ascertain the environments of the early and mid -H olocene i n the western Cape i n a somewhat oblique manner. The palaeoclimatic reconstructions of the area have been developed on the basis of a simple circulation model. Boundary conditions i n this model are given by the positions of the Polar Front, polar sea ice, the z one of subtropical highs, and the westerly wind system. The model i s based on work done by Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980), but I have set the boundary conditions based on data primarily from Antarctica. Since, the goal of this model i s to provide a f irst approximation against which data from South Africa can be judged, I decided to l imit i ts parameters to the atmospheric c irculation f actors used by Nicholson and F lohn ( pp, cit..) Continuing research on boundary conditions, atmospheric circulation and the addition of new data from outside tropical regions will a llow this model to be further developed i n the f uture. I have devoted the f irst part of this chapter ( section 3 .1) to understanding the physical causes of c limatic change which are relevant f or this model. In the f irst part of this section ( 3.1.1) some mechanisms of climatic change are briefly reviewed. This i s f ollowed by a discussion of the f actors affecting atmospheric circulation that form the basis of the model presented ( sub-section 3 .1.2). In the second section of the chapter ( section 3 .2) I present the atmospheric circulation model. F irst ( subsection 3 .2.1) I review the descriptive model, developed by Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980) and the northern African data on which it i s based. Most of the data collected on c limatic change in Africa comes from tropical Africa, east Africa and the Sahara. While i t i s not necessary to set out this data in detail, i t i s worthwhile, i n view of the evidence f or southern Africa that I will be presenting, to note the timing and scope of the c limatic changes that have been f ound for the northern part of Africa. Due to the f act that, until now, i nterest has mainly been centered on the tropical parts of Africa, the models developed, such Nicholson and F lohn's ( op. c it.), while describing the overall changes in c irculation, focus in detail only on the l ikely regional c limates around and north of the equatorial z one. Consequently, no detailed descriptions of the geographic regions presently under the influence of the southeasterly trade wind and westerly wind systems have been developed. The only exception to this i s the pioneering work of E . M. Van Z inderen Bakker, which reviewed the vegetational evidence f or environmental change

7 8

i n southern Africa ( Van Z inderen Bakker and Butzer 1 973) and was aimed at developing a c limatic model for the area ( Van Zinderen Bakker, 1 967a, 1 967b). Van Z inderen Bakker proposed certain environmental reconstructions f or southern Africa based on his model, which f ocused mainly on glacial periods. Unfortunately, after a c lose examination of this work i t became c lear to me that the model was never properly assessed. This was due to the f act that, at the time, there was very l ittle data available and Van Zinderen Bakker's assessment of the model relied upon evaluating i t against the very data from which i t had been developed ( see Van Z inderen Bakker 1 967a, 1 976b). Though many of his points were probably correct, the problem of circularity could not be overcome. By 1 982, he had abandoned his original approach and had begun to review the evidence for environmental change during the last glacial period in other parts of Africa. Therefore, i n section 3 .2.2, after presenting the general model of Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980) I develop an extended model that changes the emphasis from the equatorial circulation to the atmospheric f eatures that control c limate over the southern part of Africa. In particular, I provide specific boundary conditions f or the model by examining the data that pertains to the positioning of the Polar Front, the subtropical convergence, the subtropical highs and the westerly wind system. I will a lso extend the model to include estimates of hypothermal and hypertherral sea surface temperatures based mainly on ocean cores. • The resulting general model allows me to predict detailed, regional pictures of the changes that would have occurred i n southern Africa. These descriptions can be f ound in section 3 .3. The predictions cover f ive different regions in South Africa, and i nclude a description of the c limate f or each at c . 2 1,000 -1 5,000 B . P, ( which i ncludes the hypothermal maximum), 1 2,000 -8,000 B . P., and 8 ,000 4 ,500 B . P. ( which includes the hyperthermal maximum). As well, a description of the present day climate of each region i s i ncluded, reflecting conditions which are assumed to have existed f rom c . 4 ,500 B . P. so that the divergence from the present day c limate i n the case of the earlier periods can be judged. The f ive areas considered were selected because reasonably good climatic data were available from them. Though this i nvestigation deals essentially with the Holocene period i n the western Cape, it i s necessary to range outside both the research area and the Holocene

1 .

t he

t erms

h ypothermal

a nd

h ypertermal

a re

u sed h ere i n p reference t o g lac ial a nd

i nterglacial r espective ly b ecause o f t he g eneral a ssociation o f t he l atter t erms i ce c over ( or l ack o f i t).

w ith

S ince A frica w as n ot g laciated i t w as d eemed i nappropriate

t o u se t hese t erms i n r eference t o c o lder o r w armer p eriods.

7 9

period in the model because the data available to test the model comes from these wider ranges. This makes i t possible to compare my predicted c limates with data a lready obtained and thus, to assess the accuracy of the model and my predictions. The data f rom each area are f ound i n section 3 .4. and the evaluation of the model in section 3 .5 This particular approach ( reviewing the present day c limatic setting and predicting individual sequences f or each region) i s new and, I believe, should prove an important approach to the southern African data. Many authors ( see for example Scott 1 982a, Klein 1 980) have reviewed palaeoclimatic data from one area and tried to correlate i t broadly with another area under a totally different c limatic regime. Only by developing and testing models under which separate c limatic sequences f or different regions are outlined will broad reconstructions of past climates be achieved. My own assessment i ndicates that the model i s reasonably accurate i n predicting the past c limates of areas outside the research area. By accepting the predicted descriptions f or other areas, i t becomes justifiable to accept the proposed description f or the research area i tself. Though somewhat convoluted, because of the wide range of c limatic z ones and data considered, the test i s a rigorous one. The environmental reconstruction of the research area, based on the model, i s f ound i n section 3 .6. This reconstruction includes an assessment of how the c limatic changes might have affected the timing and distribution of the resources i n the area. Other environmental data, such as that f or sea level variation, are also reviewed. The environments and l ikely settlement patterns of the early Holocene are outlined i n section 3 .6.1, and f or the middle Holocene in section 3 .6.2. In the f ollowing section, 3 .6.3, the c limatic model and the environmental approach to predicting settlement strategies are discussed i n view of the previous work undertaken i n these areas. The prehistorian will undoubtedly see sections 3 .1 -3.5 as a long prelude to the archaeologically important conclusions i n section 3 .6. However, without these preliminary i nvestigations i t would not have been possible to reach these conclusions at a ll, and i n that respect it i s not only justified, but r ight, that such a heavy emphasis has been placed on the non-archaeological aspects of this chapter. The chapter concludes, in Section 3 .7, with a review of the contributions and conclusions of the f irst part of the investigation.

8 0

3 .1

CLIMATIC CHANGE

3 .1.1

The Mechanics

of C limate Change

The past two decades of c limate research i n northern Africa have revealed that, over the last 2 0,000 years i n this region there were at l east three major periods during which the c limate differed s ignificantly from i ts presentday regime. These c limatic changes can be seen in the geological records that document differences in the hydrological cycle. Principally, these differences reflect changes in actual precipitation amounts, though evaporation and runoff were necessarily affected as a result. Various f orms of geological and palynological evidence have been used to trace these changes, including geomorphology, sedimentology, geochemistry, diatom analysis, palynology and palaeontology ( Street-Perrott and Harrison 1 985). Ultimately, major c limatic changes are l ikely to be related to variations i n the earth's orbit. In particular, orbital studies have revealed that over the past 1 8,000 years the earth's perihelion ( the orbital point at which the planet i s c losest to the sun) has changed from January to July ( at about 1 0,000 B .P) and back to January again, i ts present occurrence. Concurrently, there were changes in the degree of tilt of the earth ( from about 2 3.5 at 1 8,000 B . P. and now, to 2 4.5 at 1 0,000 B . P.) ( Webb et a l. 1 987:5). Together these changes must have had a profound effect on past c limates. Changes that occur over shorter time periods, around 1 00 years, have a lso been studied and F lohn ( 1983) has suggested a feedback mechanism that could be responsible f or changes that do not appear to have an orbital explanation. This mechanism i s based on new f indings, i ndicating that i ncreased cold water upwelling, which occurs during hypothermal periods, not only causes " stabilization of the air, suppression of convective c louds and rainfall and downward f lux of sensible heat" ( Flohn 1 983:13), but a lso results i n a suppression of evaporation and a high consumption of atmospheric CO . This l atter effect i s caused by the abundance of a lgae i the nutrient rich upwelled waters. The depletion of atmospheric CO in turn produces further cooling. The opposite effect oc 6rs during hyperthermal periods ( Flohn 1 983:12-13). These short term changes offer extremely i nteresting areas of study f or future work, especially in view of the recent studies on the physical causes of such change ( see f or example Bryson 1 987, Morner 1 987). However, palaeoclimatic data at this temporal resolution i s not yet widely available, and models are only now emerging that can test changes at this level of discrimination. In this i nvestigation only broad scale changes occurring over periods of several thousand years are examined.

8 1

3 .1.2

Factors affecting atmospheric circulation

In order to understand the descriptive model provided by Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980) i t i s important to comprehend three particular aspects of circulation.

1 .

Mean Thermal Gradient ( MTG) The mean thermal gradient can be defined as the average difference in temperature between the equator and the pole of each hemisphere divided by the distance between the equator and the pole, and can be represented by: Tnh

and

s h

where T i s the average temperature between the equator n ha nd the north pole and T i s the average temperature between the equator and the south pole. As polar i ce i ncreases,so does the value of T . The mean thermal gradient determines the i ntensity and location of the subtropical anticyclones and the westerlies. The greater the value of A T , the stronger the intensity of the subtropical anticyclones and the westerly wind system. Therefore, under glacial conditions ( hypothermal) both hemispheres would experience more i ntense westerlies and subtropical highs and greater upwelling. During hyperthermal maxima, these circulation f eatures would become weaker as the value of A T decreased.

2 .

Thermal Contrast

( TC)

The thermal contrast i s the difference between the mean temperature gradients of each hemisphere and can be expressed as: 0 ( =

-

Ts h

The position of the ITCZ ( the equatorial trough ( I ) ) i s a function of thermal contrast and can be expresged as:

E T

=

S (

T

-

Tsh

)

Practically speaking, this means that as c ) increases the ITCZ and equatorial trough are displaced north of their previous position, while a decrease in produces a southward displacement of these circulation f eatures. As outlined difference

i n the l ast chapter, the present day i n i ce cover causes a substantial

8 2

difference between the thermal gradients of the two hemispheres, and hence c > has a l arge value. This means that the ITCZ and equatorial trough are presently l ocated north of the geographical equator. During hypothermal periods, when the expansion of the northern i ce sheets was greater than that of the Antarctic i ce-cap, the disparity between mean thermal gradients would have been smaller, and the ITCZ f arther south. However, during hyperthermal maxima i t would be s ituated even f arther north than its present position. 3 .

Temperature. In a general way, higher global temperatures can be expected to i ncrease evaporation, and thus rainfall, and lower temperatures to have the reverse affect ( Harrison et a l. 1 983:25). However, with the changing positions and/or boundaries of the atmospheric zones, this provides only a superficial guide to the effects of termperature change.

There are, of course, f actors other than those outlined above that could be considered i n any model of global atmospheric circulation. However, these are less s ignificant and, f or the moment, influences such as l ongitudinal atmospheric waves are neglected. Additionally, modelling the effects of changes in f actors such as a lbedo ( vegetation cover, presence or absence of glaciers, l akes etc.) would be extremely complex and i s not attempted.

8 3

3 .2

THE MODEL

3 .2.1 Nicholson and F lohn In developing their model Nicholson and F lohn reviewed the data f or Africa north of the equator and identified three c limatically distinct periods ( Nicholson and F lohn 1 980:313). The f irst period i dentified, f rom c . 2 0,000 -1 2,000 B . P., was one of marked aridity, coinciding with the last glacial maximum. This was f ollowed by the second period, i n which there was a rapid rise of the lake levels throughout tropical Africa. This trend of increased precipitation and warmer temperatures continued until c . 8 ,000 B . P. after which there was a brief, but distinctly drier episode that reached i ts peak around 7 ,000 B .P. By 6 ,500 B . P. wet conditions again prevailed and these marked the third period which lasted until about 4 ,500 B . P. Essentially, therefore, wet conditions have prevailed i n tropical Africa throughout the f irst half of the Holocene. However, authors such as Nicholson and F lohn ( ibid.) f eel that the lacustrine period prior to 7 ,000 B . P. was of a different character from the one between 6 ,500 and 4 ,500 B . P., and thus they should be viewed as separate entities. What i s i nteresting about these results of course, f or this research, i s not necessarily the particular type of c limatic change that occurred, as this seems to be regionally determined, but the dating of these events, and the postulated atmospheric c irculation that controlled them. The model of Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980) i s divided i nto three phases; each phase being associated with a different atmospheric circulation pattern. Though the atmospheric circulation patterns during the short time periods between these three major phases are not specifically addressed, i t i s implied that these shorter periods ( certainly the one between 8 ,000 and 7 ,000 B . P.) were caused by rapid changes i n the boundary conditions; and to a certain extent can be viewed as transitional subphases between longer periods of more stable atmospheric conditions. A description of each of the three major phases f ollows. Maps of the atmospheric circulation of each phase, as well as the present day positions of the ITCZ accompany this discussion to present a visual picture ( see f ig. 3 :1-3:3). The f irst phase of the model covers the period from 2 0,000 B . P. to 1 2,000 B . P. during which the glacial maximum occurred at about 1 8,000 B . P. ( see f ig. 3 :2). During this

8 4

3 6.

1 8 '

North

Winter

O'sou th

( July)

1 8 "

1 8 '

W est

o '

East

1 8 '

5 4 '

3 6 '

I ntertropical Convergence

Z one

( ITCZ )

3 6 '

-+-+-+- W ind C onvergence Z one

1 8 '

Summer

North 0 '

( January)

South ••

• s •Z

1 8 *

1 8'

0 ' West

1 8 East

3 6

5 4 '

P resent Day Positions of t he and wind convergence ( after Griffiths Fig. 3

85

1

ITCZ

z one. 1 972)

1 0,000

- 8 ,000 B .P.

1 8,000 B .P.

Atmospheric C irculation Nicholson

u nder t he

a nd F lohn

F ig. 3 : 2

86

Model of

( 1980).

3 0 N I TCZ

--

( July) 1 5 I TCZ ( January

1 5

3 0

4 5

S

6 ,500

- 4,500 B .P.

A tmospheric C irculation u nder t he Model o f N icholson a nd F lohn F ig.

3 : 3

87

( 1980).

period, when i ce sheets were considerably expanded i n the northern hemisphere, the seasonal variation i n i ce, temperature, and atmospheric circulation would have been small. The temperature gradient of both hemispheres would have been steeper, causing stronger westerlies. More i ntense circulation of the subtropical highs i s a lso i ndicated ( Nicholson and F lohn 1 980:336). The l atter effect would i n turn cause more vigorous trade winds. The westerly wind systems would have intensified and have shifted toward the equator, as would the Antarctic Polar Front. The meteorological equator and the ITCZ, though would have been south of their present positions. The southern hemisphere may have had extreme winter temperatures, but summer temperatures would have been s imilar to today's, though there was an overall lowering i n hemispheric temperature. In general, the changes were greater in the northern hemisphere, than i n the southern, so that the thermal conditions and i ntensity of circulation i n the two hemispheres were much more s imilar than i s the case today. The second phase described occurred between 1 0,000 B . P. and 8 ,000 B . P. ( see f ig. 3 :2) during which time there was a general warming trend. However, the northern hemisphere still remained cooler than now. North America retained much of i ts i ce sheet, while the southern hemisphere probably reached i ts thermal maximum during this period. The temperature gradient of the northern hemisphere was still somewhat greater than at present, but i n comparison to the previous period, the gradient would be less steep, leading to a weakening of the subtropical highs and the beginning of their poleward displacement. In the southern hemisphere, the temperature gradient a lso began to weaken, and the westerly wind system was less vigorous. The subtropical highs began their southward displacement, and the circulation within them was less i ntense than during the previous period, and i n comparison to today. The differences i n temperature and atmospheric circulation between the two hemispheres were i ncreasing, as was their thermal contrast. The ITCZ moved north of i ts previous position as the thermal contrast i ncreased, though i t was still somewhat south of i ts present-day position. During the l ast phase described by Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980), from 6 500 B .P to 4 500 B . P. ( see f ig. 3 :3) the northern hemisphere reached i ts thermal maximum, and the influence of the northern i ce sheet had diminished sharply. The temperature gradient was less steep than today, and the westerly wind system and subtropical highs were displaced further poleward. These systems were at their weakest. The ITCZ was positioned even f arther north than i t i s today. In the southern hemisphere s imilar processes were occurring. Though cooler with regard to the previous period, the southern hemisphere was still warmer than today. The temperature gradient was weaker than at

8 8

present, so the westerly wind system and subtropical highs were even f arther south than currently. During this period the two hemispheres were maximally different in terms of temperature and atmospheric circulation, which accounts f or the northward displacement of the meteorological equator. Nicholson and F lohn considered very carefully the implications of this model f or the f indings from tropical Africa and the Sahara. They saw the two major lacustrine events of the Holocene, from 1 0,000 to 8 ,000 B . P. and from 6 ,500 to 4 ,500 B . P. as being precipitated, so to speak, by different atmospheric conditions reflecting the existence ( or not) of major northern i ce sheets. 3 .2.2

Extended Model

While this descriptive model provides an overall f ramework, before i t i s possible to use i t to provide detailed predictions of southern African c limates, it i s necessary to change i ts emphasis to those f eatures that control the c limates of southern Africa. Therefore, I will briefly review the data that pertain to the positions of the subtropical highs and the westerly wind system. I will a lso examine the ocean core data that give some idea of the magnitude of the temperature changes that occurred during the hypothermal and hyperthermal maxima. An interesting point that has emerged from southern hemisphere deep sea cores i s that the temperature maximum i n some southern regions may have been reached before maximum deglaciation occurred, and some 3 ,000 years before the temperature maximum in the northern hemisphere. The highest temperatures, based on the percentages of the radiolarian, Cycladophora davisiana, and oxygen i sotope compositions i n Globigerina bulloides, i n cores from the western Indian Ocean sector of the Antarctic Ocean have been dated to c . 9 ,400 B . P. ( see Hays et a l. 1 976; Shackleton 1 978:76). Deep sea core RC 1 1- 1 20 from the southern Indian Ocean shows that the warmest summer sea surface temperatures f or the l ast cycle in that area were nearly 4 degrees warmer than today ( Shackleton 1 978:74, f ig.3.2.3). For the hypothermal maximum at 1 8,000 B . P. Burkle and C lark ( 1977) have analyzed the diatoms from more than 8 0 deep sea cores from the southern hemisphere and have concluded that, while winter temperatures were much more

1 . L and

d ata , h owever,

d o

n ot

n ecessarily

s upport

t his

f eel t hat m ax imum t emperatures w ere n ot a chieved u ntil c . e xamp le , V ogel a nd S cott 1 987). T herefore ,

v iew a nd s ome a uthors 5 ,000 B .P.

( see ,

f or

Ic ontinue t o u se t he t erm h yperthermal

m ax imum h ere t o r efer t o m aximum d eglaciation d ur ing t he m iddle H o locene.

8 9

severe than at present, were s imilar to today's

summer sea ( op cit.:63).

surface

temperatures

Through the CLIMAP project a sea surface temperature map has been constructed for the August oceans at 1 8,000 B . P. On the western s ide of Africa sea surface temperatures were only about 0 - 2 degrees colder than present during August while overall global August sea surface temperatures were on average 2 -3 degrees colder ( Shackleton 1 978, CLIMAP 1 976). However, the map clearly shows a temperature anomaly off the south coast of Africa of greater than 4 degrees colder sea surface temperatures ( see f ig.3:4). The explanation f or the large temperature drop off the southern coast of Africa at 1 8,000 B . P. i s probably connected with the weakening of the Agulhas Current which f lows from east to west a long this coast. The warm waters normally received by this current from the southward extension the Mozambique Current, which f lows along the east coast of the African continent, were deflected eastward under increased circulation in termperate latitudes ( Deacon 1 982:69). Using CLIMAP data for his boundary conditions, Gates ( 1976) has constructed the global surface air temperatures at 1 8,000 B . P. ( 22 cit.:1852). He found a general cooling over unglaciated continents, such as Africa, of about 5 degrees centigrade. Another part of the CLIMAP project has been to develop a reconstruction of the Antarctic Ocean at 1 8,000 B . P. The analyses of calcareous sediments and radiolarians have shown that the Antarctic Convergence ( or the Polar Front as it i s sometimes called) at 1 8,000 B . P. was approximately 5 degrees north of i ts present position on either side of the African subcontinent. Additionally, sea ice increased substantially from i ts present winter extension at about 6 3 degrees south to between 4 8 to 5 2 degrees south. It a lso appears that the ice melted back only to about 6 2 degrees south during summer, not to the Antarctic continent as i t does presently ( Hays et a l. 1 976:365-368). This northward extension of the Polar Front and glacial sea i ce could imply a similar northward shift of the subtropical anticyclones and the westerly wind belt, as has been previously suggested on purely theoretical grounds by Van Zinderen Bakker ( 1967b, 1 976a, 1 976b). Janette Deacon, however, does not accept the hypothesis that the South Atlantic high or westerly wind system were positioned f arther north during this period. She bases her conclusions on the f act that, presently, the westerly wind system coincides with the area between the

9 0

2

_-2 • • •• • •

2

D ifference August

i n S ea Surface

1 8,000

B .P.

Temperature Values

a nd August Today a s

( after S hackleton F ig.

3 : 4

91

1 978)

between

mapped by CLIMAP.

