Deacon, H. J.. Where hunters gathered: a study of Holocene Stone Age people in the Eastern Cape

Table of Contents

Publication Information


The Aims And Outline Of Research


The Holocene Period

The Late Upper Pleistocene And Holocene Culturehistory Of The Eastern Cape

Research Design

General Geographical And Environmental Setting Of The Archaeological Study In The Eastern Cape

Environmental Zonation

1. The Coastal Strip

2. The Coastal Plain

3. The Cape Folded Mountain Belt

4. The Karoo - Cape Midlands

Present And Past Environments: A Perspective

Archaeological Observations At Melkhoutboom Cave


Stratigraphy Of The Deposits

1. Basal Unit (b)

2. Rock Fall Unit (rf).

3. Medium Brown Series Unit (mbs)

4. Wilton Base Marker Unit (wbm)

5. Marker Unit (m)

6. Wedge Unit (w)

7. Main Bedding Unit (mb)

8. Cut Away Frontal Unit (caf)

9. Overlie Of The Main Bedding Unit (omb)

10. Surface Unit (s)

Dating And Correlation

The 1967 – 1969 Excavation


1. Hearths And Ash Bodies

2. Pits And Depressions

3. Post-holes

4. Burial Shafts

Artefacts From Melkhoutboom Cave

The Nature Of The Artefact Finds

The Non-lithic Artefacts

(i) Leather

(ii) Cordage, Netting And Matting

(iii) Reeds

(iv) Wooden Artefacts

(v) Bone Artefacts

(vi) Shell

(viii) Pottery

General Description Of The Stone Artefacts

(i) Ochre

(ii) Shale Pieces

(iii) Slabs

(iv) Micaceous Sandstone

(v) Chunks

(vi) Chips

(vii) Cores

(viii) Core Reduced Pieces

(ix) Pièces Esquillées

(x) Unmodified Flakes

(xi) Retouched Flakes

(xii) Scrapers

(xiii) Segments

(xiv) Backed Bladelets

(xv) Borers

(xvi) Adzes

(xvii) Anvils

(xviii) Hammerstones

(xix) Rubbers

(xx) Milled Edge Pebbles

(xxi) Miscellaneous And Broken Pieces

Metrical Study Of The Hafted Stone Artefacts

(i) Metrical Study Of The Scraper Class

(ii) Metrical Study Of The Segment Class

(iii) Metrical Study Of The Backed Bladelet Class

(iv) Metrical Study Of The Adze Class

(v) Metrical Study Of The Borer Class

The Pre-wilton Industries

Summary Conclusions Drawn From The Artefact Study

Food Refuse From Gathering And Hunting: Diet And Subsistence

Plant Remains

Animal Remains

Summary Conclusions Based On Observations At Melkhoutboom Cave

Archaeological Observations At Highlands Rock Shelter


Stratigraphy Of The Highlands Deposits

Dating Of The Highlands Deposits

The 1969–1970 Excavation

Features In The Upper Member Of The Highlands Sequence

Artefacts From Highlands Rock Shelter

The Non-lithic Artefacts

General Description Of The Stone Artefacts

Metrical Studies Of The Hafted Stone Artefacts

General Discussion Of The Artefacts From Highlands

Food Refuse From Gathering And Hunting: Diet And Subsistence

Plant Remains

Animal Remains

Diet And Subsistence

Summary Conclusions On Archaeological Observations At Highlands Rock Shelter

Observations At Other Relevant Archaeological Occurrences

Scotts Cave

Tsitsikama National Park And Skrik River

Cranemere And Cradock

Springs Rock Shelter

Towards A Prehistory Of The Holocene In The Eastern Cape

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Where hunters gathered: a study of Holocene Stone Age people in the Eastern Cape

Published By: Original publisher Claremont, South Africa: South African Archaeological Society. 1976. xiii, 232 p. ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication by H.J. Deacon

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2004. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Wilton (FX50)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Organization and analysis of results of research (128); Fauna (136); Flora (137); Lithic industries (324); General tools (412); Cultural stratigraphy (912);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document Deacon presents his findings and analyses from two sites from two different ecological zones: Melkhoutboom Cave in the Cape Folded Mountain Belt and Highlands Rock Shelter in the Karoo-Cape Midlands. Both sites have dates that extend beyond the time period and in this report Deacon only discusses the data from the Holocene deposits from these sites. Both sites had good preservation. Melkhoutboom Cave, in particular, had excellent preservation of plant materials in the Holocene strata. This allowed Deacon to discuss uses of plants and seasonality. Stone tools are also discussed in detail. Also found at these sites are bone tools, shell and /or shell artifacts, faunal remains, cordage and netting fragments, and remains of leather. Deacon also briefly discusses six other sites in the eastern Cape. The Wilton strata date from approximately 7500 B.P. to the present at Melkhoutboom Cave and from 4500 B.P. to the present at Highlands Rock Shelter. Only the material that pertains to the non- or pre-ceramic Wilton were indexed for OCM (Outline of Cultural Materials) codes.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fx50-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 176-184)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1963, 1967-1971

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Sarah Berry ; 2002

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 7500 BP- 2000 BP

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Melkhoutboom Cave; South Africa and Highlands Rock Shelter; South Africa

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings South Africa--Antiquities


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