Subtropical Convergence in the north and the Antarctic convergence in the south ( Deacon 1 982:67). Though there i s good evidence to suggest that the position of the Antarctic Convergence was f arther north at 1 8,000 B . P., the evidence f or the positioning of the Subtropical Convergence i s less definitive. The controversy over the position of the Subtropical Convergence could be due to the fact that "the Subtropical Convergence . .. i s a much more variable f eature than the Antarctic Convergence and frequently displays a streaky or ribboned structure" ( Hamon and Godfrey 1 978:38). The present day position of this Convergence i s at approximately 4 2 degrees south in the western Indian Ocean ( Hays et al. 1 976: f igs.19 and 20, 3 66-367). Deacon ( 1982:67) used the conclusions of a study that shows the Subtropical Convergence moved only slightly north ( between 1 -3 degrees) at 1 8,000 B . P. to substantiate her argument. The conclusions of that study are based mainly on a f actor analysis of radiolarian assemblages ( Morley and Hays 1 979). In f act, core coverage at the 1 8,000 B . P. level in this study i s not good, particularly in the eastern South Atlantic, and subtropical regions. Additionally, the relationship between the radiolarian distributions and the position of the Subtropical Convergence i s not expressed. The same criticism can be levelled at a similar study of radiolarian samples done by Hays et al. ( 1976). As part of this study the displacement of the southern bounday of the radiolarian group that represented the subtropical assemblage was investigated. Directly south of the continent, the southern boundary was displaced only s lightly northward. However, the displacement of the boundary was between 3 and 5 degrees north in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean sectors of the Antarctic Ocean. Given that this assemblage does not, in fact, precisely reflect the position of the Subtropical Convergence, and that none of the cores examined were in the area of the northern boundary of this subtropical assemblage, the work of Hays et a l. ( ibid.) does not really investigate the position of the Subtropical Convergence within this zone at 1 8,000 B . P. Indeed, in their conclusions they explicitly state only that the subantarctic waters south of the subtropical waters and north of the Polar Front were compressed at 1 8,000 B . P. due to the northward displacement of the Polar Front. The generally accepted implication that the subtropical convergence did not shift very far north comes only from diagrams which, like the article itself, focus mainly on the Polar Front and the extent of sea ice at 1 8,000 B . P. However, other ocean core studies that specifically focus on the position of Subtropical Convergence suggest that

it was

stationed north

of

9 2

its present position during

the last hypothermal. The main area of disagreement within this set of studies l ies i n exactly how f ar north the Subtropical Convergence shifted. According to a study of deep sea cores by Be and Duplessy ( 1976:421), i t was at 3 1 degrees south at 1 8,000 B . P., 1 0 degrees or more north of i ts present position. The f indings of Prell et a l. ( 1979:231) from a study of deep sea cores in the Indian Ocean, however, indicate that the Subtropical Convergence shifted less f ar north only to about 3 8 degress south at 1 8,000 B . P. Given this evidence then, i t i s not unreasonable to accept at least the minimum i ndicated shifts of 5 degrees north of the Polar Front and some northward movement of the Subtropical convergence i n the oceans around Africa at 1 8,000 B . P. However, even i f the Subtropical Convergence did not move north of i ts present position, its boundary only partly reflects the extent of the westerly wind system ( Prell et a l. 1 979:225). Under the model of Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980) the i ncreased thermal gradient of the hypothermal would have led to more vigorous westerlies regardless of the position of the subtropical convergence. Gates' ( 1976) earlier model a lso predicted a strengthening of the westerlies and, i n the southern hemisphere, a winter ( July) shift of this belt by 5 degrees northward at 1 8,000 B . P. ( Gates 1 976:1858). Either way, the westerly wind system probably extended i ts influence at least a f ew degrees north. As the evidence seems to suggest that there were northward shifts during the l ast hypothermal of at least three entities, the Antarctic i ce, the Polar Front and the Westerly Wind system, i t i s reasonable also to accept the possibility of a shift in the subtropical anticyclones. Even a shift of less magnitude than has been suggested f or these previous entities would have drastic consequences. In this model, therefore, I am proposing a northward shift of between 3 and 5 degrees in the anticyclones. During hypothermal maxima ( 18,000 B .P.) under this extended model the South Atlantic anticyclone would be at 2 2 degrees south during winter and 2 7 degrees south during summer, and during hyperthermal maxima ( 6,500 B . P.) would be at 3 2 degrees south during winter and 3 7 degrees south during summer. The Indian Ocean anticyclone would be stationed at 2 9 degrees south during winter and 3 2 degrees south during summer at 1 8,000 B . P., and at 3 5 degrees south during winter and 3 8 degrees south during summer at 6 ,500 B . P. The present positions of the South Atlantic anticyclone are 2 7 degrees south ( winter) and 3 2 degrees south ( summer), and the Indian Ocean high i s at 3 2 degrees south ( winter) and 3 5 degrees south ( summer). These positions will a lso be used f or the model at 9 ,500 B . P. I decided on these estimates f or two reasons: f irstly, they are well within the reasonable limits determined by studies on the Polar Front, Antarctic i ce sheets and even

9 3

the Subtropical Convergence at 1 8,000 B . P., and secondly during at least one season f or each time period under consideration in this model the highs would occupy a position in which their i nfluence can be observed directly today. This has the advantage of taking much of the guesswork out of the palaeoclimatic implications of such a shift. If the evidence does not support the model i t may be because I have e ither exaggerated or have been too conservative with the e stimates of these shifts. Shifts in the positions of the Subtropical highs would mean that the Benguela Current would also be displaced northward at 1 8,000 B . P. With regard to the Benguela Current, therefore, I am suggesting a true displacement a long the coast, from 3 2 -1 6 degrees south ( present) to about 2 7 - 1 1 degrees south ( 18,000 B . P.) and 3 7 - 21 degrees south ( 6,500 B . P.), rather than a simple northward extension. Temperature evidence shows that there was no change i n temperature a long the coast from about 2 7 - 16 degrees south at 1 8,000 B . P. ( Shackleton 1 978) ( the Benguela Current presently f lows f rom about 3 3 to 1 5 degrees south ) but north of about 1 6 degrees south ( its present northern l imit) there seems to have been a general decrease i n sea surface temperatures of about 2 degrees centigrade ( see f ig. 3 :4). Sea surface temperature data from about 3 2 to 2 7 degrees south at 1 8,000 B .P are unfortunately not available. All of these temperatures are only broad estimates as deep sea core coverage along this coast has not been good ( CLIMAP 1 976:1135). There i s evidence from CLIMAP studies that the Benguela Current may have been displaced s lightly westward during the hypothermal maximum, though again this seeming deflection may only reflect poor samples. A summary of the extended model can be f ound in table 3 :1 and it i s schematically represented i n f ig.3:5 centering on three specific points at 1 8,000 B . P., 9 ,000 B . P. 6 ,500 B . P. I use these points in time because at these points the circulation f eatures would differ most f rom those of today. 9 ,000 B . P. i s a somewhat arbitrary point taken as the mid-point of the circulation features between the hypothermal and hyperthermal maxima and justified to some extent by the sea-surface data indicating maximum temperatures in some areas at this point. The effects of these circulation changes, of course, would be f elt much earlier than their peak, and would l ast past the peak as well. Therefore, time periods for the predicted c limates span some time on either s ide of the dates used in the model. By 4 ,500 B . P. I would expect the c limate in most of the region to be approximately the same as i t i s today.

9 4

L THE W E STERN 1 (S O UTHWESTERN C A PE

P R ED IC T IONS

M O DEL

S. A . hi gh w i nter : 2°S , s u mmer :27°S

T I ME

In d . 0 . h i gh w i nter : 2 9 'S , s u mmer : 3 2 'S Be ngue la C u rrent f u rthes t n o rth 2 9 'S 13 'S

18, 000

we s te r ly w i nd s y stem a t m o st

B . P.

n o rthe r ly , so utheas te r lies f u rthest n o rth co ldest t e mpe ratures

c o ld

th erma l g r ad ient s t eepes t

w es te r ly w i nd s y stem

IT CZ f u rthe r s o uth t h an p resent

y ea r r o und r a in

so uthe rn i c e ca p s o mewha t e x tended

B engue la c u rre nt n o t i n t h e a r ea

n o rthe rn i c ecap g r ea t ly e x tende d in tense s u btrop ica l h i ghs

w e ttest p e r io d

S.A h i gh w i nter :27 *S , s u mmer :32 'S 1. 0 h i gh w i nter :32 'S , s u mme r :35 *S 9 , 000

Be ngue la C u rrent s o uth :32 *S16S weste r ly w i nd s y stem a l mos t t h e

B . P.

s a me p o s it ion

a s p r esent

so utheaster lies a l mos t s a me w armes t p e r io d

p o s it ion a s p resen t

e vapo rat ion h i gh

wa ries t t e mpe ratu res th erma l g r ad ient l e sse n ing

B engue la c u rrent s a te p o s it ion a s t o day , b u t w e ake r

so u the rn i c ecap m e lt ing

w es te r ly w i nd s y stem p r e dom inant

n o rthe rn i c ecap s t ill e x te nde d

w inte r r a in fa ll h igher p r e c ipa tat ion t h an t o day , l e ss t h an p r ev ious p e r iod

S.A . h i gh w i nter :32 'S ,suese r :37 'S 1. 0 . h i gh w i nte r :35S ,summer :38 'S 6 , 500

Be ngue la C u rrent f a rthest s o u th :

B . P.

3 5 *S 19 'S wester lies f u rthes t s o uth so utheas ter lies f u rthest s o uth

d r iest p e r io d

w a rt t e mpe ra tu res

l itt le o r n o r a in fa ll

t h erma l g r ad ient l e as t s t ee p

o w este r lies t o f a r s o uth e aste r lies f r om i n ter io r p r eva il

IT C Z n o rth o f c u rre nt p o s it ion

w a rier t h an t o day , b u t n o t a s

so uthe rn i c ecap s m a lles t n o rthern i c ecap

w a rt a s p r ev ious p e r io d b u t n o t a s h i gh a s p r ev ious ly B engue la C u rrent w e aker t h an t o day ,

m e lt ing

we ak s u btrop ica l h i ghs

e vapo rat io n g r eater t h an t o day

f s t ill a fect t h e a r ea Predicti ons

and

Tabl e

ext end ed 3 :1

95

mod el

2 . T H E S O U TH ERN A N D E A STERN C A PE M O DEL P R ED ICT IONS

T I M E S. A . h i gh w i nte r : 2°S , s u mmer :27°S In d . 0 . h i gh w i nter : 2 9 'S , s u mmer : 3 2 'S 1 E 3, 000

E l . P

Be ngue la C u rrent f u r thes t n o rth 2 9 'S 13 'S we s ter ly w i nd s y stem a t m o st

g ene ra lly d r ie r t h an t o day

n o rthe r ly ,

c o ld

so u theaste r lies f u rthes t n o rth

w ester ly w i nd s y stet s uate r r a in i n w e st

th erma l g r ad ient s t eepes t

co ldest t e mperatures

l itt le r a in i n e a st

IT C 1 f u rther s o u th t h an p r esen t

d r iest p e r iod i n t h e e a s t

so uthern i c e cap s o mew ha t e x tended

f ros ts i n land

n o rthe rn i c ecap g r ea t ly

e x tende d

in tense s u btro p ica l h i ghs

9 , 000

B . P.

S. A h i gh w i nter :27 'S , s u mmer :32 'S 1. 0 h i gh w i nte r :32 'S , s u sse r :35 'S Be ngue la C u rrent s o u th :32 °9 16 "S we ste r ly w i nd s y stem a l mos t t h e

w armes t p e r io d h ighes t e v apo ra t ion

s a te p o s it ion

h ighes t r a in fa ll,

a s p r esent

so utheaster lies a l most s a me '

e s pe c ia lly i n t h e e a st

p o s it ion a s p r ese nt wa rmes t t e mpe ratures

y ea r r o und r a infa ll w ettes t p e r io d

th e rma l g r ad ient l e sse n ing

w este r lies a n d s o utheas t

sou the rn i c ecap m e lt ing

t r ades a fe ct a r ea f

n o rthern i c e cap s t ill e x tende d

n o f r os t w etter t h an t o day I tp r ev ious p e r io d

S. A . h i gh w i nter :32 'S ,summe r :37 'S 6 , 500

B . P.

1. 0 . h i gh w i nter :35 'S ,summe r :30 'S Be ngue la C u rrent f a rthes t s o u th : 3 5 °S 19.S wes ter lies f u rthes t s o uth

w armer t h an n o w e vapo ra t io n h i ghe r t h an n o w ,

so utheas ter lies f u rthe st s o u th

l o we r t h an p r ev ious p e r io d

wa re t e mpera tures

s ou theas te r lies a fect a r ea f

th e rma l g r ad ient l e as t s t ee p

e ast w i ll r ne ive l e ss i n tense

IT C Z n o rth o f c u rre nt p o s it ion

w i nte r r a in , p e rhaps

E G42

so uthern i c ecap s m a lles t

s u mme r r a in

n o rthern i c ecap

w es t e i gh t r e ce ive l i m ited

m e lt ing

weak s u btro p ica l h i ghs

w i nte r r a in p oss ib ly d r iest p e r iod i n w e ste rn h a lf o f t h e C a pe Predictions

and

Table

96

extended 3 :1

model

M O DEL 3 . T R ANSVAA L S. A . h i gh w i nte r : 2 °S , s u mme r :27 "S In d . O . h i gh w i nter : 2 9 'S , s u mmer : 3 2 'S

T I ME

P R ED ICT IONS

Be ngue la C u rrent f u rthes t n o rth 2 9 'S 13 'S we s ter ly w i nd s y stem a t m o s t n o rther ly , so u theaste r lies f u rthest n o rth

18, 000

B . P.

co ldest t e mpe ratures th e rma l g r ad ient s t eepes t IT C' f u rthe r s o u th t h an p r esent

c o ld

so uthe rn i c e cap s o mewha t e x tended

w ette r t h an t o day

n o rthe rn i c ecap g r eat ly

su mme r r a in fa ll i nte nse

e x tende d

in tense s u btro p ica l h i ghs

S . E . T r ades

f ros t i n h i gher r e g io ns S. A h i gh w i nte r :27 'S , s u mmer :32 'S I. 0 h i gh w i nte r :32 'S , s u mme r :35 'S Be ngue la C u rrent s o u th :32 'S16 'S 9 , 000

B . P.

we s te r ly w i nd s y stem a l mos t t h e s a te p o s it ion

a s p r esen t

s o utheas te r lies a l mos t s a me w a rmes t

p o s it ion a s p r esen t

w ette r t h an t o day

w a rmes t t e m pe ratures

m a in ly s u mmer r a in fa ll ,

th e rma l g r ad ie nt l e ssen ing so u the rn i c ecap m e lt ing

s outheas t t r ades ( s ummer )

n o rthern i c ecap s t ill e x tende d

h ighes t e v apo ra t io n n o f r os ts

S. A . h i gh w i nter :32 'S ,suste r :37 'S 6 , 500

1. 0 . h i gh w i nter :35 'S ,summe r :3B 'S

B . P.

Be ngue la C u rrent f a rthes t s o u th : 3 5 'S 19°S s outheaster lies

wes ter lies f u rthes t s o uth

m os t ly w i nter r a in fa ll ,

so u theaster lies f u rthest s o u th wa rm t e mpe ratu res

p o ss ib ly s o me i n s u mme r

th erma l g r ad ient l e ast s t ee p

w arie r t h an t o day , b u t n o t a s

IT C 1 n o rth o f c u rrent p o s it ion

w a rm a s p r ev io us p e r iod

so uthern i c ecap s m a lles t

g ene ra lly d r ier t h an p r ev ious

n o rthern i c ecap

p e r iod , a b out t h e s a te a s t o day

m e lt ing

we a k s u btrop ica l h i ghs

f ros ts t o re c o mmon d u e t o w i nter p r e c ipatat io n

Predicti ons

and

Table

97

ext ended 3 :1

model

A 4 . GAAP E S CARPMENT t iV AL R I VER

M O DEL P R ED ICT IONS

T I ME , s u mme r :27*S S. A . h i gh w i nte r : 2 °S In d . 0 . h i gh w i nter : 2 9S , s u mmer : 3 2 'S 18, 000

-B e ngue la C u rrent f u rthes t n o rth

B . P.

2 9 'S 13 'S w e s ter ly w i nd s y stem a t m o st n o rthe r ly ,

c o ld

s o utheaste r lies f u rthest n o rth

s ummer? r a in fa ll f r om i n tense

co ldest t e mpe ratures th erma l g rad ient s t eepes t

S . E . T r ades a n d s o uther ly 1 . T .C .Z . w et

1T CZ f u rther s o uth t h an p r esent so uthern i c ecap s o mewhat e x tended n o rthe rn i c ecap g reat ly

e x tended

in tense s u btro p ica l h i ghs

S. A h i gh w i nter :27 'S , s u mmer :32 'S 9 , 000

B . P.

IA h i gh w i nter i3 n , s u mme r :35 'S Be ngue la C u rrent • s outh :32 'S16. S we ster ly w i nd s y stem a l most t h e

w armest

s ame p os it ion

h ighest e v apo rat ion r a tes

a s p r esen t

s o utheaster lies a l mos t s a me

w etter t h an t o day

p os it ion a s p resent

s ummer r a ins p r edom inant

w a rmest t e mpe ratures

s outheast t r ades ( s ummer )

t h erma l g r ad ient l e ssen in g

f ros ts n o t c o mmon

s o u the rn i c ecap m e lt ing n o rthern i c ecap s t ill e x tende d

6 , 500

B . P.

S.A . h i gh w i nter :32 'S ,suate r :37 'S 1. 0 . h i gh w i nter :35 'S ,summer :30-S -B e ngue la C u rrent f a rthes t s o u th :

w inte r r a in fa ll

19 'S 3 5 °S we ster lies f u rthest s o u th

w eak s o utheas te r lies

so utheaster lies f u rthest s o u th

w arier t h an t o day , b u t n o t

wa rm t e mpe ratu res

p r ev ious p e r iod

th erma l g r ad ient l e ast s t eep

s ate a s t o day ,1 1 d r ier t h a n

1T C 7 n o rth o f c u rrent p o s it ion

p r ev ious p e r iod

so uthern i c ecap s m a lles t

d r iest p e r io d

n o rthern i c ecap

e vapo rat ion h i ghe r t h an t o day ,

m e lt ing

-w e ak s u btrop ica l h i ghs

b u t n o t p r ev ious p e r iod f rost

Predicti ons

and

Tabl e

3 :1

98

extended

model

5 . CAPE M I DLANDS & EA STERN E S CARPMENT M O DEL P R ED ICT IONS

T I ME S. A . h i gh w i nte r : 2 °S , s u mmer :27 "S In d . 0 . h i gh w i nter : 2 9 'S , s u mmer : 3 2 'S -B e ngue la C u rrent f u rthest n o rth 1 0, 000

2 9 'S 13 'S -w e ster ly w i nd s y stem a t m o st n o rtherly ,

B . P.

so utheaste r lies f u rthest n o rth co ldest t e mperatures th erma l g r ad ient s t eepest

d r ier t h an t o day p oss ib ly l i m ited s u mme r r a in f r om w e ste r lies

IT C Zf u rther s o uth t h an p r esent

f rosts i n land

so uthern i c ecap s o mewhat e x tended n o rthern i c ecap g r eat ly

e x tended

in tense s u btrop ica l h i ghs

, s u eser :32 'S -S . A h i gh w i nter :27 °S 9 , 000

1. 0 h i gh w i nter :32 'S , s u mme r :35 °S

B . P.

16° S Be ngue la C u rrent s o uth :32 °S -w e ster ly w i nd s y stem a l most t h e s a me p o s it ion

w ariest

a s p r esent

so utheaster lies a l most s a me

i ncrease i n r a in fa ll

p o s it ion a s p r esent -w a rmest t e mpe ra tures

s light ly w e tter t h an t o day a n d p r ev ious p e r iod

th erma l g r ad ient l e ssen ing -s o u thern i c ecap m e lt ing

d rought t o re i n frequent s outheas t ly t r ades

n o rthern i c ecap s t ill e x tended

s ummer r a in fa ll h ighest e v apo ra t ion w ettest p e r io d

-S . A . h i gh w i nter :32 'S ,sum ie r:37 'S 1. 0 . h i gh w i nter :35 'S ,summer :38- S -B e ngue la C u rrent f a rthes t s o u th : 6 , 500

3 5°S - 19 "S

B . P.

-w e s ter liesfu rthest s o uth s o utheaster lies f u rthest s o uth -w a re t e mperatu res t h erma l g r ad ient l e ast s t ee p

l ess i n tense w i nter r a in ,

IT C1 n o rth o f c u rrent p o s it ion

m a ybe s o me s u mmer r a in s outheaster lies

so uthern i c ecap s m a llest

w e a k

n o rthern i c ecap

o ccass iona l d r ought w arier t h an t o day , b u t n o t

m e lt ing

w e ak s u btrop ica l h i ghs

p r ev ious p e r iod e vaporat ion h i gher t h an t o day b u t n o t t h e p r ev ious p e r iod Predicti ons

and

Table

3 :1

ext end ed

99

model

NORTH 1 8,000

I CE..

decreasi ng

i ncress i n,

MTG..

1 , •cre••ins

STA..

e quato r vard

9 ,000

B . P.

POLE

B P

6,500

N

1 7 3

Present

-1 )



i ncre•sing i ncr•••Ing

d ecrearing

decre•sing •l ightly

eguatervard

polevard

po 1ev• r d

STA

STA

STA

ITCZ

, creasi ng

TC.. EQUATOR

i n

g

ncre••i no

cre asing

I TCZ

ITCZ

I TCZ.

nor t.

• o ut ,



A

o u th

ITCZ

STA

ICE.

I

MTG.

n creasing

STA.

i nCreasing

TA

e AS/ e arc r i

1 ,1 ,• • Ä

S leeve

eguatorvard

CS A

M creasimg

L ACT. 1 1 14 ing eg w U pr

polevard

d

pole.ard

SOUTH POLE

T hermal Gradient MTA

-

M ean

Thermal

Gradient

STA

-

S ubtropical

TC

-

T hermal

I TCZ

-

I ntertropical

strong

Anticyclones

Contrast

weak

(q)

Convergence

Zone polar

Schematic of

Diagram of

d isplacement

of

Extended

the

ITCZ

of polar

Model

and ice.

F ig.

1 00

3 :

Showing

the

STA according

5

to

Direction the

amount

ice

3 .3

THE

PREDICTED PALAEOCLIMATES

In this section I will predict the climatic conditions of f ive regions of South Africa as they would be under the c irculation patterns of the extended model. These regions have been selected on the basis of the f act that c limatological data are available from them and can be used to test these predictions. The f ive areas are: 1 . the western and southwestern Cape, 2 . the southern and eastern Cape, 3 . the Transvaal, 4 . the Gaap Escarpment and the Vaal River, and 5 . the Cape Midlands and Eastern Escarpment. As well, f or comparative purposes, I describe the present-day c limates of each region. These can a lso be considered as the approximate climates predicted for the period starting at 4 ,500 B . P. Much of this present-day i nformation comes f rom Poynton's silvicultural map of southern Africa ( Poynton 1 971). Fig. 3 :6 shows the areas that I will be considering in detail and their c lassification under Poynton's scheme. The predicted palaeoclimates f or each region are summarized in table 3 :1. l a

& b .

The western Cape Cape.

( research area)

and southwestern

The present day c limate of the research area has a lready been fully described in Chapter 2 . The southwestern Cape i s under much the same c limatic regime, i .e. a mediterranean type c limate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. 2 1,000 -1 5,000 B . P.: Colder temperatures prevailed. The westerly wind system affected the area year round. Cold winds and rain from cyclonic depressions occurred sporadically during winter and frequently during summer. Frosts were common during winter in mountain areas. The Benguela Current, though stronger under the influence of the more intense subtropical highs, did not affect the area s ignificantly because the northerly position of the South Atlantic High shifted the Benguela Current northward. 1 2,000 -8,000 B . P.: This time period was the most s imilar to today's s ituation. Though the temperatures were warmer than today, the position of the subtropical high, and the weakening of the westerly wind system meant that a mediterranean c limate with wet winters prevailed. The Benguela Current was once more i n a position to influence s ignificantly the research area, but upwelling was not as strong as at present, and consequently i ts aridfying effect would have been less than now. There was a higher rate of evaporation, and thus there would be more precipitation. In areas with sandy soils and l ittle ground cover, the higher temperatures would cause the rapid evaporation of water. These f actors, together with a weaker Benguela current, would cause approximately the same climatic conditions i n the research area as exist today. The river

1 01

o a s s outhwestern

-t he western a nd

a ) ai z ) a l

n c

r 4

C I )

• C e O $ 4 S 4 u ) C D E 1 . 1 . ) a ) U l ( 1 ) . 0 a l ) . 0 I N

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er a c c 4 ) ) 4 ) 4 4 . ) ( U 4 c a ) a ) cr e E • , 1 4 3 f a , 4 2 4 C D 3 t e. 4 ( 1 ) 0 4 1 : f . 0 U l M I

4 1

e a z

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5

systems and mountainous areas might be with the coastal plain somewhat drier.

s lightly

wetter,

8 ,000 -4,500 B .P.: Though temperatures were not as high as before, the area was still under warmer conditions than now. The temperature gradient was at i ts smallest, and the subtropical highs were established south of their present positions. As the westerly wind system was at its weakest, or furthest south, i t could not penetrate this area even during winter. The Benguela Current was weaker than at present, but would still have affected the area somewhat. Its effects would have been compounded by the fact that almost no rain penetrated the entire area, with the exception, perhaps, of the extreme southwest. Evaporation rates would have been higher than today, and without the ameliorating effect of the westerlies, ground water would disappear rapidly. Extremely arid conditions would have prevailed. 2 .

The Southern and Eastern Cape

This area extends f rom the Cape Agulhas area in the west eastward to Port Alfred and i nland to the i nterior margin of the Cape Folded mountain belt. This coast currently f alls within the year round rainfall zone, and experiences c limatic conditions from warmer temperate along the coast to cooler temperate in the coastal mountains. Rainfall during winter i s caused by the westerly wind system, and in summer by the easterly trade wind system of the Indian Ocean high. The mountains experience a moderate amount of frost while the coast has only l ight frosts. Temperatures inland are colder than the coast by about 5 degrees centigrade during winter ( Poynton 1 971). The warm Agulhas current runs parallel to this coast. 2 1,000 - 1 5,000 B . P. At this time the southern Cape suffered from cold weather with seasonally restricted rainfall. All precipitation would have originated with the westerly wind system, but the colder temperatures of winter lowered the evaporation rate, so rainfall would have been mostly restricted to summer when temperatures were higher. Inland temperatures were even colder than the coast and frost would not have been uncommon during winter. The eastern Cape would have been drier than the southern Cape, even during summer, s ince the Indian Ocean high was too f ar north to affect the area, and much of the precipitation carried by the westerly wind system would have a lready f allen a long the west and southwest coasts, and inland areas. The area, from west to east, would have been drier to very much drier than today. 1 2,000 -8,000 B .P At this time the c limate would have been most similar to today's. The Indian Ocean High was close to its present position, but because of a l essening in the thermal gradient the circulation was l ess strong. However,

1 03

temperatures had reached their maximum and evaporation was greater. This particularly affected the eastern part of South Africa as precipitation in this area originates from the warm air of the southern Indian Ocean. Rainfall amounts could be expected to be higher year round than at present. Winter rainfall would again occur along the coast, and precipitation rates f rom this source would be higher than today as well. Water loss would a lso be high, however, i n areas with porous soils or little ground cover. Weather was warmer and frost a lmost never occurred. 8 ,000 -4,500 B . P. Rainfall would originate entirely with the southeasterly trade winds. These winds would be strongest during summer when the Indian Ocean High was at i ts most i ntense, but the southerly position of the high during summer might prevent these rains from reaching the coast. During winter the anticyclone would be f ar enough north to bring rain to the entire coastline, but i ts circulation was not as i ntense, and precipitation would f all mostly on the eastern half of the continent. Very l imited winter rains might penetrate some of the southernmost portions of the western half of the coastline. Temperatures would be higher than today, but lower than those of the previous period. 3 .

The Transvaal

This area i s dominated by the summer tropical rains of the Indian Ocean high. As the centre of the high shifts southward, the southeasterly trades blow warm maritime air onto the continent. The highveld area i n the southern part of the Transvaal receives more rain ( > 8 00 mm) than the low central plateau ( 400 -6 00 mm ), but both areas f all into the subhumid z one according to Poynton's s ilvicultural map ( Poynton 1 971; Scott 1 982a:341). The low central plateau i s s lightly warmer than the higher areas, the lowest winter temperature being around 0 to 5 degrees centigrade in the f ormer and 5 to 0 degrees centigrade i n the l atter, again according to Poynton's map ( 1971). The entire region, however, can be described as mesothermal with l ight to moderate f rosts occurring during winter ( ibid.). 2 1,000 -1 5,000 B . P. This region would have been wetter than today. The region presently receives a ll of i ts rain from the south easterly trade winds which are only within reach of the area during summer. During the last glacial maximum, a lthough the Indian Ocean High was situated further north, the circulation would have been stronger and rainfall from the southeasterly trade winds could still be expected to penetrate this area during summer. The ITCZ would have been at i ts most southerly position during this time period and during summer some r ainfall may a lso have penetrated the Transvaal carried by the northeasterly trade winds. Decreased evaporation, due to lower temperatures, could be expected to affect the i nterior regions more than the coast, s ince much of the available precipitation would

1 04

f all leeward of the coastal mountain ranges. Heavy could be expected to occur at higher a ltitudes.

f rost

1 2,000 - 8,000 B . P. This area could be expected to be warmer and wetter than today. Summer rains would again prevail and greater evaporation would mean higher precipitation. Warmer temperatures would mean frosts did not occur. 8 ,000 - 4,500 B . P. This area would be subject to precipitation that occurred mostly during winter due to the more southerly position of the Indian Ocean High. Since temperatures were l ower than during the previous period, evaporation was not as great as previously, and the area would be drier than the previous period and not quite as warm. However, the Transvaal would have had a similar c limate to that of today. Even though temperatures were still higher than today, rainfall would occur mostly during winter and the area would experience relatively high evaporation rates during summer, possibly making the area s lightly drier overall than at present. As the season of greatest precipitation was winter, frost and snow might have been more frequent than at present, even with the generally warmer temperatures. 4 .

The

Gaap

Escarpment

and

the

Lower Vaal

River

Like the Transvaal, the area f alls within the summer rainfall z one. I t has an annual rainfall of only 3 00 mm i n the area of the l ower reaches of the Vaal River. Farther east a long the r iver, however, rainfall i ncreases to about 8 00 mm per annum ( Butzer et a l. 1 973:358). According to Poynton ( 1971) the lower reaches of the Vaal River and the area around the Gaap Escarpment f all within the coolertemperate classification. Frost i s moderate to severe i n winter with the coldest temperatures ranging from 21,000 B . P. until about 1 4,000 B . P. It was f ollowed by a brief, drier period. This wet period at c . 21,000 B . P is also recorded in l acustrine deposits f ound in basins west of Kimberly. One of these, at Bushman's Fountain, has a date of 2 0,500 ± 9 00 B . P. Work done a long the Vaal River also shows a wet terminal P leistocene. Member I II of the Riverton Formation shows a palaeosol f ormation with a proliferation of land snails at i ts base dating to about 1 7,000 B . P., while Member IV shows a f lood-silt regime, dated at i ts top to 1 4,670 ± 2 70 ( Butzer et a l. 1 978:331). However, dating of the Riverton Formation i s still insecure due to possible contamination by younger carbonates, and i t i s l ikely that Member I II would be more accurately placed in the midP leistocene ( Helgren 1 978:169). Wet conditions f or this period are a lso recorded from the Alexandersfontein Basin, near Kimberly, where reworked eolian sands were washed into dried cracks of previous deposits prior to 1 1,500 B . P. ( ibid.). Moister conditions, possibly f or this period, are a lso recorded in pollen recovered from coprolites and f rom the stratigraphic sequence at Equus Cave at Taung. Cooler conditions are shown f or level 2B and the bottom of 2A i n both the pollen and f auna recovered from the site. Since the sequence i s thought, on the basis of the stratigraphy and the radiocarbon dates on the tufa deposits at Norlim on the Gaar Escarpment, to date to at least 3 0,000 years, then these levels are l ikely to date from the last glacial maximum, though i t i s conceivable that they date from an even earlier cold period. The pollens, however, show open, grassy conditions in a moister environment, and include types commonly f ound i n late P leistocene/early Holocene pollen profiles ( Scott 1 987:153) The lack of members of the Ericaceae f amily in the pollen deposit means that the precipitation probably did not i ncrease above 6 00 mm per annum. However, combined with the lower evapotranspiration due to lowered temperatures, the effective moisture in the area would have been much greater than today ( Scott 1 987:151-153). 1 2,000

-8 000

B .P.

1 17

The studies of the Gaap Escarpment done by Butzer et a l. ( 1978) a lso show tufa formation 9550 ± 1 15 and 7 715 ± 90 B . P. ( Butzer et a l. 1 978:332, table 7 ). Since these formations ( Member VIa) are minor tufa carapaces and c liff cascades, i t i s l ikely that these sediments f ormed under warming temperature conditions with heavy seasonal rains. Data from Equus Cave, however, show pollen sequences from l evels 1 B and the upper part of 2A, l ikely to date from the late P leistocene/early Holocene, that reflect warmer, but drier conditions. Higher numbers of tree pollens in this sample are not felt to be due to a coeval increase in moisture, but rather to the disappearance of frost conditions which had previously prevented much tree growth ( Scott 1 987:152-153). A dry karriod vegetation i s indicated f or this period ( ibid.). 8 ,000

-4,500

B .P.

Data for this period are not entirely clear, mostly notable for the absence of deposits.

as

i t

i s

Following the early Holocene wet period along the Gaap Escarpment conditions seemed to have become more arid in this area. Tufa f ormation did not begin again until at least c . 4 ,500 B . P. The sequence at Gorrokop shows tufa formations dating to 3 ,155 B . P. and 2 ,520 B . P. ( Butzer et al. 1 978:315 table 1 ). In the Alexandersfontein Basin, shallow lakes, springs and soil f ormation begin again after 4 ,600 B . P. ( Butzer et a l. 1 978:331). Along the Vaal River, Member V of the Riverton Formation i s a suite of f lood s ilts that show seasonally wet f looding conditions beginning at c . 4 ,500 B . P. ( Butzer et a l. 1 978: 3 30). A wet phase during this period could be indicated by lacustrine deposits at Bushman's Fountain dated to 6 820 ± 15 B . P. ( Butzer et a l. 1 978:331). 1 The best data probably come from Equus Cave where two dates of 7 480 ± 8 0 and 2 390 ± 5 5 B . P. have been obtained for l evel 1A. This level c learly has warm and woody vegetation probably reflecting an i ncrease i n moisture compared with the period before. The vegetation i s similar to the Kalahari thornveld that grows i n the area today, and thus similar c limatic conditions probably existed ( Scott 1 987:153). 5 .

The Cape Midlands

21,000

-1 5,000

1 2,000

-8 ,000

B . P.

and eastern Escarpment No data available.

B .P.

13 1

Pollen samples taken f rom spring deposits just outside the town of Aliwal North reveal a sequence of deposits dating from 1 2,600 ± 1 10 to 9 ,650 ± 1 50 B . P. Throughout this time period the area was substantially wetter than during the next period or i n comparison to today. During this period there was an open lake where swamp vegetation exists today. There were various f luctuations of climate noted within the z one, however, and of particular note i s a short relatively dry period between 1 1,650 ± 1 70 and 1 1,250 ± 1 80 when karoo vegetation replaced grassveld in the area. By the end of the period there were signs that the area was a lready beginning to become drier ( Coetzee 1 967:123-124). 8 ,000

-4,500

B .P.

Unfortunately, there were no pollens recovered from most of this period from Aliwal North. Drier conditions may have existed throughout as the pollens f rom the end of the previous period indicate that drier conditions and warmer temperatures had a lready developed. The only definite information i s that the lake began to c lose over with swamp vegetation around 4 320 ± 1 10. Coetzee f eels that this change may i ndicate that much warmer and drier conditions began substantially earlier ( Coetzee 1 967:125).

19 1

E lands

B ay C ave

1 2,000-10,000

C ape

B .P. c older water ( Choromytilus s p.)

F lats

7 ,700 5,800 B .P 2 8,000- < 10,000B.P.

d ry ( pollens) extremely wet ( pollens)

y neskranskop m iddle Holocene 1 3,000 D ie

A rea

- >9,000 B .P.

2 1,000

l a/lb -T he w estern

- d rier

-12,000 B .P.

dry

( fauna)

r elatively wet ( fauna)

K elders

9 ,000 D .P.

( n ot t o s c a le )

r elatively

( cave w et

s ediments)

( cave

s ediments)

a nd s outhwestern C ape

( n ot t o s c a le )

Gronvlei

Cango Caves

6 ,870-2,000

B .P.

d rier

7 ,000-6,870 8 ,000-7,000

B .P. B .P.

w etter d rier

( all pollen)

1 8,000 cold

R obberg P eninsula < 3,740

—21,000-12,000

>9,000-

dry

c harcoal)

d ry

1 0,000

?4,200 B .P. B .P.

M elkhoutboom

( eolianite)

7 ,030 B .P. dry 7 ,030 Ba y C ave

( stalagmite)

Boomplaas —14,000-6,400 w et ( both

B .P.

7 ,600 B .P.

( eolianitc) drier

( sediments

-w arm A gulhas

a nd wet

Area 2 -T he

s outhern

a nd eastern

of t he

cold

( more

( spalling)

C ape

F ig. Summary

c urrent

< 12,000- > 10,000 B .P. wet(sediment) 1 2,000 B .P. -increasingly warm 1 9,000- 18,000 B .P.

3 : 7

C limate

C hanges

1 20

i n

Areas

wet

( fauna)

1 a nd 2

( fish,Perna perna) browsers)

( n ot t o s ca le ) Spring deposit north

of

Soutpansberg 5 ,000

Wonderkrater 6 ,000 1,000 1

B .P.

-9,500

2 5,000

Area

- w atter and warm

B .P.

B .P. -

3 -T he

Summary of the

B .P.

( pollen)

cooler a nd drier

1,000 1

B .P.

-s imilar to today

( pollen)

cooler a nd wetter

Transvaal

Climate

F ig.

Changes

3 :8

1 21

i n Area

3 .

( pollen)

G aap > 4,500

E scarpment B .P.

wetter

( tufa)

( arid eolianites) 7 ,715 ± 9 0 9 ,550 ± 1 15

warm, wet

s easonally ( tufa)

>21,000-14,000 B .P.

wet

( tufa)

A lexandersfontein Basin < 11,500 B .P. u shman's

( n ot t o s ca le )

6 ,820 2 0,5000

wet

F ountain

± 1 15 wet ± 9 00

( washed d eposits)

( lacustrine

B .P.

w et

d eposits)

R iverton 4 ,500

B .P.

-w et

1 7,000- 14,670 B .P. Area

4 -T he

d eposits)

( lacustrine

( flood s ilts) wet (palaeosol,

Gaap E scarpment a nd Vaal

f lood s ilts)

R iver

A liwal North 4 ,320

+ 1 10

B .P.

warmer

& d rier

( pollen, 1 2,600

+ 1 10

-9,650

s wamp)

+ 1 50 w etter ( pollen,

o pen

( n ot t o s c a le ) Area

5 -T he

Summary of

t he

Eastern

Climate

F ig.

1 22

E scarpment a nd Cape

Changes

3 :9

i n A reas

M idlands

4 a nd 5 .

l ake)

3 .5 EVALUATION OF THE MODEL Table 3 :2 gives a general comparison between the predictions made i n s ection 3 .3 and the data reviewed i n section 3 .4. I t i s c lear that most of the data corresponds well with the predictions made using the extended model, with one notable exception ( see below ). As most of the d ata i s expressed in terms r elative to today's c limate ( rather than comparing two or more palaeoclimates) i t i s s ometimes difficult to a ssess the agreement of data f rom different s ites ( and occasionally with the model). A case i n point would be the data f rom the s ites of D ie Kelders and Byneskranskop i n the southwestern Cape during the early Holocene. At f ii . g lance the drier conditions r ecorded at Die Kelders migh ‘ seem to contradict the relatively wet environment shown around Byneskranskop. In f act, these f indings are not i ncompatible. Under the model, extremely wet conditions were predicted f or the hypothermal, becoming s lightly drier i n the early Holocene but s till wetter than today's c limate. This i s precisely the s ituation reflected f rom the d ata of these two s ites. D ie Kelders, however, spans a greater time period, and the environment i s expressed relative to i ts previously extremely wet conditions, while Byneskranskop i s compared o nly to today. The difficulties of c omparing the data with the model have been somewhat overcome by outlining, i n Table 3 :2, the predictions of the model with regard to today's c limate and with regard to the c limate of the preceding period. In general, data comparison would be very much easier i f authors could s tate explicitly their comparative period, e specially when both previous and present c limates are available f or comparison as i n the case of l ong sequences. Most o f the d ata reviewed here, then, show consistent results. The only discrepancy within the data i tself i s f rom area 4 , a long the Gaap Escarpment ( Butzer et a l. 1 978). Though other data shows that the Gaap area was l ikely to be wet during the g lacial maximum ( e.g. Helgren 1 978), the Gaap s equence outlined by Butzer et a l. ( 1978) differs f rom the data f rom Equus Cave ( Scott 1 987). The data from Equus C ave comes f rom two pollen s equences, and while the coprolite pollens by themselves might present przblems because they are subject to selection by hyenas i n he f irst p lace, they agree quite well with the sediment pollens and the f auna recovered f rom the s ite. D ating i s not complete on the pollen s equences yet, however, and this r emains a problem. The dating a long the Gaap, however, i s even more questionable a s carbonate contamination s eems quite l ikely. In a ddition, the i nterpretation of the tufas ( by Butzer et a l. 1 978) a s being deposited under extremely humid conditions has recently been challanged. Partridge ( 1985) has concluded, i n f act, that tufas most l ikely f orm

1 23

Region

Ter1inal Pleistocene 21,000 - 15,000 B.P predictions data w.r.t

la/lb

very wet

2

dry cold

wetter colder drier colder

Early Holocene 12,000 - 8,000 B.P predictions data w,r. t.

(w.r .p.p. l

Hiddle Holocene 8 1 000 - 4 1 500 B.P. data

predictions

w.r.t. (w.r.p.p.l

(drier)

wet

wetter warier

(drier)

dry

drier

wet wara

wetter

(wetter)

dry (brief wet period ea. 7 1 000 B,Pl

drier (drier) warier (cooler)

sa1e as today

sate

(dry w,r.p.p.l

war■er

(warier)

(Marier)

warier (cooler)

wart 3

4

wet

wetter

dry

wetter

(sate?)

cold

colder

cool

Marier

(warier)

(wetter w.r.p.p.) war■

wet

wetter

dry/ seasonally

wetter

(sate?)

sate as today

war■er

(war■)

wetter warier

(wetter) (warier)

colder

s

no data

drier colder

I wet

wet

dry

(drier)

warier (cooler) sa1e or Metter (drier) warier (cooler)

drier

(drier)

warier (cooler)

w.r.t - with regard to today w.r.p.p - with regard to previous period

ta/lb, - the western and southwestern Cape 2. - the southern and eastern Cape 3. - the Transvaal 4. - the Saap Escarp1ent and Vaal River S. - the Eastern Escarp1ent and Cape Nidlands

Summ�ry of Data and Predictions Table

124

312

under drying conditions because of the high evaporation needed to f orm the tufas, and that s pring discharges of an e xtremely wet c limate would be too exuberant to f orm tufa and may well i nflict erosional damage i nstead ( 1985:179). However, these conclusions do not necessarily rule out the possibility that the tufas f ormed under seasonally wetter conditions as predicted by the model f or the mid-Holocene but Partridge does not comment on this. On the whole, then, the Gaap tufa s equence must be approached with c aution, and other data, when available, ( such a s f rom Equus Cave), should probably be accepted as more reliable until f urther work i s completed on the dating and f ormation o f the tufas. With regard to how well the model was able to predict the data, two areas, but only one time period, can be pointed out a s having c limatic data considerably d ifferent f rom the predicted c limates. Between 1 2,000 and 8 ,000 B . P. the Transvaal was predicted to have been extremely warm and wet. In f act, i t has been shown by the data to have been c ool and dry f or most of this time. A s imilar prediction was made f or the Gaap Escarpment and Vaal River f or the s ame t ime period, and the only conclusive ( see above) evidence f rom this area shows that i t a lso was dry. The discrepancy between the data and the predicted c limates i s i n a ll l ikelihood due to a weakness i n the model. Recent data has shown that during this period i nsolation i n the s outhern hemishpere decreased during summer, while i ncreasing during winter. This change f rom the current pattern of i nsolation would mean that s easonality was l ess marked at 9 ,000 B . P. and summer monsoon rains would have been s everely restricted ( StreetP errott 1 987). S ince the model predicted that both the Gaap and the Transvaal would have been receiving i ncreased summer r ains f rom this source due to higher evaporation l evels, the discrepency i s thus explained. In f act, with a decrease i n rainfall and higher temperatures, drier conditions than exist i n the area today would naturally f ollow. At any rate, this s ingle departure f rom the predicted c limates does not really affect the validity of the model, provided the revision given above i s taken i nto account. The addition of the i nsolation f actor during the early Holocene should not s ignificantly affect the predicted pattern of the westerlies. I ts main effects would be to l imit the summer rainfall z one to the southeastern part of the continent, and to l essen the effects of the Benguela Current because upwelling would not be as great when the i ntensity of the trade winds was reduced. Therefore, I f eel that by i ncorporating this f inal f actor, the model can be used to produce good r econstructions of the environment o f the western Cape during the e arly and middle Holocene period.

1 25

One or two other points of interest were raised i n the course of this work and are worth commenting on before f ocusing solely on the western Cape. For example, the pollen sequence at Groenvlei, the eolianite deposits on the Robberg Peninsula and the pollen sequence from the Cape F lats area all record a brief wet period around 7 ,000 B . P. Since this period was of extremely short duration i ts resolution i s really below the time periods considered in this research. However, i t seems possible that more detailed study in other areas may well show s imilar reversals around this date. This brief reversal of conditions has also been noted in the data from tropical Africa where wet conditions were interrupted by a dry spell between 8 ,000 and 7 ,000 B . P. ( Nicholson and F lohn 1 980). It i s possible, then, that this reversal i s a widespread phenomenon and i s l ikely to be due to broad-scale changes in atmospheric conditions. Brief climatic changes such as these could be due to mechanisms l ike the one suggested by F lohn ( 1983, . see section 3 .1.0). and study of them could lead to considerable i nformation about short term c limatic changes. This brief wet period around 7 ,000 B .P may help to explain why the change from grazers to browsers at Melkhoutboom may not have occured until sometime between 7 600 - 7 300 B . P. ( Deacon 1 976:114). This late date i s surprising as, under the model, the warmest and wettest period in the area was from 1 2,000 to 8 ,000 B . P. when high evaporation and southeasterly trade winds made conditions especially humid. Indeed, the evidence from other southern Cape sites confirms the humid conditions of this period. The change in f auna i s somewhat enigmatic, however, as evidence from both NBC and Melkhoutboom shows that there may be a l ink between large grazers and the Albany Industry. Both sites record the f aunal change as coeval with a change in the tool making industry. NBC records a decrease in grazing species as coincident with the change from the Robberg to the Albany Industry, while at Melkhoutboom the loss of the large grazers in the f aunal l ist appears to be coeval with the change from Albany to Wilton ( Deacon, H . 1 976; Deacon, J . 1 982:table 6 ; Inskeep, pers.comm.). However, upon examining the record more c losely, i t i s clear that sometime between 1 0,000 and 8 ,000 B . P., that i s, during the Albany period, the grazers decrease again in the f aunal l ist of N . B.C. Though this decrease in grazing species appears to occur somewhat later at Melkhoutboom, it may be that this date i s s imply an artefact of the analysis. The original f aunal counts f rom the pre-Wilton levels at the s ite were extremely small, and the Robberg and Albany levels were analysed together ( Deacon 1 976:112). Both of these f actors could have played a role in obscuring earlier changes in the f aunal record. On the other hand, as stated previously, the internal change from grazers to browsers recorded at NBC may be at

1 26

l east partially explained by the l oss of grazing the r ising s ea.

l ands

to

A s imilar s ituation exists at Byneskranskop, where i t i s possible that the drop i n l arge and medium/large bovids and Syncerus caffer around 1 2,000 B .P reflects the change f rom a grazer dominated f aunal l ist to a mixed l ist of browsers and grazers. At Byneskranskop, however, there i s no f urther change c lear i n the macrofauna until c . 6 ,500 B .P. when i ncreases i n Raphicerus sp., small and l arge bovids, and Syncerus c affer may i ndicate a general c limatic amelioration s omewhat earlier than at the other southern or western Cape s ites. This early recovery, and the f act that some grazing population s eems to have been maintained i n this area throughout the early and middle Holocene ( i.e. there i s no period i n which browsers clearly dominate the f aunal l ist) i s, i n a ll l iklihood, due to the more southerly position of Byneskranskop. Nearly one-half degree f urther south than even Nelson Bay Cave, this area would have been both somewhat cooler and wetter throughout the f irst half o f the Holocene than any of the other southern or western C ape s ites. The i ssue of f aunal change i s obviously a complicated one, a ll the more so because this f aunal material i s culturally collected and i t i s not easy to differentiate between the cultural and environmental implications of changes of this sort. The i mplications of f aunal change at the western Cape s ites and other s ites are discussed at greater l ength i n Chapters 4 and 6 . In summary, there i s s trong evidence to point to movement of the northern boundary of the westerlies and the z one of subtropical anticyclones northward and southward during the hypothermal and hyperthermal respectively. The evidence f or the northward movement of the Benguela Current and i ts subsequent re-establishment off the western Cape i s particularly i nteresting. This i s the f irst time that such a translocation of the Current has been suggested, and the evidence of such movement l ends strong support to the theory that the South Atlantic Anticyclone a lso shifted north and south of i ts present position. The humidity data f rom the southern Cape f its particularly well with the model showing drier conditions at both the hypothermal and hyperthermal maxima. The evidence f rom the Gaap Escarpment i s a lso reasonably good, e specially during the hypothermal maximum when i t shows substantially wetter conditions. Data f or more arid c onditions during the middle Holocene i n this area are perhaps not as good as might be wished, relying mostly on i mplications drawn f rom a subsequent i nitiation of wetter conditions c . 4 ,500 B .P. I t i s possible though, that the l acustrine deposit at Bushman's Fountain dated to 6 ,820 ± 1 15 B .P. might represent a short term reversal of c onditions related to the others mentioned above.

1 27

D ata f rom the Transvaal and the Eastern E scarpment r ely r ather heavily on just a f ew s ites. With the exception of the e arly Holocene data f rom the Transvaal ( noted above), the data f rom this area a lso agrees with the predictions of the model; cooler and wetter during the hypothermal, and about the s ame a s today during the middle Holocene. The Cape Midlands and Eastern Escarpment data comes only f rom Aliwal North, but what l ittle data there i s f rom the early and middle Holocene a lso agree with the model; i nitially warm and wet and then dry. A northward shift of the westerlies during the hypothermal i s a lso i ndicated by the data both f rom D ie Kelders and f rom Namaqualand, where much wetter c onditions are documented. The absence of the Benguela Current and i ts aridifying effects i n this area would a lso contribute to the extreme wetness of this coast at the hypothermal maximum.

1 28

3 .6 ENVIRONMENTAL RECONSTRUCTION AND S ETTLEMENT HYPOTHESES The palaeoclimates predicted in s ection 3 .4 f or the e arly and middle Holocene can now be used a s a basis f or r econstructing the biogeography of the western Cape during both periods. Though the model and the reconstructed environments c onsidered the l ate g lacial period, that period i s not o f particular concern here, being outside the s cope of this i nvestigation. I t was necessary to i nclude i t, a s mentioned i n the i ntroduction to this chapter, f or two reasons: f irstly, much of the data used to validate the model comes f rom this period, and secondly, i t i s i mportant to understand the conditions prior to the ones examined here, a s these must have modified the effect of subsequent events. Other pertinent environmental data, such as s ea l evel r ise, i s t aken i nto account i n this s ection so that a n overall picture of the environment of e ach period can be presented. Using the reconstructed c limatic s etting, good e stimates of the geographical d istribution, density and variability of r esources can be given. Seasonal variations c an a lso be broadly e stimated, but accurate reconstructions of s easonal changes i n s ome f aunal r esources are difficult. Any consideration of f aunal s easonality i n the early and middle Holocene must take i nto account the possible e ffects of d ifferent c limatic regimes, and this has not a lways been appreciated. For example, animals thought to have been taken while i nhabiting open grassland i n the l ater Holocene would s urely a lso have been taken when the grassland was p lentiful i n the early Holocene. However, while the period of p lentiful grass might be l imited to o ne or two s pring months during the l ater Holocene, i n the early Holocene grass availability might have l asted well i nto summer. Additionally, the accuracy of the conclusions drawn about the duration of human s ettlement i n any area depends on the annual breeding cycle of the animal remaining the s ame under d ifferent c limatic regimes. Z oological s tudies i ndicate that while photoperiod ( amount of daylight) i s the primary trigger f or mating, temperature, r ainfall and nutrition a ll p lay an i mportant s econdary role ( Sadleir 1 969). I ndeed, an i nteresting study on wildebeest i n the S erengeti has s hown that mating may even be triggered i nitially by a r apid decline i n rainfall and grass ( Sinclair 1 977:833). Should the timing of such an environmental event change, then the l ikelihood i s that the mating season of the animals will a lso change. However, while the s pecific season during which animals might be taken cannot be r econstructed, i t i s possible to note certain annual variations i n resource availability, e specially with r egard to p lant resources. B ased on the o verall a ssessment of r esource availability, possible s ettlement s trategies f or e ach time period are suggested below. These strategies are outlined towards the

end of e ach of the f ollowing s ections, with the most efficient s trategy f or e ach t ime period highlighted. 3 .6.1 The Early Holocene

( 12,000

-8,000 B . P.).

Under the model outlined above, by 9 ,000 B .P. the z one of subtropical highs and the westerly wind system were i n essentially the s ame positions a s they are today. I t was during the e arly Holocene then, that a winter r ainfall pattern was once again established i n the area, a s the South Atlantic High shifted s outhward. Precipitation would have been higher than a t present throughout the period, i nitially because of the s lightly more northerly position of the z one of subtropical highs, and continuing ( while at the same time becoming more seasonally restricted) as temperatures began to r ise and evaporation f rom the oceans i ncreased. By 1 0,000 B . P. the Benguela Current had moved southward and once more brought cold upwelled waters to the area. Though beneficial i n bringing marine plankton to the surface, upwelling a t this t ime may have been weak a s the lower i nsolation of the southern hemisphere c . 9 ,000 B . P. l ed to a decrease i n the strength of certain c irculation f eatures. I f s o, the red t ide e pisodes and subsequent poisoning of the shellfish would have had a l ower f requency and the aridifying effect of the current would be l ess than at present. Greater than present day precipitation would mean that water was p lentiful i n both the B erg and the Olifants Rivers, the s andveld s treams would contain water f or at least half of the year, and l arge vleis l ike Verlore Vlei would certainly have been perennial. Evaporation, particularly i n the s andveld, might be high, but given the previously wet conditions proposed by the model, more stable vegetation could be assumed f or the coastal sandveld, and thus water l oss might be somewhat l ess than would be expected. Because of the decreased i nsolation f or this period seasonality would be l ess marked than at present, meaning cooler summers and warmer winters than those of today. Thus, water would not evaporate away as quickly a s i t currently does i n the coastal area with the end of the winter rainy period. In the mountains, water could a lso be expected to be plentiful year-round. As a result of the higher humidity, f ire might be expected to occur l ess f requently, not only i n comparison with post-European colonization but a lso i n comparison with i ts natural occurrence during drier periods. Therefore, certain general s tatements can be made about the vegetation of the area. The f ynbos, which i s presently f ound i n varying s tages of re-growth, primarily because o f the human use of f ire i n the area, would be more uniform during this period. Thus, changes between p lant communities, which presently give the area a patchy appearance, would not be so abrupt.

Proteoids would be l ikely to i nvade areas currently dominated by arid f ynbos. Fynbos p lant communities might r each their c limax s tage more f requently and would i nclude p lants with edible f ruits such as D iospyros austroa fricana, Euclea tomentosa and Rhus dissecta. In the strandveld as well, f ynbos vegetation would dominate over the k arroo types. Low scrub would s pread beside marsh and pan environments and, a long r iver banks, trees such as O lea africana and Podocarpus l atifolius, would be more common. The restoid, Cannamois virgata, would a lso be customarily f ound i n these areas. The trees would have provided edible f ruits and f uel i n both resource z ones and, a long with the reeds, would have provided raw material f or artefact manufacture. Greater humidity would a lso mean that trees, such a s Rhus l ancea and Acacia karoo were more common i n the karroo vegetation, especially a long water courses. Perennial bushes would frequently occur, and annual grasses would survive longer. These woodier environments, especially around water sources, could be expected to attract more of the smaller browsing animals, such as the duiker, to the coastal area. The extension of the coastal p lain, due to lower sea l evels, means that at the beginning of the period at l east, grasses would have been plentiful, especially i n spring and early summer, and l arge grazers such as roan antelope, bloubok, wildebeest and hartebeest could be expected i n this area a long with smaller grazers such as oribi and vaalribok. Additionally, one would expect to f ind s ome mixed f eeders i n the area. Of the l arger mixed f eeders those, l ike e land and Cape buffalo, that have a high proportion of grazing i n their diet would be common, while a variety of the smaller ones, such as grysbok/ steenbok and k lipspringer, would be unlimited. Small game, such a s ostrich and, during summer e specially, tortoise, would occur throughout both resource z ones. During this period sea l evels were r ising, and f rom about 1 1,000 B .P. the Atlantic was again well within the catchment area of the coastal rock shelters. At D ie Kelders cave, i n the southwestern Cape, the sea l evel had probably reached 2 5 metres below present-day l evels by about 9 ,000 B . P. ( Tankard 1 976:156). At E lands Bay Cave, P arkington ( 1981) e stimates that by 1 1,000 B . P. the s ea l evel would have been about 5 0 metres l ower than today, or about 5 kilometres away f rom the mouth of the cave. At 9 ,000 B . P. the s ea was s till 3 0 metres below the present l evel, but was l ess than a kilometre away f rom the cave ( Parkington 1 981:345,fig 1 2.4). While, during the early part of the Holocene, arassland might be expected to have extended out over the coastal p lain, as the sea l evel rose grassland was s teadily reduced and by the middle of this period ( c.10,000 B . P.) bush would have predominated a long

the coast as well a s i nland and browsers would have i ncreased relative to grazers. On the other hand, marine r esources could be added to the l ist of l ocal r esources by 1 1,000 B .P., and this might have compensated somewhat f or the relative decline i n grazers i n this z one. For r easons discussed earlier, the f requency o f red tide would not be great during this period and e specially throughout the winter marine f oods, s uch a s shellfish and marine mammals would have been available, a s would e stuarine birds. Inland the r ange of animals would i nclude the smaller mixed f eeders l isted above, a long with mixed f eeders, such as mountain reedbuck, that prefer hilly country. Browsers, such as the duiker and rhinoceros, would be plentiful, but l arge grazers or mixed f eeders that graze f requently would be less common, especially toward the end of the period when temperatures r eached their peak and humidity was s till relatively high. On the whole mixed f eeders, s uch a s grysbok/steenbok, would be even more plentiful i nland than on the coast. Hedgehogs and dassie could be added to the l ist of small game available i nland during summer. Table 3 :3 l ists the most common resources of the early Holocene. P lants would be l ikely to have a higher diversity ( i.e. a greater number of species) a s well a s greater density under the s lightly wetter c limatic conditions of the early Holocene. In a s tudy undertaken by O 'Brien ( 1982), high d iversities of woody p lant species have been correlated to a good regularity of precipitation ( on a monthly basis) and l ow evapotranspiration l eading to good year-round effective moisture. Under the c limatic conditions of the early Holocene i n the western Cape, therefore, a s omewhat l arger diversity of woody, and probably a ll plant s pecies, would be expected. The extent of the diversification, however, could be l imited by f actors such a s the underlying s oil conditions which, a s has been shown i n the previous chapter, have a strong correlation with the veld types o f the present day. P lant density and d iversity would a lso be affected by the previous r ichness of the f lora and the f act that the early Holocene c limate was drier compared with the previous period without the spread of precipitation throughout the year. Nevertheless, at l east s lightly higher densities and species diversity would be expected under the generally more f avourable conditions existing i n the area compared with the present. The greater humidity and smaller seasonal variations of the early Holocene would have extended the current seasons of availability f or p lant f oods i n both z ones. Thus i t can be s een that both the coastal and i nland areas would have had abundant resources during this period to

E ARLY H OLOCENE

C OAST

I NLAND

L arge g ame: h igh d ensity , g ood v ariab ility

h igh d ensity , g ood a vailab ility

G razers, a ll s izes ( decreasing)

S mall/med ium g razers

L arge m ixed f eeders ( w ith a h igh

M ixed f eeders

p roportion o f g razing i n t he ir d iet)

B rowsers

M ed ium / small m ixed f eeders S mall/med ium b rowsers ( increasing) S mall g ame: h igh d ensity

h igh d ensity

S ea-b irds ( increasing)

B irds

E stuarine b irds

T orto ise

O strich

H edgehog

T orto ise

D assie

M arine/riverine r esources:

i ncreasing t hroughout

g ood a vailab ility

S ea m ammals

F reshwater f ish

S hellfish

S nails

F reshwater a nd s aline f ish S eaweed P lants: m oderate v ariab ility , m oderate d ensity

g ood v ariab ility , h igh d ensity

l ong s eason o f a va ilab ility

l ong s eason o f a vailab ility

F ru its

F ru its

B erries

B erries

L eaves a nd b ark

L eaves a nd b ark

U nderground s torage o rgans

U nderground s torage o rgans

R eeds, s ome w ood ( artefact

W ood a nd r eeds

m anufacture ,

f uel)

W ater: a vailab le t hroughout t he y ear

a vailab le t hroughout y ear

O tifants , B erg, V erlore V te i

O tifants,

S andveld s treams

P recip itation

P recip itation

T ab le M ounta in S andstone r eservo irs

Table Summary

B erg

3 :3

of the Principal Resources of 1 2,000 -8 ,000 B . P. ( see text

the Early Holocene for details)

support human groups. B irds, berries and f ish would have been prolific. Settlement patterns then, could have taken a lmost any f orm with a high expectation of economic s uccess. Year round l iving on the coast was certainly a viable option, a s was l iving i nland perennially. Movement within each z one was probably not frequently necessary and s ites may have been occupied l onger or supported l arger groups than was the c ase i n the recent or l ater Holocene. Movement between z ones would have achieved a l arger resource base certainly, but was c learly not necessary. I nter-zone travel may have occurred, however, e specially i f f ollowing animals to the coast ( in the early part o f the period) i n search o f new spring grasses or i nland during l ate summer a s the coastal grasses disappeared; or i n e ither direction to obtain particular f oods that were highly prized. However, residence f or the greater portion of each year could be expected to o ccur within a s ingle z one. Archaeologically, i t c an be predicted that not only would a wider range of f auna be taken f rom the s ites i f year round s ettlement i n a s ingle z one was undertaken, but that this f auna would be expected to show wide s easonal variation a s well. P lants were probably a s taple f ood throughout the area, but f loral r emains are unlikely to occur i n the s ites at this t ime period. The i ntroduction of marine f oods c . 1,000 B . P. should be c learly visible 1 i n the coastal s ites. Shortly after this, i ncreasing numbers of browsers ( or more accurately decreases i n the proportion of grazers) should be evident due to the combined f actors of s ea l evel r ise and i ncreasing temperatures. I nland, such a change might not be as noticeable but with r ising temperatures and r elatively high humidity, bush would have spread r apidly i n the area. Though i nland browsers would have predominated over grazers i n any case, a gradual r elative i ncrease throughout the e arly Holocene would a lso be expected. The s ame comments apply i nland a s f or the coastal area: a wide r ange of f auna s howing seasonal variation would be predicted i f the s ettlement s trategy was that of year-round occupation. 3 .6.2

The Middle Holocene

( 8,000

-4,500

B .P ).

During the middle Holocene according to the model, coastal conditions were very harsh, with extremely dry c onditions predominating. The westerlies were well s outh of the area and brought r ain only to the southernmost parts of South Africa. Without question the most f undamental change during this period was i n the availability of water on the coast. Low precipitation a llied with continuing warm temperatures meant high evaporation, e specially f rom the coastal s ands. The Benguela Current, though weak, continued to affect the area, causing the l oss of even the minimal amounts of precipitation s till reaching this f ar north. What water there was could only be f ound i n the

i nland mountain areas in rivers that take their rise f urther south and where Table Mountain Sandstone conserves water. Sea l evel a lmost certainly rose above present-day l evels and drowned the coastal estuaries. Flemming ( 1977), f or example, has studied the area of Saldanha Bay, just south of the research area, with regard to Holocene sea l evel changes. Oyster reefs dating from 6 ,410 ± 4 5 B . P. have been f ound i n the bay, showing at least that the present day sea-level must have been reached by that time. Higher than present day sea-levels are indicated by an old outflow channel that has i ts lowest level at just over 3 metres above the present mean sea-level. The channel was f inally c losed by a beach ridge at its seaward end, dated to 2 040 ± 6 0, that must have been constructed when the sea was still at least 1 - 1.5 metres above i ts present position. This data i ndicates that the Holocene sea-level must have risen 3 - 4 metres above its present level sometime between 6 ,400 and 2 ,000 B . P. This time span can be narrowed down somewhat by the existence of an undisturbed beach deposit at Bomgat cave, also in the Saldanha area, that indicates a sea level of 1 .5 -2 metres above the present l evel ( Flemming 1 977:83). This level has been dated to c . 3 ,500 B . P. and shows that the sea level had a lready f allen substantially by then. Flemming ( ibid.) concludes, therefore, that the highest Holocene sea-levels occurred between 6 ,000 and 5 ,000 B . P. and reached a level of at least 3 metres a .s.l. Though a 4 metre a .s.l. rise has been assigned, somewhat tentatively, by Hendry and Volman ( 1986) to the last interglacial maximum ( oxygen i sotope stage 5e), they indicate Holocene sea-levels at only 1 .5 metres above present f or the western Cape ( Hendry and Volman:1986,table 2 ). While this i s consistent with the 1 .5 metre a .s.l. rise assumed by Deacon ( 1982:61) for Nelson Bay Cave i n the southern Cape at c .6,000 B . P., they do not comment in the text on the basis for this level and they do not address the evidence cited by Flemming ( 22 _ , _ cit.). The data presented by Giresse ( in press, f ig.3) are consistent with that of F lemming ( op. cit.) in that i t also i ndicates a mid-Holocene shoreline of between 2 .5 and 4 .0 metres a .s.l. between 2 ,500 B . P. and 6 ,000 B . P. i n the western Cape. Further north a long the west coast, between the Orange River mouth and Luderitz, Vogel and Visser ( 1981:68) believe that Holocene high sea levels were a lso i n the range of the 3 .5 metres a .s.l. At present, Verlore Vlei, near Elands Bay Cave, i s protected from the sea by a rock bar s ituated just above the high tide l evel. A rise i n sea-level would have permitted saline water to i nundate the vlei ( Tankard 1 975:38). As increased evaporation would have reduced the fresh water reaching i t anyway, Verlore Vlei would have been saline at this time, and while i t might have been a

good source of f ish, i t would have been unusable a s a s ource of f resh water. B oth the B erg and the O lifants Rivers would a lso have been s aline well i nto their courses; the other s andveld s treams having disappeared due to i ncreased evaporation. Dried up s tream beds might have become marshy s aline areas under the higher sea-levels. The loss of water i n the coastal area, due to much l ower precipitation r ates and continuing high r ates o f evaporation, would not necessarily have d irectly a ffected the water i ntake of human populations. Obviously, prehistoric hunter-gatherers would have been able to s tore and transport water, enabling them to l ive, at l east part of the t ime, i n dry areas. However, the effect of water l oss on the biogeography of the z one would have been s ignificant. P lants would have become dominated by xeric f orms and species variability and density would have sharply decreased. Natural f ires might have occurred more f requently and s pread more r apidly, s o that c limax communities would be r arer. Grassland would only s urvive f or short periods of t ime. The f ruit bearing trees f ound a long water courses would be s everely reduced, e specially trees and shrubs any d istance away f rom water s ources. These effects would be very much more exaggerated i n the coastal area, with i ts s andy s oils and high water l oss, than i n the mountain area, where water i s conserved to s ome extent by the underlying rock f ormations. Additionally, i n the mountain area, some water would be available i n the r iver systems that originate f urther south, where s omewhat wetter conditions may have continued. The l oss of f ood f or browsers a long the coast would contribute to a decline i n the variability of the l arger s pecies f ound there. I nland, the effect of the c limatic change would be f elt more i n a r eduction of the number o f animals than i n a change i n their variability. Small game, plants, f ish and birds would continue to provide part o f the diet i nland. Water dependent f auna, such a s the wildebeest would be f orced to retreat i nto the better watered mountain areas during this period. Grazers, even i f not dependent on water, would a lso be s everely r educed i n the coastal area and l arge grazers, l ike the Cape buffalo, could not be expected to occur i n e ither area. Grazers would be affected f or two r easons: f irstly, grassland would only survive during short periods o f t ime directly after r ainfall, which would not necessarily be r eliable i n terms of quantity or s easonal availability and s econdly, r ising s ea l evels would have f looded much of the coastal area previously available f or grassland. The density of animals could be expected to drop sharply throughout the area, and e specially i n the coastal z one. There i s s ome evidence to s uggest that nutritional deficiencies i n the f ood s upply l ead to a higher mortality

r ate i n pre-weaned young. Reduced s upplies of f eed i n s emi-arid areas of s outh-west Africa have been s hown to r esult i n reduced l actation i n e lephants, antelope and z ebras ( Sadleir 1 969:225). The availability of water i n drier areas during the changeover period f rom mother's milk to s olid f ood has a lso been shown to be a critical f actor i n the survival of young mammals ( Sadleir 1 969:219). An i ncreased mortality r ate such a s this could be expected to l ead to a general decline over time; the rate of which would have been h ighest i n arid areas, such as the coastal z one. Along the coast, therefore, only those small grazers or mixed f eeders that were not water dependent, such a s k lipspringer and grysbok/steenbok, would continue i n any amount. Certain resources, though, e specially those oriented towards a marine environment, such as f ish, s hellfish, s eaweed, birds and marine mammals, would still be available. The most common f aunal r esources of both z ones during the middle Holocene are l isted i n table 3 :4. Some utilization of the coastal area remained possible during the middle Holocene. I n other arid areas, such a s the Kalahari D esert, human populations have, i n more recent t imes a s well a s the past, become well adapted to l iving i n what could be termed a " marginal" r esource z one ( see f or example, Lee and DeVore 1 976). Therefore, i n absolute terms, the r esources of the coastal area during the middle Holocene were a lmost certainly enough to support s ome people, though group s ize would presumably have been s harply reduced. In relative terms, however, compared both to the r esource availability of the previous period, and to the contemporary resource availability i nland, the coastal r esources were s carce. The analogy of the Kalahari huntergatherers i s probably not a good one, therefore, as the r esource strategies of the Kalahari groups are the result o f l ong term occupation of a marginal areas. I t must be concluded that l ong term ( i.e. months) coastal occupation, though possible during the middle Holocene, was not the best option, and movement to the i nland area was more l ikely. On the other hand, short term visits to the coastal area during t imes of resource s tress i nland would s eem reasonable. However, unlike l ater Holocene s ettlement, these visits would be restricted, both i n time and i n the s ize of the group, by the necessity of people carrying water with them. This i s supported to some extent by ethnographic data i ndicating that, even i n historical t imes, i ndigenous people were reluctant to travel through the sandveld during t imes when water was difficult to obtain ( Thom 1 954:348;467-469).

M IDDLE H OLOCENE

C OAST L arge g ame :

I NLAND

l ow d ensity ,

l ow v ariab ility

m oderate d ensity , m oderate v ariab ility S m all g razers

S ome , n on-water-dependent m ixed f eeders

S mall g ame : m oderate d ensity , m oderate v ariab ility

M ixed f eeders

m oderate d ensity ,

O strich

B irds

S ea-b irds

T orto ise

E stuarine b irds

l ow v ariab ilty

H edgehog D assie

M arine/Riverine r esources:high d ensity ,

l ow a vailab ility

h igh v ariab ility S ea m ammals

S nails

S ea f ish

F reshwater f ish

S hellfish S eaweed P lants:

l ow d ensity ,

l ow v ariab ility

m oderate d ensity ,

s hort s eason o f a vailab ility

l ow v ariab ility ,

s hort

s eason o f a vailab ilty

L eaves a nd b ark

F ru its

F ew f ru it a nd b erries

B erries

F ew u nderground s torage o rgans

U ndergroud s torage o rgans L eaves a nd b ark

L ittle w ood

W ood W ater:

f resh w ater n ot a vailable

m oderate a vailab ility ,

r estricted

d ur ing s ummer O lifants , B erg L ittle p recip itation

Table

Summary of the Principal 8 ,000 -4 ,500 B . P.

3 :4

Resources of the Middle Holocene ( see text for details)

Though a imed at collecting marine r esources, and therefore e ssentially gathering activities, these trips might have been undertaken more a long the pattern o f hunting trips. A f ew people, probably men travelling quickly, would utilize the resource and return to the base c amp. The period o f t ime would be measured i n days and weeks r ather than months. I t i s extremely unlikely that good evidence of s uch trips would be f ound i nland ( for example, remains o f coastal f auna) as any resources brought back to the base camp would a lmost certainly a lready be reduced to their e dible parts, though f ish bones or the occasional marine shell could be expected to turn up i n this context. F ish bones are, however, even at the best of t imes, d ifficult to recover f rom archaeological s ites. Marine shells, though, would argue f or at least some contact with the c oastal area i n this period. Furthermore, i t may be that such trips were never meant to supplement the resources of the i nland base camp i n the s ame manner as did hunting trips. It i s more worthwhile, probably, to see these hypothesized trips i n terms of reducing the pressure on the i nland resources by reducing group s ize, r ather than i n terms of a s trategy meant to supplement the d iet of the entire group. Such trips to the coast could e asily have take place during winter. Summer trips may a lso have occurred, though this i s l ess l ikely. Coastal upwelling was not as f requent during the middle Holocene a s at present, but summer trips may have been avoided because of the possibility of arriving during a red tide episode. The most l ikely s ettlement strategy then, e specially given the previous bountiful conditions, would have been to move i nland, and to utilize the c oast only i n short bursts as required. Even " strandloping" movement up and down the coast was not a truly f easible option, a s high s ea l evels meant f resh water was not available even f rom the major r iver systems making i t difficult to support groups of more than a f ew i ndividuals. Within the i nland z one, the way i n which a settlement strategy might have been s tructured at this time i s more d ifficult to tell. Given the l imited and more disparate resources compared with the previous period, more movement i n s earch of resources would c learly need to be undertaken. Whether this movement consisted of regularly changing position of the base camp, or of more f requent hunting trips would depend, I think, on two f actors. First, the general density of population i n the area. A high population density would mean that the availability o f l iving s ites might be r estricted, and territories might be more c learly established, making i t difficult to change the l ocation of a base camp. Lower population densities, on the other hand, might r esult i n continual shifting o f the base camp as l ocal resources became exhausted. Secondly, base camps would only be changed i f there were more

abundant resources available i n another area. For example, i f population densities were high, r esources may have been exhausted s imultaneously throughout the area vitiating the usefulness i n moving the base camp, regardless o f whether territories were more specifically e stablished. I f the s ettlement s trategy hypothesized f or the previous period, of year-round s ettlement i n each area, i s correct, then a middle Holocene movement i nland by coastal people would certainly have i ncreased the population density of the mountain area. It s eems l ikely, t herefore, but f ar f rom certain, that i nland settlement du/3/. 1 g this t ime period i nvolved r easonably sedentary behaviour on the part of at l east a portion of each group, with the hunters spending a moderate to high amount of time away f rom the base camp. Under this scenario, no particular change i n the way i n which i nland s ites were utilized would be predicted between the early and middle Holocene. Higher population densities might mean that s ite density would i ncrease i n the mountain z one during this t ime period, while l ower population densities might be revealed by more i ntermittent use of s ites. In e ither case, the artefacts and f aunal material recovered f rom the s ite would remain very s imilar to that of the early Holocene, with the exception that the r ange of f aunal material ( and f loral material i f i t were recovered) could be expected to decrease somewhat. A f urther possibility i s that new resources, which were previously considered undesirable, may have been i ntroduced at this time period ( the " famine f ood" concept) or that the r esources that were a lready t aken were used more i ntensively ( e.g. parts of the animal or p lant previously d iscarded were now utilized, or more effort was expended to utilize a ll o f the f ood potential o f the resource) However, documenting such a change i n the d ietary r ecord might be d ifficult, e specially i f these changes were l imited to p lant f oods, unless there were a c orresponding change i n the artefact assemblage, e ither with the i ntroduction o f new artefacts, or technological i nnovations that could r elate to the use of new resources or more efficient utilization o f o ld ones. 3 .6.3

Summary and D iscussion

A number of things have been accomplished i n this chapter. By extending the c limatic model of Nicholson and F lohn ( 1980) to i nclude sub-Saharan data, i t has been possible to predict s pecific r egional c limates f or the l ate P leistocene, and e arly and middle Holocene periods. The validity of the model was e stablished by comparison of the predictions with the data currently available. Not only d id this process a llow the development of s ettlement models f or the western C ape, but the c limatic model i tself and the development of i t presented s ome new a spects o f c limatological work i n the area. The predicted s ettlement

s trategies will be briefly reviewed i n the f ollowing s ection, which summarizes the f irst part of the i nvestigation, s o the d iscussion here i s l imited to the c limatic model and the environmental approach f or predicting settlement s trategies as compared to the previous work done i n these areas. While some archaeologists ( see f or example, Parkington 1 981) continue to use Van Z inderen Bakker's model with a ll o f i ts inherent problems ( see s ection 3 .0), others have s hown that there are, at any r ate, discrepancies between Van Z inderen Bakker's model and the data ( e.g. Deacon 1 982:46-47). I n particular, Janette Deacon ( 1982:67) f elt that the hypothesis of a shift i n the belt of anticyclonic h ighs was untenable, as Van Z inderen Bakker supposed this would result i n an i ncrease i n average precipitation at the g lacial maximum ( Van Z inderen B akker 1 976a:143, 1 976b:169). The southern Cape data revealed that, i n f act, this period was drier than today ( Deacon 1 982:44-53). The model presented here, then, has f irst of a ll been able to show that there i s not necessarily an i nconsistency between a northward shift of the anticyclonic belt at the g lacial maximum and a drier than present environment a long the southern Cape by showing that precipitation i n the s outhern Cape would have become s easonally restricted ( summer). The model has shown that precipitation i s a f unction of both the position of atmospheric c irculation f eatures and the rate pf evaporation. The l atter r elates primarily to temperature, but i s a lso i nfluenced by other f actors, such a s soil composition and vegetation cover. Secondly, until now no suitable model to replace that o f Van Z inderen Bakker had yet been suggested. Though J . Deacon ( 1982) d id review a number of possibilities i n her thesis, none o f these models has been tested against the i ncreasing body of data f rom South Africa. Such a review has been undertaken f or the f irst time here. Without such testing no model should s imply be accepted as accurately reflecting c limatic conditions. A third s uggestion made possible by the development of the model i s that the position of the B enguela Current was translocated a long the west coast depending on the position of the anticyclonic belt. This view can be contrasted with previous suggestions ( Nicholson and F lohn 1 980:318) that the northward extent of the Current was a ll that was a ffected. The results of this work have highlighted the f act that a stable environment c annot be assumed f or the Holocene. Though this point was previously made i n 1 974 by K . Butzer, the i mplications have not been f ully appreciated by archaeologists. For example, P arkington ( 1981) has reviewed the P leistocene environmental changes s uggested by Van Z inderen Bakker ( 1976b) and has

i nterpreted the s ettlement evidence f rom E lands B ay C ave i n the l ight of such changes. Unfortunately, he continued to a ssume that the seasonality of animals would remain the s ame ( 1981: 3 53-354), an a ssumption that has been questioned here. Thus, the validity of his conclusions about shifts i n the timing of occupation at the s ite must a lso be questioned. I t i s hardly surprising to f ind then that Butzer's i mportant point has not l ed, until now, to any detailed s tudy of c limatic change i n the area, which i n turn has prohibited any deductive attempt to r econstruct even a general picture of the biogeography of the area. The absence of c limatic r esearch has meant that settlement studies and other research i n the area f or the most part have not been able to address changes i n the biogeography, other than changes relating to the r ise i n sea l evel. This i n turn means that such s tudies have been restricted e ither to the coastal area or to the l ate or recent Holocene on the a ssumption - of c limatic conditions s imilar to today ( see f or example, Buchanan et a l. 1 984; Manhire et a l. 1 984; Robey 1 984). Despite the f act that prior to this no model has been put f orward or tested, and that the data examined nearly a lways relates to the coastal ( or sandveld) area during the l ate and recent Holocene, some of these s tudies addressed s ettlement change throughout the entire research area ( e.g. Robey 1 982) or Holocene periods other than those covered by their data ( e.g. Buchanan et a l. 1 984). The suggested settlement patterns i n a ll these studies can be seen to derive f rom P arkington's ( 1981) examination of E lands Bay Cave, which had problems of i ts own ( see below ). C learest of these suggestions has been the assumption that, due to drier conditions and i ncreased sea l evel, the middle Holocene population of the coastal area moved i nland ( e.g. Buchanan et a l. 1 984). As the s ame hypothesis has been put f orth i n this r esearch, i t i s worthwhile to note two deficiencies i n the s uggestion as i t was previously presented i n the l iterature. F irstly, the i nland area i tself was never examined with the a im o f justifying this view and secondly, no other middle Holocene settlement strategies were examined a s possibilities. Though neither of these important considerations has been addressed prior to this, somehow the i dea of middle Holocene settlement i nland has become entrenched i n the l iterature. While this s ettlement strategy i s a lso accepted a s the most l ikely middle Holocene hypothesis i n this i nvestigation, i t i s hopefully presented on a more s ound theoretical basis; and f urthermore i n Part I I o f this volume i t will be tested against the archaeological evidence. Previous suggestions about early Holocene settlement are more l imited, P arkington's ( 1981) study of environmental change a t E lands Bay Cave being the only

s tudy that addresses evidence f rom this period. Even i f they seemed correct, there would be problems with the s uggestions put f orward i n this paper because, as discussed a bove, P arkington made certain assumptions about s easonality that are not l ikely to hold true. However, the c onclusions of this work can be challenged on another l evel, i n that P arkington made an even more fundamental a ssumption of questionable validity when he assumed that prior to 8 ,000 B .P. the coastal area was occupied a s only part of a yearly round ( Parkington 1 981: 3 53). Two comments s hould be made regarding this assumption. F irst, and this has a lready been a lluded to i n the i ntroduction to this work, while Parkington ( 1977) had been a ble to put f orward convincing arguments f or a transhumant s ettlement pattern i n the recent Holocene, he did not carry o ut a s imilar s tudy f or the early Holocene ( terminal P leistocene/early Holocene i n his terminology). Therefore, h is a ssumption, which r esulted i n the conclusion that the s eason of occupation of the s ite changed from summer i n the l ate P leistocene to s pring by 1 2,000 B . P. to l ate winter/early spring by 8 ,000 B .P., was without basis. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Parkington's work could be taken to i mply correlated changes i n the i nland region. This a ssociation i s l ikely because i t i s only a short step f rom assuming a seasonal occupation f or the cave i n the e arly Holocene, based on recent Holocene s tudies, to assuming the s ame geographical areas were i nvolved i n both periods. Whether Parkington meant to i mply that the transhumant area i ncluded the i nland r egion throughout the Holocene, or whether he considered other areas as the complementary part of the yearly schedule i s, unfortunately, not explicitly s tated. What i s c lear, at l east, i s the f act that Parkington ( 1981) did not consider the possibility of l onger term o ccupation during the e arly Holocene at the s ite at a ll. As a result of this a ssumption, therefore, early Holocene s ettlement throughout the area has been seen until now as transhumant and a s most probably f ollowing a schedule that i nvolved s ome months on the coast and some months i nland. P arkington's ( 1981) approach i s essentially the i nverse of the procedure used here, i n that he used archaeological data to reconstruct environmental changes. I t i s argued here that environmental changes must be reconstructed on the basis of data, a s f ar as i s possible, f rom outside the cultural setting, because there i s a whole range of possible i nterpretations of the archaeological i nformation. Once the environmental s etting has been established, i t will then be possible to view archaeological changes i n their proper perspective. This review has s hown, then, that the environmental approach i s necessary f or s everal reasons. It avoids making assumptions about the stability of the environment

and the availability of the r esources when i nterpreting the archaeological data. I t becomes possible to view the i nformation f rom archaeological s ites i n terms of r eactions ( or non-reactions) to environmental change. Additionally, changes, such a s those suggested here f or settlement s trategy, can be predicted based on the environmental s etting, and these can be tested against the archaeological data. The c limatic model i s a necessary prerequisite to this approach a s i t a llows the reconstructions to be made e ssentially without r eference to the archaeological i nformation ( for the most part at any rate). F inally, the a pproach used here a llows the archaeological material to be i nterpreted i n the s equence i n which i t changed, and only this perspective can a llow a role f or previous conditions i n the k inds of changes that occur, both within the environmental sphere and the archaeological sphere.

3 .7

SUMMARY OF PART I

The work presented i n these two chapters has a ccomplished two things. F irst of a ll i t has provided a complete environmental ( including c limatic) background a gainst which i t will now be possible to i nterpret the archaeological evidence. Secondly, this background has made i t possible to present suggestions about s ettlement s trategies given these environmental circumstances. These s uggestions are s imply a range of hypotheses, the most l ikely one of which ( for each time period) will be tested i n the f ollowing chapters of this volume. The strategies that have been s elected f or testing have been chosen on the basis that they would have been the most efficient i n terms o f resource availability, timing, consistency and variability f or the r easons given. In summary they are: 1 2,000 -8,000 B . P: Year round l iving within a s ingle r esource z one ( i.e. by discrete populations l iving a long the coast and i n the mountain area). Settlement may well have been l imited to a s ingle s ite f or the better part of the year. Short term visits to other resource z ones were possible but c learly not necessary. These visits would have been undertaken only f or particularly prized f oods and c ould not be considered a s more than a casual part of the subsistence strategy. 8 ,000 - 4,500 B . P.: Abandonment of the coast and general population movement i nland to the mountain areas. While the overall s ettlement pattern can be seen as year round l iving i nland, pressures on the resource base may have been r elieved somewhat by s hort term trips outside the area by c ertain s ections of the group. These trips may have been e ither to the c oast f or marine resources or to other areas i n search of game. The coastal area might be expected to be utilized mostly i n periods of extreme stress as, unlike hunting trips, coastal visits would probably not result i n quantities of f ood f or the entire group. Inland s ites c ould be expected to occur near r iver courses where water was most p lentiful, a s f auna would be attracted to these areas and the diet could be supplemented through r iverine r esources. The f requency of base camp r e-location i s d ifficult to e stimate, but may not have been high i f there was a dense population concentration, or an extremely short s eason of plant availability. 4 ,500 -2,000 B .P.: More strictly s easonal availability of r esources l ed to a s easonal round between the i nland and c oastal areas. Though transhumant s ettlement may have t aken place within e ach z one, movement between the z ones was probably the most prominent settlement s trategy i n use. Though both areas would have been accommodated i n the s easonal round, yielding a broad pattern of summer o ccupation i nland and winter occupation on the coast, the t iming and duration of s tay i n each z one may have been

f lexible. S light modifications of the s trategy may have occurred throughout this period to accommodate f luctuations i n the resource base or exhaustion of particular resources. Other areas may have been i ncorporated into the round a s need required. In the i ntroduction to this volume, Janette Deacon ( in, P arkington 1 980) was quoted a s s aying that two things were e ssential to the study of spatial patterning: the use of s ites or a ssemblages that were contemporary, and the u se of the tools that could be shown to relate to specific t asks. I suggested that i n any study of spatial patterning over time a third piece of knowledge was equally essential, the environmental s etting. By establishing these three things i t becomes possible f irst, to develop appropriate hypotheses, and s econdly, to test these hypotheses against the evidence. I t i s a knowledge of the environment that a llows an i nitial assessment of what might be expected archaeologically. L ike a Chi-square statistic, i f the observations differ s ignificantly f rom the expectations, then the observed variability can be s aid to l ie outside the acceptable r ange, and other f actors must be sought to account f or i t. I f the work i n the subsequent part o f this volume, The Archaeological I nvestigation, shows that the s ite data do not l ie outside the r ange of the settlement strategies suggested, then these cannot be rejected. They are i n some s ense, as suggested i n the i ntroduction, the null hypothesis of this research. This analogy, though not perfect, serves to highlight two important concepts, as equally applicable to the type of analysis undertaken here, a s to statistics. Firstly, a s i n a statistical analysis, acceptance of the null hypothesis s imply means that i t has not yet been disproven. Secondly, acceptance i s not explanation. I f i t i s a ccepted that the archaeological data does not contradict the suggested settlement strategies, then i t still remains to provide explanations f or both the i nitiation of the changes i n strategy and f or the choice of particular strategies i n given circumstances. One might think that, g iven the usual l imitations of archaeological data, i t would be d ifficult enough to provide evidence a s to the s ettlement strategies actually used, much l ess to try to provide explanations of how and why these particular changes came about. However, I hope to show that, by examining the archaeological material i n an environmental perspective, i t i s not only possible to gather evidence about the particular settlement s trategies actually used, but a lso to gain s ome i nsight and understanding i nto the i nitiation of s ettlement change and the s election of particular s trategies. In this f irst part of the i nvestigation, then, one of the three tasks outlined above has been accomplished; the environmental s etting has been outlined, a llowing the

hypotheses to be d eveloped. I n the s econd part of the research, the next two t asks are undertaken: that i s, the contemporaneity o f the a ssemblages and the uses of some of the tools are e stablished. Only then i s i t f inally possible to examine the spatial patterning of archaeological material i n order to test these hypotheses.

PART

II:

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL

1 48

INVESTIGATION

CHAPTER FOUR: 4 .0

THE S ITES

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter a brief review i s provided f or each s ite used i n the research to investigate settlement strategy change i n the Holocene of the western Cape. The a im of this chapter i s to establish a level at which inters ite comparisons can be conducted. This i s done by establishing the contemporaneity of the l ithic and f aunal s amples, and by examining these samples in terms of their s ize and quality. As was pointed out earlier, this work i s a fundamental part of any study of spatial and temporal patterning. Additionally, the tables presented in this chapter contain a ll of the basic s ite data used in the subsequent parts of the archaeological study. Information presented i n this chapter on the excavations and stratigraphies has been drawn from unpublished theses or reports on the s ites, or gained from communication with the excavators, and has been supplemented f rom published articles. While the basic f requency data presented on the l ithic, f aunal and f loral material recovered from the s ites a lso came f rom these sources, I have reformatted some of this data so that the s ites are more directly comparable. Wherever I have manipulated the original data or provided new percentage calculations based on i t, the source of the data i s noted on the tables as " data drawn from" rather than the standard " after...". Artefact definitions are given at the end of this section. It should be pointed out that while a ll of these s ites have been i nvestigated previously , on the whole these i nvestigations have resulted only in straightforward excavation reports, or in projects l imited to certain aspects of a s ite sequence. Little or no emphasis has been placed i n these projects on i nterpreting the overall sequence at the s ite or, in the excavation reports, on the interpretation of the s ite i n i ts regional or temporal setting. For example, of the s ites i nvestigated here, only De Hangen and Elands Bay Cave have been included in a larger regionally oriented project and, as stated in the i ntroduction of this volume, this was applicable only to the recent Holocene period. Furthermore, the previous work on many of the s ites, such as K lipfonteinrand and Elands Bay Cave, has been undertaken in a piecemeal f ashion, with several authors examining different parts of the sequence, or different a spects of the excavated material ( see f or example, Hall 1 977, Pettigrew 1 977; Sievers 1 977; and Thackeray 1 977). As a result, none of the sites have been comprehensively published or, with the exceptions of Renbaan and Tortoise Cave, even completely compiled. Therefore, one of the major contributions of this chapter i s that i t provides a coherent and comprehensive summary of

1 49

each s ite based on a number of s ources. F ive s ites are considered i n this chapter. Together these s ites cover the entire time period relevant to the i nvestigation i n both the i nland and coastal regions of the western Cape. These z ones are shown on F ig. 4 :1. The coastal z one extends f rom approximately ten kilometres i nland of the present coastline, west to the Atlantic Ocean. The i nland z one i s the mountainous region east of the O lifants r iver mountains as f ar i nland and i ncluding the Cedarberg Mountains. As chronometrically dated archaeological material was not available f rom the i ntervening z one, the Sandveld, this area was not considered s eparately i n the i nvestigation. However, some tentative remarks, based on resource availability, are offered i n l ater s ections about the possible role of this z one i n various s ettlement s trategies . In the f ollowing s ection, 4 .1, I review the s ites f rom the coastal area, Tortoise C ave and E lands B ay Cave. The s ites f rom the i nland mountain area, De Hangen, Renbaan, and K lipfonteinrand, are reviewed i n s ection 4 .2. The subs ection on e ach s ite contains a description of the excavation, the s tratigraphy, the l ithic a ssemblage, the f aunal and f loral remains, and other material ( including human remains and non-lithic material). These reviews of the basic s ite data are accompanied by my own observations and i nterpretations. A l arge quantity of data i s presented i n these reviews. Therefore, a brief summary of the points of particular i mportance i n this research i s given at the end of each subsection. In the conclusion of the chapter, s ection 4 .3, the question of comparability of the s ites and samples i s addressed, and the parameters are e stablished f or the settlement study i n Chapter 6 . The l ocations of the s ites can be f ound on f ig. 4 :1. Work at a ll of the s ites was carried out through the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town, under the overall direction of Dr. John Parkington. D efinitions f or the L ithic Assemblages. As I have drawn data f rom more than one author and used i nventories complied by different people, I have i ncluded a brief review of the l ithic definitions a s I apply them i n this work. WASTE CATEGORY This category consists of s tone pieces that are assumed to be the by-products of the production of other tools rather than to have been f abricated as tools themselves.

1 50

0

r a

0

-

3 2°

D e H a nge i I lip fonte inrand •. • . k m 0 R e nbaan - 1 0 2 0

E l ands B a y C a ve o y e r lo reVl e i T o rto ise C ave

-30 •1 : . '•

4 0

B e rg R i ve r —3 ' 1 8 '

1 9°

L a nd a b ove 3 0 5 m e tres

Loc ati on

of

(aft e r

Sit es

Fig.

1 51

in

Kapl an

4 :1

th e 19 8 5)

West e rn

Cap e

Chunks:

pieces bearing f lake s cars, but not themselves being f lakes, having a maximum dimension of greater than 1 0 mm, and showing no s igns of retouch or utilization, and no f ormality i n design.

Chips:

s imilar to the l ast, but having dimension of l ess than 1 0 mm.

F lakes:

i rregularly shaped pieces that have been removed f rom a core or during the shaping of a tool, but show no s ign of utilization or retouch. These may occur with or without a bulb of percussion.

Cores:

pieces f ormed by the s ystematic removal of three or more f lakes where the production of f lakes or b lades i s considered to be the object, r ather than the reduction of the main body of s tone. As well a s the various categories of f lake and b lade cores the f ollowing are a lso considered f orms of cores i n this i nvestigation:

a

maximum

P ieces e squillees; Outils ecailldes, Outils esquillees or Outils cores; B ipolar cores. All of these types s how f lake removal or crushing at one or both ends of the piece a long a chisel- l ike edge. Whether or not these pieces are considered cores or tools depends on whether the i ntention of the maker was to use the e squilldes i tself or the f lakes removed f rom i t. Usually there i s no evidence to help the excavator decide which has been the c ase. Past authors have c lassified these pieces i n various ways, but there i s no c lear consensus on the i ssue. TOOL CATEGORIES Utilized tools In this i nvestigation utilized pieces are considered to be any non-retouched artefact that shows c lear s igns of use; belongs to a group showing consistent design; or has c learly been used i n the production of other tools. These i nclude:

any f lakes or b lades consistent with use; -grindstones:

s tones

1 52

that

used

show

to

grind

damage

other

materials. These i nclude upper and l ower grindstones ( pestle and mortar; the f ormer s ometimes r eferred to a s a rubber ), and reamers ( elongated grindstones a ssumed to be used to perforate s tones); -hammerstones: cobble-shaped stones used to remove f lakes or blades f rom a core, and showing crushing or pecking at one or both ends. -bored s tones ( digging stick weights): thick, heavy, disc-shaped stones that have been perforated through their centre by grinding. Retouched tools Retouched tools i nclude c onsistent or purposeful design, r emoval of three or more f lakes. i nclude:

any pieces that show a achieved by the deliberate Retouched tool c lasses

scrapers: f lake tools, usually unifacial, that show regular s econdary retouch a long one or more curved edges; adzes: f lake tools, l ess than 5 cm i n l ength, broadly r ectangular i n plan, with step f laking a long one or both l ong edges. Adzes are thick i n cross-section, with one or both of the retouched edges often showing a definite concavity. -backed tools: f lake or blade tools that have s teep s econdary r etouch f orming a blunt edge opposite a sharper edge. Segments are backed tools that have a s teeply retouched curved edge opposite a s traight sharp edge. -points: any f lake ( or blade) that has been retouched, often b ifacially, with the object of f orming a f lat pointed tip. -drills, awls and borers: f lakes or blades r etouched to a r obust point which i s usually square or triangular i n cross-section. -miscellaneous retouched piece retouched tool that i s i rregular or i s not appropriate to categories.

( mrp): any i n design, the above

In the retouched tool category of drills, awls and borers, I have provided a general definition here that c overs a ll three tool types. I do this because i t seems l ikely that the names were applied differently i n e ach of

1 53

the i nventories. As none of these tools constitute a l arge percentage of any i nventory, i t s eemed justifiable to use this general definition f or r etouched perforating tools, r ather than to imply a consistency that might not be correct. In the tables presented here I continue to use the name given i n the original i nventory. Occasionally, i n their i nventories, some authors originally divided tools i nto s ize categories, or i nto s eparate descriptive groups, such as boat-shaped scrapers, or proto-adzes. Where I f elt this additional i nformation might have some relevance to the material from other s ites examined i n this i nvestigation, such as backed scrapers, I have kept the original d ifferentiation. I f no comparable material, such a s s ize d ivisions, was available from other s ites, I have i ncluded these sub-categories within the main category. Where distinctions r emain, such as backed s crapers, these tools are a lways considered within their primary category ( in this case s crapers) i n any statistical analysis. . When comparing percentages i n the f requency analysis of l ithic material ( this chapter) I occasionally use the a bbreviations %L or %C. These are used when the i tems being compared would not otherwise be entirely c lear. They a bbreviate the terms ' percentage of the total l ayer', and ' percentage of the category' ( waste, utilized or r etouched), respectively.

1 54

4 .1 THE COASTAL S ITES 4 .1.1

Elands Bay Cave

( approx.

3 0

1 8'S,

1 8

1 9'E)

Introduction Elands Bay Cave ( EBC) lies on the west coast of South Africa approximately 6 0 kilometres north of the mouth of the Berg River. The cave i s located at the northern end of Cape Deseada. It f aces NNW and i s positioned about f ifty metres above sea l evel on the cliff known as Baboon Point. Below the s ite l ies the sandy beach of Elands Bay. Just north of the site i s the estuary of Verlore Vlei, the mouth of which i s separated from the sea by a sand bar that prevents the river from reaching the Atlantic Ocean for most of the year. Southward, the rocky outcrops of Cape Deseada and Mussel Point are highly noticeable f eatures in an otherwise sandy shore. The site had been subjected to unregulated digging around its mouth and walls prior to the archaeological excavation that began in 1 970 under the direction of John P arkington. Fig. 4 :2 shows the grid plan f or the site during the 1 970 - 1 972 excavations. Additional material was excavated from the s ite in 1 976 and at this time the l evel previously identified as 1 0 ( in the 1 970-72 excavations) was determined to be the equivalent to level 9 . A new level was f ound during the 1 976 excavation and though it was under l evel 1, it is now known as the 1 current level 1 0 ( Parkington, pers. comm.). This new level 1 0 f alls below a mid-Holocene occupational hiatus of approximately 4000 years duration. The original l evel 1 0 was found above this hiatus. Therefore, the dates f or the two levels are several thousand years apart. It i s important to make the distinction between the " old" and " new" level as Parkington's thesis ( 1977) refers to the old l evel. However, data presented in all the subsequent publications on the s ite ( see f or example Parkington 1 980b) come from the new l evel. Unfortunately, these publications at the same time continue to show, in the stratigraphic section, level 1 0 i n i ts old ( post-hiatus) position, even though the material from this level i s now considered as part of level 9 . Stratigraphy

( see

f ig.

4 :3)

The stratigraphy of the site can be divided roughly i nto two sections on the basis of the matrix of the deposit ( see f ig. 4 :3). The matrix of the lower section, levels 1 6 -2 0, i s composed entirely of a loamy material, while the matrix of the upper sections, levels 1 - 1 5, consists entirely, or in part, of shell. The rate of deposition was evidently much f aster i n the upper, shell midden levels,

1 55

156 BAY

CAVE:

I

ELANDS

o

1 9 70 e x ca v a t io n

1 9 72 e x cava t io n

CD



L a—

L oJ

f .>

i f )

S che mat ic

. . :. . ;

'

3 510

. . • • , • • , . 14 5 .8

new level 10

*

,

. 3 1S ! 50

• . ,,

S hel l s n iddin w ith

.



g r i te• .lw ig•



• • ' . :4 5. • 7.4• • • • ' . 7

a nd

9 600-9 0 ' * " . it s4; " •› . .› .' , t ' 2 34 4V14: V" :1 . : . " . e _m e „G101:

p ottery

-



. • ' 4 e 'Ke fe l i \ ge e i .› : ".. ' ' 13 1 4 • ' ' ' ' ' 4 ' ZY tiei l sdg e r t,• -• ' '•

1 =1 224 .. . . : e i Ln e. . 1 124 : 2 _ , . : • , „ , , -, , , , , , e , i . , . , , , , , •. . . , . . 'A1070 140

. •

45

• ' . .

. • • + 1 24 5 0 -' 2

l Shil

10

H I AT U S

l i Shil n idden

L ostny

• •

. •



v n•te l• w i th

' i Ze n ie

.

r

L oa my e n t iti ls w ith h •••ths

.

2 0

l s hil

l i ene i t•

: .

.

Zotti efi i

p ottery

:

. • .• . ••

.

0 .5

i n idd•r i w i th

••c le o f n o

.•

Zest. . .

a nd p ott•t y

level

3 78 0 1 . 85 . . .

m Idd•n w i th

w•de o f

old

t. ' .

• . 16

Sh•I I

'4.. ' . . . • •. s,•• • , • •. • :. : 22520 - W ..,

A .4 e< S 4'

1 5

0

e >, , . . . .2 . , . . .•,. • , . . ..• . " 1 :

7 910-80 * • . -.• . " o ': . 1 : . *•• • I . '. ...•. . . ' . . •:» .-. . ." . ' 1: ` • ;' . V , iie 4 r 1 -4 1 7 5

D epth metres

D epos its •

•• •.

. • ,. .

. . . . . . . -

S ect ion

. .

.. •

n o

b u t l s hel

2

• -

, . s . de i , ee e. -r , u -e er r > : f r z z ' r z ;e . e : r e z c e e :% 3

t> 45 0 0 0

. .

M 1 • % . ,• • 5 , 0t e •Je c c

e §:?_ . % : Z .e t 've: P : '2 i tr e Vt. '3 %/ 16••° ,.•

H IATUS C l

c 3 .i .c ct )oc z •" ( S . .. O d4 ; 42 . e i se r . c? . e.C . ( )• i? ac . •46• • .c •i0 . . 04 3 • 6 • • .• Q . . p ect z e rpo• cecp •0 . 4 z ' "%g. • 5-. " .

I l cr••

0? ‘ e .

' 7e5 . z e

*

ELANDS

used

BAY

position

of

in

CAVE: the

this

d we l t

O od R ock

thesis

schematic original

(after

L ao

stratigraphy, s howing

level

10

Parkington, Fig.

4 :3

157

and

the

1980b)

current

the level

10.

than

in the loamy levels

( Parkington 1 980b:314).

A further division of the upper levels can be made. Levels 1 -2 are shell midden i ntermingled with grass, twigs and pottery; below this, levels 3 -6 are shell midden, containing pottery and wads of Zostera grass; levels 7 -9 are midden deposits with Zostera grass but these contain no pottery; and f inally levels 1 1-15 contain shell in decreasing amounts, with no grass or pottery present ( Parkington 1 980b:fig.2). The exact stratigraphic position of the new level 1 0 i s, unfortunately, not shown i n any publications by Parkington, but given that it underlies level 1 1 i t i s l ikely to have a similar matrix to the 1 1-15 group of layers. The new level i s not shown on the stratigraphy given here because its depth is not known, nor i s its relationship to level 1 2, as they l ie in different parts of the cave ( Parkington, pers. comm.). However, stratigraphic position of both the original level 1 0 ( beneath level 9 ) and the current l evel 1 0 ( beneath level 1) are indicated ( see f ig. 4 :3). Levels 1 3 and 1 4, while 1 excavated separately, were c learly l enses of the same age and are referred to as a single level ( Parkington, pers. comm.). Several hollows had been excavated during prehistoric times into earlier levels. The layers in these hollows were often stratigraphically i solated from each other. Four different hollows were defined and these contained the layers in the f ollowing sequences ( from top to bottom): hollow 1 , layers 1 ,5,6,7,9; hollow 2 , l ayers 1 ,3,8; hollow 3 , layers 2a,4 and; hollow 4 , layers 2b, 2c ( Parkington, pers.comm.). Dates

( see table 4 :1)

A good series of dates has been obtained from E lands Bay Cave. Levels 1 -6 are dated to recent Holocene, while levels 1 7-20 are older than 1 2,000 B . P. Thus, both of these groups f all outside the range of this investigation. Of the remaining levels, most noticeable in the series of dates i s the gap that f alls between the date of 7 919 ± 8 0 in level 1 1 and that of 3 780 ± 8 5 i n level 9 . It would seem then, as in the case of Tortoise Cave ( see below), that an occupational hiatus exists between c . 8 ,000 B . P. and 4 ,000 B . P at Elands Bay Cave. Similarly, there may be an occupational hiatus between c .3,000 B . P. and 1 ,700 B . P. at EBC, as i s possibly a lso the case at Tortoise Cave. The complete set of dates f or EBC can be f ound in table 4 :1. The levels used i n this research are levels 8-16 ( 3450 ± 6 0 to 1 2,450 ± 2 80). Level 7 i s undated but f alls between level 6 ( dated to 1 520 ± 8 0) and level 9 ( dated to 2 950 ± 1 15 and 3 780 ± 8 5). As level 7 contains no pottery, it i s l ikely to be c loser i n age to the latter level than

1 58

L a bo rato ry H u mber

D a te

C onte xt

S a mp le M a te r ia l

S a K 4 3 36

2 0 ± 70

P t a 1 8 15

3 1 5 ± 50

G a K 4 335

1 , 120 ± 85

A sh l e nse t o p o f l e ve l 5

C ha rcoa l

G a K 4 37 3

1 , 520 ± 80

H earth a s b ase o f l e ve l 6

C h arcoa l

P t a 8 4 1

3 , 450 ± 6 0

S urface o f l e ve l 8

S cattered c h arcoa l

P t a 6 8 7

3 ,5 10 1 45

B o ttom o f l e ve l 8

S c attered c ha rcoa l

6 a K 4 39 3

2 , 950 ± 15

L eve l 9

G rass

P t a 1 8 16 P t a 2 5 92

H earth a t s u rface L eve l 1

. 3 , 780 ± 85 9 ,950

2

C h arcoa l C harcoa l

l eve l 9

2 70

l o stera g r ass

L eve l 1 0

C ray fish

L eve l 1 0

C ray fish

P t a 2 4 8 1

1 0 ,000 ± 9 0

P t a 1 8 72

7 ,9 10 ± 8 0

P ta 1 8 29

8 ,000 ± 95

L eve l 1

H uman b one

P t a 1 8 7 1

8 ,340 ± 80

L eve l 1

C ha rcoa l

P t a 6 86

9 ,600 ± 9 0

L eve l 1 2

S cattered c h arcoa l

P t a 7 32

1 0 ,640 ± 10

L eve l 1 3 /14

C ha rcoa l f rom s ieves

P ta 7 3 7

0 1 0 ,700 ± 1 0

L eve l 1 3 /14

S cattered c h arcoa l

U W 1 9 3

1 0 ,090 ± 1 6 5

S u rface o f l e ve l 1 5 ( b ottom 1 3 /14? ) C harcoa l

U W 1 9 2

1 ,070

B o ttom o f l e ve l 1 5

S cattered c harcoa l

G aK 4 335

1 2 ,450 ± 280

? Leve l 1 6

S cattered c harcoa l

P ta 4 3 21

1 3 ,600 ± 1 4 0

L eve l 2 0

C harcoa l

2

l eve l 1

1 4 0

Radi ocarbon

Resul ts

Tabl e

4: 1

159

C harcoa l

from

El ands

Bay

Cave

the f ormer. c lear, i t here.

However, has been

as i ts association i s not entirely omitted from any analysis undertaken

Given that the major component of the matrix above l evel 1 2 i s midden, whereas l evels 1 2 and below have only l enses of shell, i t might be considered that the l ower f aunal f requencies i n the upper l evels ( see below ) are a result of these levels accumulating over a shorter period of time. However, a review of the dates would i ndicate otherwise. For example, between the dates f or l evel 1 3/14 and l evel 1 2 there i s over a half a metre of deposit that represents approximately 1 100 years, and most of this i s non-midden deposit f rom l evel 1 3/14. On the other hand, the half a metre of deposit between the dates on l evel 1 2 1 and 1 represents 1 690 years, most of which i s the midden deposit. I f the shell had been deposited much more r apidly, then the smaller accumulation of material between l evels 1 2 and 1 1 should have occurred over a much shorter period of time. F auna

( see tables

4 :2

and 4 :3)

L arge quantities of f auna were r ecovered f rom the s ite. With regard to the terrestrial mammalian f auna, numbers i ncrease f rom level 1 6 to l evel 1 2, and then decrease throughout l evels 1 0,11, and 9 ( see table 4 :2). A f urther decrease occurs after this and generally l ower f requencies were recovered f rom l evel 1 -8 than f rom the Holocene l evels below. Species diversity i n this f aunal c lass generally f ollows this pattern, i ncreasing f rom l evel 1 6, to a peak i n 1 3/14. Species d iversity remains high i n l evel 1 2, and, l ike the mammalian f requencies, declines i n 1 l evels 1 0, 1 and 9 . D iversity drops still f urther i n l evel 8 , and remains generally low i n the overlying l evels. It i s particularly interesting to note that many of the grazers that are e ither water dependant, such as the Cape buffalo, or those that prefer a well watered habitat such a s the wildebeest ( and to a l esser extent the hartebeest), rhinoceros and, probably, both the pig and the 1 Cape horse, disappear by l evel 1, sometimes never reappearing l ater i n the sequence. L arge Bovidae, such a s e land, a lso decline sharply after l evel 1 2. Within the tortoise bone and o strich eggshell c lasses of f auna, a s with other c lasses, the highest quantities occur i n l evels 1 2 -1 6, with the peak i n l evels 1 3/14 ( see 1 table 4 :3). An abrupt decrease occurs i n l evel 1, and quantities drop still f urther i n l evel 9 . Thus, a s f or the terrestrial mammalian f auna both tortoise and o strich contribute substantially l ower amounts i n the post-hiatus l evels.

1 60

L e ve l E r inacus c f .fro nta lis h e dge ho g L e por idae g e n . e t . i n de t ., h a re ( 2 s p .) p f l a thye rqus s u il , d u ne t o le r a t l us H y s tr ix a f r icaeau stra lis , p o rcup ine P a p io u r s inus , c h a cta b a boo n C a n is c f . t e sote las , j a cka l

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 1 0

1 2

1 3 / 14

1

1 2

3

1

2 1 3 2 2 2 6 3 0 1 4 -- 1 1 1 ? 1 1

1 1 -1 -1 1 1 2 1 -1 1 1 5 1 1 1 1? -1 1

2 1 1 1

1 1 1

1

5

3

6

V u lpes c h ata , s i lve r j a c ka l

1

1

1 ?

-2 1 1 -

H e rpestes p u lve ru len tus , C a pe g r ey t o n goo se F e lls l i by ca , w i ldca t

1 1 1

F e lls c a raca l, c a raca l

1

P a nthe ra p a rdus , I m pard O r y cte ro pus a f e r , a rdva rk

1

P r o cav ia c a pe ns is , r o ck h y ra x

1

Id

1 1

1 1 1 1

2

1

2 2 2 2

1

1 1 I c f

2 -

1

2

1

1 9 2 0

2 1

2

2 1

4 1

1

1 1 1

- 1? -

1 1

1 1

1

- 1

1

1 1 2 3

2

4

8

7

2

2

2

2

1

1 1

1 1

1

1

1

1 1

1 1

1

1

1 1

1 1

1

1 1 3 6

1 1 1

1

1

1

1

1 3

3 3

2

1

1

1 1

1 1

H i ppo tragus c f . l e uco pha cus , b l ue a n te lo pe A l ce laphus b u se la phus /C o nno chae tes

1

-

1

1

1 1 -1 5 2 1 1

1 1

1 -2

2

2

1

3 1 -1

1

1 0

1 3

R a ph ice rus t e la no t is , g r ys bo k p R a ph icerus s p . s t efnbo k/g rys bok

1 -1 1 - 2 8 4 3 4 1 3 1 5 9

2 1 1 2 6

8 3 0

5 1 6

1 6

2 3

1 4

O v is a r ies , s h ee p S y nce rus c a ffe r , C a pe b u ffa lo

1 2 -1 1

- 1

3

2

1

1

-1

2 -1

2

1

1

1

O r eo traous o r e ot ra gus , k l ips pr inge r R a ph icerus c a t pes tr is , s t ee nbo k

P e lo rov is a n t iq uus , g i an t b u ffa lo B o v idae , g e ne ra l : s t a ll ( N eo trag in i) s t a ll-te d iut ( S y lv ica pra , O v is e t a l . )

4

1 1

E q uus s p . i n de t ., i n de t . e q u id R h inoce ro t idae g e n . e t s p . i n de t ., r h ino ce ros

g n ou , a r tebees t/w ilde bees t S y lv icap ra g r ie d ia , g r ey d u ike r

1 8

1

1

1

1 7

1

L o xodo n ta a f r icana , e l e pha n t E q uus c a pens is , g i an t C a pe h o rse

H i ppo po taeus a m ph ib ius , h i ppo S u idae g e n . e t s p . i n de t ., p i g T a u ro tragus o r y x , e l a nd

1 1 3

1 6

-

L y caoe p i ctus , h u n t ing d o g I c to ny x s t r ia tus , s t r ipe d p o le ca t M e llivo ra c a pens is , h o ne y b a dge r H e rpes tes i c hneuto n , E g y pt ian t o n goo se

I c f-

1 5

2

1 1

- 1

I c f -8 4 5 3 1 3 1 5 9 7 4 2 2 2 2 1 3 3

1 2 6 3 2

l a rge -t ed ium ( A lce la ph in i &H i ppo tra g in i)

11 - 1

-- - - 2

1

2

l a rge ( T au ro traqus a n d B o v in i)

1 1 -1

-- - - 2

1

2

4 8

7 1

1 7 2 1 4

4 2 3 0 2 0 2 55

1 79

2 5 4 9

3 0 3

1 7 4

6 2

2

4

2

I

1

Il

6

8

2

2

2

1

1

1

3 9

2 1

2 1

1 8

1 7

1 4

•c o u nts b y R . 6 . K l e in

Terrestrial mammalian

fauna

at Elands

( after Parkington Table

1 61

4 :2

1980b)

Bay Cave

3

4 2 -1

3

1 1 l

1

2

3

4

5

0 . 48

0 . 58

0 . 28

0 . 06

1 . 18

2 6 .3

2 8 .8 19 .3 27 .2

9

1

0 . 09

0 . 25 1. 60

1 .7

2 1 .4

2 .3

3 1 .9

6

7

8

1 0

1 2

1 3

1 5

3 . 0 1

1 2 .6

2 4 .43

1 2 .6

5 2 .10

2 5 9 .66

1 6

T o rto ise b o ne m a ss ( k g p e r m3) 0 . 3 1 O s tr ich e gshe ll m a s g s ( k g p e r 43)

2 6 .4

12 .9

3 8 3 .68 2 6 4 .2874 3 .69

B I RD S P h a lo cro co ra x c a pens is C a pe c o rmo ran t

4 1

3 8

1 3

2 1

7

1

7

4

2 7

1 3

1 6

1 7

5

1

2

2

2

1

1

1

2

1

1 3

2

1

1

1

1

6

8

P h a lo c ro co ra x c a rbo w h iteb reasted c o rmo ran t

3

P h a lo cro co ra ' z n e g le ctus b a n k c o rmo ran t

2

1

1

1

P h a lo cro co ra x a f r icanus e r ed c o rmo ran t

1

S p he n iscus d e mu rsus j a ckass p e ngu in

8

1

4

8

2T 2h 1 k rus 2 C a pe g a nne t

1

1

1

P h oen ico pter idae , f l am ingos

1

1

1

P e le can idae , p e licans

1

F I SH L i tho gna thus l i tho gna thus w h ite s t ee nbras 6

2

5

1

1

4

3

1 3

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

1 9

4

2 9

1 5

4

1 5

2

1

1

1

6

3 7

9

1 6

5 4

4 2

5 4 0

1 4

2

2

1

1 6

1

1 8

1 5 4

1 0

1

1

1

1

3

2

4

6 0

1

R h abdosa rgus g l ob ice ps w h ite s t um pnose M u g ilidae , a h arde r

2

1

L O BSTE R J a sus l a land ii 0 4 0

23

4 9

2 6 8

8 2

5 7

2 7

7 2

4 9

1 2 9

4 9 6

1 4

1

6

5

2

5

2

4

1

2

3

4

4 9

3

1

l freq uency ) M O LLUS CS ( 30 l i m pe ts

4 7

4 0

4

4 0

4

8 5

5 8

9 8

9

3 1

3 4

50

4 8

5 0

8 4

9

1

1

w h e lks

2 6

1

8

5

6

1 0

2 9

1

o t her

13

8

3

3

4

2

2

1

C a pe r o ck l o bs te r S E ALS A r cto ce pha lus p u s illus C a pe f u r s e a l

m u sse ls

Elands

Bay

Cave

fauna

( after P arkington Table

4 :3

1 62



1980b)

1 5

1

1

The same pattern can be seen in the f ish sample ( see table 4 :3). That i s, a general r ise i n numbers to level 1 2, dropping s lightly between 1 1 and 9 , and averaging still l ower numbers f or the rest of the sample. The most s ignificant f eatures of the f ish sample i s that levels 1 5 and 1 6 have extremely low contributions of f ish in the f aunal sample. All the f ish species l isted, however, are s altwater varieties. Thus, the paucity of remains in these early l evels i s most l ikely related to the position of the cave relative to the coastline, which even at 1 1,000 B . P. ( level 1 5) i s thought to have been f ive kilometres away ( Parkington, 1 981). The trends in avifauna are not as definite, though frequencies i n this c lass a lso i ncrease from level 1 6, peak i n level 1 2, and subsequently drop in level 1 1, and drop again i n l evel 8 ( see table 4 :3). Although outside the range of this investigation, i t i s worth noting the sharp increase i n avifauna i n levels 1 to 4 . A similar rise may a lso be seen i n the terrestrial f auna of the same levels. The richest l evel i n terms of marine f auna other than shell i s level 1 2, with the highest frequencies of f ish, birds, lobster and seals. Within the f ish sample, Parkington ( 1980b:316) notes that the mean size of the species Lithognathus l ithognathus i s greater in levels 1 1 and 1 2 than i n the levels above. He comments that this change could be related to the l evel of the incoming sea. The more distant coast in the earlier levels would result i n the the f ish being taken as spry in the esturary, whereas a closer shoreline in the later and recent Holocene may have caused more mature f ish to be taken directly from the marine environment ( Parkington, 1 981:350). However, a lternative explanations such as changes in the water temperatures, or in settlement patterning must also be considered. Changes in the s ize of the l impet Patella granularis over these levels have a lso been noted ( see below), and an examination of the overall pattern of these changes can be f ound in Chapter 6 . Shellfish makes i ts f irst appearance in level 1 5, dated to 1070 ± 1 40. Initially, l impets, primarily 1 Patella granularis and P . aranatina, dominate the sequence. However, in level 1, from the base of the level to the 1 top, there i s a gradual change f rom primarily l impet midden to midden composed equally of l impet and mussels ( Parkington 1 980b:317). After this, mussels continue to gain importance though, as the actual frequency percentages f or levels 7 and 8 have not been published ( Parkington 1 980b:316 and table 4 , 3 19), i t i s difficult to consider the precise changes that occurred in shellfish contribution to the diet. It can be seen, however, that shellfish were not regularly exploited from the cave much before 1 1,000

1 63

B . P., and this was a lmost certainly because of the distance from the cave to the shoreline prior to this date. One notable change, as mentioned above, i s i n the s ize of the l impet P . granularis. In level 1 2, the sizes of both P . granularis and P .granatina are the smallest i n the entire sequence. By level 1 1 P . granularis, at least, has increased to an average of 4 0 - 42 mm, though from l evels 1 -9 i t averages only 3 8 mm ( Parkington, 1 980b:316). As outlined i n the i ntroduction to the volume, work has been done on the dentition of the seal sample, comparing the archaeological sample to the growth patterns of modern seals in an attempt to discover the season of occupation at the s ite ( Fletemeyer 1 977). According to Robey ( 1984:63) the basic premise of this study has now been questioned, and the study i s, perhaps, not as reliable as was once thought. A similar study, undertaken by Parkington ( 1977), examined mandible length. The original study pooled the data from l evels 1 1 2, but more recent work ( Parkington 1 980b:317) has shown that there i s a small decrease ( a f ew millimetres) in s ize between the mean length of mandibles i n levels 1 1-15 and those i n levels 1 -10. The s ignificance of this change i n the seal sample i s not entirely c lear, but in view of coincident s ize changes i n the f ish and shellfish samples i t i s l ikely that all three have the same ultimate cause. Unfortunately, the data on seal mandibles i s still only available i n groups ( levels 1 -10 and 1 1- 1 5). This makes i t impossible to tell i f changes in seal mandible s izes mimic the other changes in the sequence ( i.e. levels 9 , 1 1, and 1 0 being somewhat different from the prior and f ollowing levels). Flora Very little in the way of plant remains was recovered from the site. The most common plant material was Z ostera capensis, an estuarine grass, which was primarily recovered in large wads from • the upper levels, but which was present in all levels back to level 1 2. Seeds of the fruit, Nylantia spinosa, were recovered from the upper seven levels. Parts of corm bearing plants were rare and Parkington argues on the basis of good preservation of other f loral material, such as Zostera, that had these been present in any quantity more would have survived. However, it should be considered, f or the lower levels at least, that differential preservation might explain the absence of f lora. Lithic material

( see table 4 :4

and 4 :5)

Several different inventories have been complied for the Elands Bay Cave l ithic assemblage. Pettigrew ( 1977) and Sievers ( 1977) examined the material f irst, describing levels 1 1-20 and levels 1 - 10 respectively. Davis ( 1980) subsequently re-examined the entire assemblage. Unfortunately, there are some unexplained discrepancies

1 64

L E VEL

Q U ARTZ N

Q U ARTZITE

X t .

S H ALE

N

% L

N

S I LCRETE I L

N

T O TAL

O T HER

I L

N

I L

F

X A

1

9 6 7

7 6 .20

1 4 1

1 .10

4 6

3 . 62

9 8

7 . 72

1 7

1 . 34

1 2 69

4 . 03

2

1 5 39

8 0 .03

1 7 2

8 . 94

5 8

3 . 02

1 3 2

6 . 90

2

1 . 14

1 9 23

6 . 10

3

6 2 9

8 4 .77

5 2

7 . 0 1

1 4

1 . 89

4 1

5 . 53

6

0 . 80

7 4 2

2 . 35

4

1 0 73

8 0 .3 1

1 9

8 . 9 1

2 5

1 . 87

1 0 5

7 . 86

1 4

1 . 04

3 1 36

4 . 24

5

1 0 6

8 2 .68

8

6 . 3

2

1 . 57

1 2

8 . 66

1

0 . 78

1 2 9

0 . 41

6

9 8

8 3 .80

7 2

6 . 05

1 8

1 . 5 1

9 4

7 . 89

9

0 , 75

1 9 1

3 . 77

7

5 0 5

8 1 .58

6 2

1 0 .02

1 4

2 . 26

3

5 . 33

5

0 . 8 1

6 1 9

1 . 96

8

1 49 4

8 0 .90

9 1 1

1 0 .66

4 5

2 . 5 1

9 8

5 . 47

8

0 . 44

1 7 9 1

5 . 68

9

4 7 53

8 1 .10

4 5 9

. 74 7

1 6 6

2 . 80

5 0 8

8 . 54

4 8

0 . 8 1

5 9 34

1 8 .83

1

9 16 1

8 9 .95

1 2 9

5 . 98

7 3

. 38 3

3 1

1 . 43

5

0 . 23

2 1 54

6 . 83

1 0

3 9 9

7 2 .41

9 0

1 6 .88

4 1

7 . 44

1 7

3 . 09

1

0 . 18

5 4 8

1 . 74

1 2

6 1 5

6 3 .86

1 7 7

1 8 .38

1 5 3

1 5 .88

1 5

1 . 55

3

0 . 3 1

9 6 3

3 . 10

1 3 /14

9 0 4

6 8 .58

4 1 1

1 0 .69

0 2

1 6 .69

4

3 . 33

9

0 . 68

3 18 1

4 . 18

1 5

7 5 1

7 0 .9 1

8 9

8 . 40

2 0 1

1 8 .98

1 3

1 . 22

5

0 . 47

1 0 59

. 36 3

1 6

4 7 7

.8 1 7

5 2

8 . 48

7 2

.74 1

1

1 . 79

1

0 . 16

6 1 3

1 . 95

1 7

4 9 1

7 3 ,6 1

4 5

6 . 74

9 6

1 4 .39

3

4 . 94

2

0 .29

67

2 . 11

1 8

3 23 2

.02 8

4 8

1 . B 1

2 0 1

7 . 6 1

6 5

2 . 46

2

1 . 07

2 6 39

8 . 37

1 9

1 6 7 1

.69 8

2 8

1 . 48

1 3 8

7 . 32

4 3

2 . 28

4

0 . 2 1

1 84 8

5 . 98

2 0

13 4

T o ta l

2 5 979

9 3 .13

6

8 2 .43

1 . 39

2 1 4 1

1 0 6

6 . 79

1 6 89

2 . 23

4 1 1

5 . 36

2 . 97

1 5 34

9

4 . 87

= percentage

o f

raw

materi al

in

the

layer

= percentage

o f

raw

materi al

in

the

total

Materi al

Use

at

0 . 19

7 1 1

0 . 54

4 7 35 3 1 5 14

assembl age

d a ta d r awn f r om P e tt igrew 1 9 77 a n d S e ive rs 1 9 77 .

Raw

Tabl e

1 65

4 :4

E l ands

Bay

Cave 4*

1 5 .02

0 Li e -4

0 In e er .0 r y . .. .. 1

-. . . .

. . . . . r ,"

. . . . . .

CO

r • . . . c y < 0 co . .. .

=

3

' , . •

r3

Li

o .3 a . t r .. r.",•

I r.

CO

0 0 < 0

0 . . . . . -0

LA

1 .. . . .

in 00-

. . 3 .

I f ) *

C ) ▪ ▪

I

. . C r-

I -.

. . •

:

. .• . . .. I .••, . • 1 •

C . .)

- . .

. . .

N

«

M

r

I n I n . . . •, .

c o

. 1 1h

M > .

.

-0

o - , ' , , ••

. , .

N.

c o

(... 4

in

02

Ch

.0

r --

f-.

C O

I r)

0

0r --

r-••• •

0

2C

C, . . . 1 1^ ts.

. , S •• .0

r ••

OS I , 0-

I n

. -. 1

CI

-0 CO

O

1 -.

r0-

CT

-0 0

. o . . -

c o 0

•• ••

*

L i 1 4

I

a

r .. 3

C

r . .

. .4 • co

r-4

c 4

. . . . "

. .0

0 >

,

a . . .

c ta

( . . . . .•

r

c s •

s o c r . 02 . .

. . ..

Z

I f) m 4 e O in MI

CO

IA 0, 4

. t

NM

r

n

MI

• • •• •

. ..

Mr N

. ) r

r •. . N

03

i .. , . •

f .) . •

*

0



. .-

02

- 0

C) a • • 1 -P '2 r - c .

co

1 .0 1 C Y

I . . . . 3

-, -

,

02 C

I .-

MI

-

. . , .,

a .

0-

MI Cr. 0 -•

a

m e-

. . . ,

0-

CY •

a

,

• -•



M .)

I . -- 0 -0 Cy

i ,. . ..

,

0 ,- - . • • cc a „_ , ,

O 0 • _ • C , ,. . . CO

3 L s -4

CO

0

MI MI

2 1C

2C

0.

C O , ->

- 0

. . . . c . . o-

-.

6 .2

,

I a

.. 1

MI • i n

0

C>

C>

-

. N -

C O

. . .

O

0 - co . . . • • 0- gr . t r . , , -

a

..

1 . •

0

0-

r -.

.. -

. a

0

I

-. .

r--

r• t . 0 -



. . . .

r_ . 1 . .< . .

• • •• O 02

* 0

L C )

CO

, . .

0

.. . .

C

0 04C2 . C, 3 , 1 "0 • •• Os

.0

a I

N -

mr 0,

,I

0 .,= .

CO

-

CI •



. : = 9 .

0

. .4

N -

1 ,- r

1 . -->

,

t r . a

. .0

. . . .

. ... .

, . C )

. ,.

1" • -0

O .. ..

0.

i,

•-• C

u- ) .

.

cc

,

e t

C>

0

CD

CD

r. .

i, i

nm .•

C, 3

r. 1

he

C s l s

m .4

I f)

C •4

. 13

C •4

02 1 , 3

F-

• •.4

c• •

0,1

r s i

r e

.0

C • 1 1 • • • • ••

r a . . . . ‘ . .

n o

= al l

0 3 . . . . f i t L . 1. 3 — , . .. C .»

a l ., .

C J1 C .> c .) .

N I . 1. • 1. . r i l l =

t 1 1 . .. a , s rIC 1 . . 0

1 80

0 , 1"

.0 . I .

Table 4 : 1 0

C

••.•

L a yer

o ta l t 1 3 I L

I C

o ta l t 5 8 / L

o ta l t 9 13 I L

I C

I C

1 4

I L

I C

2 8 7 4 0 0

3 7 .8 3 9 .0 5 2 .6 5 4 .3

o ta l t

W A STE c h ips / c h unks f l akes

2 3 0 5 1 .7 5 6 .5 1 5 6 3 5 .1 3 8 .3

9 8 5 58 1

3 9 .7 4 2 .9 4 6 .7 5 0 .4

2 4 90 3 9 .1 4 2 .3 2 9 06 4 5 .6 4 9 .4

4 0 56 4 6 75

b l ades

9 2 . 1

2 . 2

9 0

3 . 6

3 . 9

2 7 2

4 . 1

4 . 6

3 6

4 . 7

4 . 9

4 0 8

c o res p i e ces

9 2 . 1

2 . 1

3 6

1 . 5

1 . 6

1 3 1

2 . 1

2 . 2

5

0 . 7

0 . 7

1 8 2

e s qu illees

3 0 . 7

0 . 7

2 9

1 . 2

1 . 3

7 1

1 . 1

1 . 2

9

1 . 2

1 . 2

1 4

-

7 3 7

9 7 .0

-

1

1 . 5

1 0 0

T o ta l W a s te

4 0 7

9 1 .5

-

U T IL IZED u t ilized

2 3

5 . 2 1 0 0 .0

298

9 2 .6

- 58 70 9 2 .2

8 2

3 . 3

1 0 0

2 4 4

1 . 0 2 3 .8 0 .2 4 . 0

1 -

. 0 4

1 . 0 -

8

0 . 3

7 . 9

0 . 1

3 . 0

7

0 . 3

6 . 9 1 . 0 8 . 9

2 5 2

4 . 0

1 0 0

94 35

3 7 6

R E TOUCHED e r p a d zes

4 0 .9 2 6 .7 6 1 . 4 4 0 .0

u n ifac ia l p o in ts d r ills b o re rs

-

m i sc . b k d . p i eces s e gments

- -

-

b k d . b l ades

3

b k d . p t s . b k d . s c rape rs

1 0 . 2 6 . 7

1 9

. 0 4 0 . 4

c o nve x s c rape rs

4 0 .9 2 6 .7

4

1 . 8 4 3 .6

T o ta l R e touched

T O TAL

1 5

3 . 4

45

-

-

0 1 1

4 . 1

24 8 1

-

5 2 4

0 . 8 2 1 .1 . 0 6 1 . 6

2 -

0 .3 1 6 .7 -

8 2 1 4

1

. 0 2

0 .4

-

-

1

3 1

. 0 5 . 0 2

1 . 2 0 . 4

-

-

1 6

0 . 3

6 .5

2

0 . 3 1 6 .7

0 . 1

2 . 9

2

0 . 3 1 6 .7

2 0

0 .3

8 . 1

6 1 0

. 0 9 0 .2

2 . 4 4 . 1

3

0 . 4 2 5 .0

7 2 3

1 2 4

1 . 9

5 0 .8

3

0 . 4 2 5 .0

1 7 7

24 4

3 . 8

7

- 636

-

-

- -

- 12

76 0

1 . 6

-

4 1 2 6 1 2 27

37 4

1 052 0

I C = pe rcent o f c a tago ry I L = pe rcent o f l a ye rs • da ta d r awn f r om R o bey 1 9 84 TORTOISE

CAVE:

Grouped

Compari son

Tabl e

4 : 1 1

181

of

Lithic

Assembl age

table 4 :10). F ormal tools are f requently made of s ilcrete, which i s more common i n the area than l ydianite and cryptocrystalline s ilicates ( CCS), while q uartzite s eems only to have been used f or l arger tools, presumably because of i ts granular nature ( Robey 1 984:40-41). Layers 1 -3 and l ayer 1 4 had very much smaller tool samples than the rest o f the s ite, which i s not surprising considering the much shorter l engths o f time r epresented by these l evels. Table 4 :11 i s a grouped comparison of the l ithic assemblage. Levels 4 and 1 2 have not been i ncluded i n this table because o f their unknown stratigraphic association. The l evels have been grouped together according to their dates and the area o f the s ite. I t i s particularly i nteresting to note that the percentages of f ormal and utilized tools are very much smaller i n the basal l evel ( 14) than i n any other l evel. The percentages of f ormal tools are highest i n l evels 5 -8 f rom the l ower talus s lope, and an explanation f or this spatial distribution i s not immediately obvious. However, i f Robey i s correct, and the majority of these l evels actually do r epresent refuse f rom the i nterior of the cave, i t s eems possible that the higher f requency of f ormal tools might be explained i f exhausted artefacts were thrown there deliberately i n addition to the " casually" l ost tools c leared a long with general debris f rom the cave. Other Material One human burial was excavated f rom the s ite, three metres east of the cave mouth. Though not chronometrically dated, the burial was dug from just above l ayer 1 0, and therefore dates between 4 100 B . P. and c . 3 ,000 B . P., though most l ikely c loser to the f ormer ( Robey 1 984:38). The body had been buried quite c lose to the surface of the time, and therefore the preservation of the bone was not good. The remains of at l east two other i ndividuals were f ound s cattered throughout the deposit. Bone artefacts were f ound at the s ite but these were a lmost entirely l imited to the recent Holocene l evels. Shell and ostrich eggshell beads were f ound i n a ll l evels at the s ite. Ostrich eggs were a lso used f or water containers and undoubtedly f or f ood ( Robey 1 984:42-45). Unfortunately, no estimates were available f or the quantity of o strich eggshell i n the various l evels of the s ite. Summarv Though Tortoise Cave was originally exacavated a s part of an attempt to understand the f ormation of s tratigraphic l evels i n archaeological s ites ( Robey 1 984), the s ite has provided good l ithic s amples. I t has never been examined f rom the viewpoint of temporal changes i n the s equence; nor has i t been i ncluded i n any s tudy of r egional patterns. Of

1 82

particular i nterest i n the s equence i s the small, but useful basal sample ( 14), which directly precedes an occupational hiatus at the s ite of approximately the s ame duration as was f ound at E lands B ay Cave. The s ite has an excellant s eries of dates, but unfortunately the c ontributions of the s tratigraphically well defined l ater Holocene l evels ( 5-13) at the s ite are l imited somewhat by i nternal mixing. The i nclusion of the talus s lope material a t the s ite a llows f or s ome understanding of s ite usage, which becomes even more useful when set against patterns f ound at s ites l ike Renbaan ( see below ). Unlike E lands Bay C ave, the amount o f environmental evidence that c an be gained f rom this s ite i s l imited by the l ack of precise f requencies i n the f aunal material, so the s ite i s mostly useful i n terms o f the contribution i t can make i n dating l ithic and s ite use patterns.

1 83

4 .2

THE MOUNTAIN S ITES

4 .2.1

De Hangen

( approximately

3 2

0 3'S,

1 8

5 5'E)

Introduction The cave s ite of De Hangen lies approximately 5 80 metres above sea l evel i n the Cape Folded Mountain range just north of the town of C lanwilliam. This north f acing cave i s situated on the eastern or interior margin of the mountain belt, about 7 0 kilometres from the Atlantic coast. It i s essentially a tunnel structure, with only half of i ts depth roomy enough f or occupation ( see f ig. 4 :6). A fresh water spring near the cave ( approximately 2 00 m away) provides a year round water supply ( Parkington 1 977:54). The relatively shallow deposit of the cave was undisturbed when i t was excavaIed during a f our week period in 1 968. Approximately 6 0 m of the north chamber of the cave was covered with occupational debris. The cave s loped towards the northwest through what was revealed to be a series of steps in the bedrock. Some of the deposit appeared to be s lumping in this direction i nto a contemporary e lliptical depression or pit ( about 3 metres long by 1 .5 metres wide) just behind the standing section of bedrock platform that protected the entrance to the cave ( Parkington 1 977:55). At groundlevel the entrance of the cave i s almostly entirely blocked by this bedrock barrier. There i s, however, a small pothole that leads down and through the bedrock at the mouth of the north chamber ( Parkington 1 977:55) ( see f ig. 4 :6). Stratigraphy An initial trench was cut toward the rear of the cave and this revealed 1 0 -1 5 cm of deposit, which could be divided into three separate units; the Grass Bedding unit ( Bedding), the Main Ash unit ( MAC), and the Brown Sand unit ( BS). The excavation was done in f our foot by f our foot squares which were later subdivided into areas of one square foot. Bulk sampling was undertaken randomly from each level. During the excavation i t was shown that the grass l evel lay mostly within a shallow hollow that f ollowed the curve of the cave ( from the rear of the main chamber around both walls towards the front of the cave). The central part of the chamber contained the concentration of ashy deposit which was the Main Ash unit, and this appeared to be " the result of repeated small f ires" ( Parkington 1 977:56). The grassy level averaged about 1 2 cm in depth, but at i ts deepest reached about 2 0 cm. It was generally l aid down directly on bedrock. Only at i ts inside edge did i t come i nto contact with the Main Ash unit, but there was no clear stratigraphic overlap between the two. Though

1 84

o

5 m

DE

HAN GEN

(afte r

CAVE:

Parkin gt on Fi g.

secti on and

and

grid

Poggenpoel

4 :6

1 85

pl an 1971)

some unburnt grass had been trampled i nto the surface of the ash, Parkington was sure these two units were contemporary ( ibid.). The Main Ash unit, a s stated above, occupied the central portion of the cave, an area approximately 3 metres i n diameter. This deposit was deepest i n the centre ( approximately 1 2 -1 5 cm ), and thinned outward towards the surrounding grass unit ( to about 4-5 cm). Though most of the a sh l ayer was deposited directly on bedrock, toward the f ront of the cave i t overlies the Brown Sand unit. Lying on the s tep-like configuration of the bedrock, near the l ip of the e lliptical pit, was the Brown Sand deposit. This l evel i s variable i n depth depending on the underlying surface. I n a f ew oval hollows i t was a s deep as 3 0 cm but e lsewhere was only 4 5 cm thick. One f urther unit ( Pits) was excavated from the cave. A loose sandy deposit was f ound to cover a series of i n s itu hearths that f illed the e lliptical pit i n the northwest part of the cave. D ates

( table

4 :12)

Seven dates were obtained f rom the s ite, a lmost a ll of which f all outside the t ime-range of this i nvestigation ( see table 4 :12). Most of these dates come f rom the hearths i n P its, MAC or Bedding, and f all within the period f rom 4 85 ± 4 5 B . P. to 3 50 ± 5 0 B . P. Only the Brown Sand unit appeared to pre-date these deposits to any extent and recently a date of 1 2,600 ± 1 30 B .P. has been obtained f or this l evel ( Yates, pers. comm.). Fauna and F lora Quantities of f auna and f lora were recovered f rom the s ite, but the counts f or these have not been differentiated by l evel. This i s undoubtedly due f irstly to the f act that the deposit was extremely shallow and therefore determining the exact provenance of some of the material might have been difficult; and s econdly, i t was not c lear until many years after the excavation of the cave that the Brown Sand unit was substantially o lder than the other deposits i n the cave. In general, there i s a predominance of small animals i n the f aunal l ist, particularly tortoise and dassie. Given that the cave was unoccupied f or a substantial l ength of t ime, i t i s possible that a s ignificant proportion of the small animal bones may have come i nto the cave through means other than by human transport, such as by owls. If this i s the case, then the i nterpretation of both the l arge quantity of tortoise shell and the s ignificance o f the

1 86

L a bo rato ry M ua ber

P t a 1 6 7

D a te

C o nte xt

9 0 t5 0

S a tp le M a ter ia l

H e a rth i n s u rface o f b edd ing

C h a rcoa l

P t a 1 2 6

3 50

5 0

M a in A s h C o ncentrat ion

C harcoa l

P t a 1 2 5

3 80

4 5

M a in A s h C oncentrat ion

C h arcoa l

P t a 3 46

3 90

4 5

B e dd ing

G rass

P t a 1 6 8

4 85

4 5

H e arths f rot P i t

C harcoa l

H e arth o n b edrock b e low B e dd ing

C harcoa l

B r own S a nd

C h arcoa l

' P ta 1 2 7

P t a 4 0 16

1 , 850 1 50

1 2 ,600 ± 1 3 0

Radi ocarbon

Resul ts

Tabl e

from

4 : 12

187

De

Hangen

l arge number of young dassies ( that i s, the evidence upon which P arkington ( 1977) l argely based his a ssessment that the cave represent primarily summer occupation i n the r ecent Holocene), might be called into question. The l arger animals, such a s k lipspringer, duiker, s pringbok, and e land were undoubtedly dietary i tems, given the d ifficult entrance to the c ave, but i t i s impossible to e stimate their dietary contribution during the different periods of the cave's occupation. Parkington and Poggenpoel ( 1971:23) do comment, however, that bones f rom small bovids were f ound i n a ll levels of the cave. The presence of marine mollusc shells i n the s ite, which were probably used a s implements, i nitiated Parkington's work on transhumant behaviour i n this area ( Parkington 1 977:61), but these molluscs were f ound predominantly i n the grassy l ayer and thus r elate to the r ecent Holocene period ( Parkington 1 971:13). P lant material was a lso f ound i n the s ite, and was certainly contained i n the Grass B edding unit. Corms and corm casings of the Iridaceae f amily were f requently f ound ( Parkington 1 977: 6 2). No p lant material i s specifically mentioned as coming f rom the Brown S and unit, and given the age of this l evel, i t would not be surprising i f this unit contained f ew p lant remains. L ithic Material

( see tables 4 :13

and 4 :14)

L ike the f aunal and f loral material, the artefact a ssemblage presented i n Parkington's thesis ( 1977) was not g iven by l evel. S ince then, however, the stone tool a ssemblage, at l east, has been r e-counted by R . Yates i n the Spatial Archaeology Research Unit i n the Archaeology D epartment of the University of C ape Town. The f ollowing d iscussion i s based, with permission, on this count ( Yates, unpublished material). A f requency analysis of the artefacts ( table 4 :13) shows s ome differences between the percentages i n the Brown Sand unit compared with the those of the recent Holocene units. The percentage of f lakes, f or example, i s higher i n the Brown Sand unit, than the l ater s equence. On the other hand, chips, chunks, pieces e squillees and cores, particularly bipolar cores, are more common l ater, though the total waste category does not s eem to differ much between the two t ime periods ( see table 4 :13). Utilized tools are s lightly more common l ater ( 4.11 %L vs 2 .95 %L i n the Brown Sand unit) and backed pieces, segments and drills are totally absent f rom the Brown S and unit. Within the f ormal tool c ategory s crapers, adzes and miscellaneous retouched pieces a ll share s imilar proportions i n the Brown Sand unit, a t which t ime adzes are the most common artefact c ategory ( 35%C). I n the upper

1 88

B e dd ing

M a in A s h

P i ts

( B edd ing , M AC , P i ts T o ta l I L I C )

B r ow n S a nd 1 L I C

T o ta l ( 1 A )

WASTE F l akes

3 9 3

4 5 9

5 6 9

( 1 96 1

5 3 .7

5 9 .10 )

6 3 8 ( 6 3 .00

6 7 .94 )

2 5 99

5 ( 5 .71 )

C h ips/Chunks

5 0 6

7 2 7

4 5 1

( 1 23 4

3 .8

3 7 .19 )

8 2 8 ( 2 8 .40

3 0 .57 )

1 5 22

( 3 2 .61 )

C o res

6

1

5

( 1 2

0 .32

0 . 36 )

2

( 0 .19

0 . 2 1 )

1 4

( 0 .301 )

B i po lar c o res

2 0

4

1 2

( 3 6

1 . 00

1 . 08 )

3

( 0 .29

0 . 32 )

3 9

( 0 .831 )

O u t il

1 4

4

3

( 2 1

0 .57

0 . 63 )

4

( 0 .39

0 . 43 )

2 5

( 0 .531 )

2 6

1

1 7

( 5 4

1 . 48

1 . 63 )

4

( 0 .39

0 . 43 )

5 8

( 1 .241 )

U t ilized

6 7

3 2

5 1

( 1 50

4 . 11

9 0 .90 )

3 0

( 2 .95

8 3 .33 ) 1 8 0

( 3 .861 )

a H aaerstone/

5

0

1 0

( 1 5

0 . 41

9 . 10 )

6

( 0 .59

1 6 .67 ) 2 1

( 0 .451 )

M r p

9

6

1 4

( 2 9

0 .79

1 7 .60 )

1 3

( 1 .28

3 2 .50 ) 4 2

( 0 .901 )

S c ra pers

3 2

1 5

3

( 8 0

2 .20

4 8 .50 )

1 3

( 1 .28

3 2 .50 ) 9 3

( 2 .001 )

( i nc lud ing b oa t ) A d ze

1 9

8

1 5

( 4 2

1 . 15

2 5 .50 )

1 4

( 1 .37

3 5 .00 ) 5 6

( 1 .201 )

B a cked

5

0

4

( 9

0 .24

5 .50 )

0

(-

- ) 9

( 0 .191 )

S e gaents

3

0

0

( 3

0 .08

1 . 80 )

0

(-

- ) 3

( 0 .061 )

D r ill

1

0

1

( 2

0 .05

1 . 20 )

0

(-

- ) 2

( 0 .0 41 )

c o res

P i eces e s gu illies

UTI LITZED

G r indstone RETOUCHED

T O TAL S A SEMBLAGE

1 6 46

1 85

8 17

( 3 648

9 .9

1 0 15

I L

( 1 00 .131

) 46 63

9 ( 9 .91 )

I L

T o ta l W as te

1 5 05

7 5 6

1 0 57

3 ( 3 18

9 0 .95 )

9 3 9

( 9 2 .5 11 )

4 2 57

T o ta l U t ilized

7 2

3 2

6 1

( 16 5

4 . 52 )

3 6

(3 .5 41 )

2 0 1

(4 . 3 1I )

T o ta l R e touched

6 9

2 9

6 7

(1 6 5

4 .52 )

4 0

(3 .941 )

2 05

(4 . 391 )

I C = pe rcent o f c a tagory / L = pe rcent o f l a yer o r l a yers s I A =pe rcent o f t o ta l a sea b lage De

Hangen

Stone

Tool

ad ata d r awn f r oa Y a tes , u n pu b lishe d Tabl e

4 : 13

189

Assembl age

( 9 1 .291 )

R a w M a te r ia l

Q u artz I L

N

C S

S i lcrete I L

N

I L

6 5

7 . 95

S h a le N I L

Q u artz ite N I L

1 3 1

7 6

T o ta l

L a ye r M a in A s h U n it

5 1 4

6 2 .90

3 1

3 . 79

1 6 .03

9 . 30

8 1 7

B e dd ing B e dd ing

3 4 6

1 5

5 2

5 1

2 8

4 9 2

L o wer B e dd ing

1 3 2

2

2 3

1

8

1 7 6

p U per B e dd ing

3 4

2

8

6

2

5 2

H i gh B a nk

1 2 0

9

2 1

1 8

6

1 7 4

G r ey P a tch

8 7

1 0

6

1 8

1 0

1 3 1

G r ass P a tch

4 5

4

1

1 9

7

8 6

C l ean ing

1 2 3

1 4

1 4

3 0

1 2

1 9 3

S u r face i n s ide

2 3 7

1

2 4

3 5

3 0

3 7

T o ta l B e dd ing

•1 2 4

6 8 .49

6 7

4 . 08

1 5 9

9 . 68

8 1 8

1 .45

1 0 3

6 . 2 7

1 6 4 1

P i ts P i t 1

3 6 3

1 5

5 2

1 0

5 6

5 9 6

P i t 2

4 0

3

1 0

3

2

5 8

P i t 3

4 0

3

1

1 6

9

7 9

P i t 4

7 1

6

2 3

4 0

1 9

1 5 9

P i t 5

3 1 1

1 9

4

6 8

2 1

2 8 3

T o ta l P i ts

6 4 5

5 4 .89

4 6

3 . 9 1

1 4 0

.9 1 1

2 3 7

2 0 .17

1 0 7

9 . 10

75 1

T o ta l M A C ,Bedd ing ,P its

283

6 2 .84

1 4 4

3 . 96

3 6 4

1 0 .0 1

56

1 5 .30

2 8 6

7 . 87

6 33 3

B r own S a nd

5 1 6

5 1 .13

6 7

6 . 64

7 8

. 73 7

2 5 9

2 5 .66

8 9

. 82 8

1 0 9 0

T o ta l

2 7 99

6 0 .29

2 1 1

4 .54

2 4

9 . 52

8 1 5

1 7 .55

3 7 5

8 . 0 1

6 42 4

%L

= percent

of

layer

* ex c lud ing h a stersto ne/gr indstone , d a ta d r awn f r o. Y a tes , u n pub lished .

De

Hangen raw material

Table

4 :14

190

frequencies

l evels scrapers become more frequent ( an average of 4 8.5%C compared with 3 2.5%C i n B S) while adzes drop to an average of 2 5.5%C. The most i nteresting aspect of the stone tool analysis, however, i s the raw material variation. Table 4 :14 shows that despite being the most commonly used raw material in every l ayer, the use of quartz was very much lower in the Brown Sand unit than in any of the others ( 51.13%L of the B S l ayer compared to an average 6 2.84%L for the other layers). Shale, on the other hand, was much more frequently used i n this layer ( 25.66%L ) than in any of the other three layers which averaged only 1 5.30%L. Additionally, the use of both quartzite and silcrete was s lightly higher i n the Brown Sand unit. The increase in the use of the cryptocrystalline s ilicates ( CCS) in the upper levels might be accounted for by the s light increase in f ormal tools. Other Material Ostrich eggshell ( OES) was recovered from the s ite but again, no separate estimate or comment i s available regarding the provenance of this i tem. However, as Parkington states i n his thesis ( 1977:59) that none of the organic artefacts came from the brown sand unit, presumably this includes the ostrich eggshell beads. Whether OES fragments were recovered from this unit i s not known. Summary The site i s important in this investigation simply for i ts basal layer, which i s the only part of the deposit that f alls within the time range of the research. However, this dated layer does give some important corroborative evidence f or dating the Klipfonteinrand sequence ( see section 4 .3.1), and the same evidence ( specifically, the changes in the frequency of shale and quartzite and in the retouched tool category) i s a lso important i n understanding temporal changes throughout the entire research area ( see section 4 .3.2 and Chapter 6 )

4 .2.2

Renbaan

( approximately

3 2

1 5'S,

1 8

5 3'S)

Introduction The cave site of Renbaan i s located on the western s ide of the Olifants River Valley in the mountains of the Cape Folded Belt. The cave opens towards the south east and i s approximately 6 metres by 6 metres in s ize ( see f ig. 4 :7). Eight square metres of the cave were excavated, avoiding the rear of the cave where the deposit had been disturbed by the owner of the l and ( Kaplan 1 985:23). The

1 91

RENBAAN: (after Fi g.

grid

Kapl an 4 :7

1 92

pl an 1985)

deposit was excavated i n n atural s tratigraphic units, and f our main l evels have been i dentified f rom these ( see f ig. 4 :8 and table 4 :15). Most of the data commented on below i s drawn f rom Kaplan's ( 1985) honours thesis on the s ite. Stratigraphv The s ite s eems to f ollow the general pattern described above f or De Hangen, that i s bedding units were f ound towards the rear of the cave with a central ash deposit toward the middle. The natural stratigraphic levels were f ollowed during excavation, and based on the nature of the deposit and the f ormal tool content of these units, f our main l evels have been i dentified ( Kaplan 1 985:24-29). These are Surface Deposits, Bedding Units, Ash Deposit and Basal Layer. I t can be s een, however, by comparing the original s tratigraphic units ( table 4 :15) and the section diagram ( fig. 4 :8), that the bedding units and the surface deposit actually i nterdigitate, and that i t i s l ikely that they date f rom the s ame period. The excavation of the Basal Layer was l imited to one square metre. D ates Three dates are available from Renbaan ( see Table 4 :15). The youngest, 1 150 ± 5 0, comes from a grass sample f rom the Bedding Unit. Charcoal yielded a date of 1 910 ± 6 0 f or the orange speckled l ayer that made up most of the ash deposit. Given the undifferentiated nature of the orange speckled l ayer, the Ash deposit i s not l ikely to date f rom much before this. The f inal date, 5 430 ± 7 0, comes f rom the basal unit and was a lso obtained on charcoal. Therefore, while the Basal Layer i s l ikely to date essentially to the the middle Holocene, the other units at Renbaan f all outside the range of this i nvestigation, though the Ash Deposit i s only just outside the time period considered. It seems l ikely that Renbaan experienced periods of occupation separated by periods when the cave remained empty of human occupants ( Kaplan 1 985:30), even though there i s no stratigraphic evidence of this. Fauna and F lora

( table 4 :16)

All of the f lora recovered was f rom the Bedding Unit. This consisted mainly of grass mixed with twigs and corms ( Kaplan 1 985:26), but consideration of this material i s outside the r ange of this i nvestigation. The f aunal material recovered f rom Renbaan was quite small ( see table 4 :16). The l argest s ample was recovered f rom the Bedding Unit, and this only consisted of thirtyf ive animals, most of which ( 14) were birds of various

1 93

: 4 (4 .»`; `, . x

, .. ..-

. • •J

. , .

4 '1 2 ,

,

e• ' ‘ e. c . ' x < .

s

4 '

, ,

4

•. . , .

(. . -• • •• \ •• ..• . . . . / •• - . ....•. . / .•••••• -------. •.. .». . ..\ , • •• • •.. . •.

000 61,

8 ,600

1 0', 000 I

l evel

% \

\ ‘

/ / ./ -

\\

I N \ ‘

1r -



Shale

----- C halcedony

1 I

1 0

Silcrete -

1

I t

2 0

Quartzite

%

I I I I

0

-- Q uartz

BLA

I

1 2,000

1 .2/34/5 6 7

1

2

BRL

1 6,000

yrs.

3 4

GWA

CL Fig.

R aw Materials

1 4:000

I

6 :2

and Formal Tools

2 60

at Boomplaas

A .

B .P.

2 .0 ELANDS BAY CAVE

1 .51 .0

. 5

Formal Tools 1 00 -

• • ."••••• • ••••• • ... . . . ..• ••••• • . ••• • •••• • • ••• • I

8 0





-

6 0-

Raw Material

40

Quartz Quartzite S ilcreta

• -

2 0-

•• • • .•• • ••

\ \ ‘ .. , . . . • • • • •••

--"^:::: -.

. ,

, •

. . •

. • ••--

- - - - __,



. ,

• ' . ,.

• • •

• 1 .

‘. . . • • • ••.